Seattle-based construction software developer Dexter + Chaney rolled out its new Spectrum Project Management system at the 2013 World of Concrete trade show this week in Las Vegas.
Spectrum Project Management is available as part of the suite of applications in Dexter + Chaney’s Spectrum Construction Software product line. The new software integrates its Plan Room and Spectrum Accounting software.
“One of the first questions our customers asked was, ‘How can we integrate Plan Room’ into project management?’” John Chaney, president of Dexter + Chaney said during our interview at World of Concrete 2013. This iteration of software provides this capability, Chaney said.
“This changes the way you do project management — end to end,” Chaney said. “Project management is not one task performed in one location. It involves a continuous flow of work, data and documents that move from place to place and person to person. We’ve designed a complete system to help project managers handle the work, the documents, the communication and the people that comprise complex construction projects.”
At last year’s World of Concrete, Dexter + Chaney introduced its Plan Room browser-based software, which starts with pre-construction — such as the invitation to bid. Once this segment of the construction process was complete, the project team would need to move into the project management process and everything would need to be set up again, Chaney explained. “Now we’ve connected that so there is no break. Everything is integrated.”
Spectrum Project Management is cloud-based, requiring no software downloads and is accessible from any device with a web browser. The Spectrum Project Management application covers numerous project management functions, including job cost and progress reporting, project logging, submittal and RFI tracking, and project document storage and sharing.
What makes Spectrum Project Management unique is how it combines the tools and information that project managers need into a single application, Chaney noted. The project management system essentially builds picture of project status by combining financial and field information, managing people and documents (the version control aspect is pretty neat) and tracking workflow from a single project log screen so there aren’t multiple logs.
Each user has a dashboard of apps unique to them. The user chooses whichever apps he or she wants, depending on their level of involvement with the project, and the dashboard is customized to that person’s needs.
For example, Chaney demonstrated one of the apps on his dashboard — a Proposed Change Request Aging Pie Chart. Users may also create their own apps. “It’s like writing a custom report,” Chaney said. The apps are treated like a data element, Chaney explained. This means when updates are made, users don’t lose their apps. “If you create 50 apps, you’ll still have them.”
The ability to create apps and logs to customize the dashboard is significant, Chaney says, because “we can’t anticipate every log a contractor will want. You can create your own categories and name it.”