SuvarnaConsultancy is the world class project management consultancy catering to the construction sector. The company renders numerous services and cost control is one among them. Here we will have a look at the Cost control in detail along with different aspects related to it.
Cost Control Services
If you want to have a profitable venture in construction projects, then you must know the art of cost control. In case you are not familiar with the cost control concept and not sure how to do it effectively then this article will help you to do cost control like a pro so that you can maximize your revenues.
Let’s start with the definition:
What is cost control?
Cost control refers to the ways of collecting the cost record of the project and monitors the work progress to minimize cost in the construction project. This process also involves the comparison of the work progress with the planning. In case any discrepancies or overruns are noticed, the project manager aims to take measures to control the same. This controlling process is also a part of cost control.
Purpose of cost control:
Cost control in the construction management aims in maximizing the profit of construction projects without compromising the quality. The lessons learned from the cost control assignment in a project are used in future projects.
Role of a project manager in controlling cost in the construction projects:
The project manager plays a vital role in controlling and minimizing cost. Let’s find below the roles of a project manager with regards to the handling of cost:
Cost information collection: The project manager needs to collect the exact cost details from all the stakeholders involved
Synchronizing: The project manager is responsible for synchronizing the actual budget against the exact cost. He must leave no stones unturned to compare both. He must take precautionary measures in advance so that the actual cost does not exceed the planned cost.
Monitor project quality: this is an essential role of the construction manager. He must ensure that the best quality is delivered to the customer. Often to reduce the cost, many project managers aim to compromise on the quality. But this must be careful of, and the project manager must ensure that there is no compromise the quality of the project when the cost is minimized.
Monitoring issues and risks: The project manager also should monitor the problems and risk involved in the successful cost control procedure. For instance, some things may increase the cost; he must make sure that those things can be detected well in advance and can be regulated in advance to control the costs.
Corrective actions: The project manager is responsible for taking disciplinary actions when overrun is noticed. The corrective actions can involve replanting or functional modification depending on the1 project involved or as deemed appropriate by the project manager.
Quality audits: the project manager is responsible for making quality audits. The quality needs to be monitored at every step, and this process forms a crucial part of cost control in construction projects. The project manager must analyse all the parameters and do the audits carefully spa that there the best quality can be delivered to the customer at the end of the project. He may do a Plan-Do-Check-Act process. The best quality plan may look good on the papers, but it is of no use if not implemented. He needs to do spot-checking, and in if he notices any quality issues in any spot, then he must dig deeper and find out the cause behind the same and take preventive measures. It is not only essential to generate an audit report, but the project manager is also responsible for determining the action plan so that the quality can be improved.
Paperwork checks: The project manager must do the paperwork checks at every part of the cost management. This is an essential part of cost control. It is necessary to have everything documented so that discussions can be facilitated with the stakeholders and the project owner.
Change monitoring: Changes are common in construction projects. The project manager must do the change management properly for controlling cost. Effective change management is an essential part of cost management. The project manager must coordinate the change control process. For instance, he must check the documentation, drawing, process, flow, schedule etc. for controlling cost. The change request needs to be defined as the initial step. The project manager must then prepare the response document for managing change. He needs to get it approved from the other stakeholders and the project owner. Effective change management is the backbone for cost control, and one is incomplete without the other.
The life cycle of construction management and project cost:
The construction industry is dynamic, and the cost must be controlled from the beginning to see significant results in the end. The life cycle of construction management involves the below steps:
Develop the project plan: The project plan is developed based on the coast forecasting and estimation. After the budgeting and analysis, the cost control plan is prepared, and after the preparation of the cost plan, it needs to be approved by the stakeholders and the project power.
Establishing the benchmark: It is essential to establish the benchmark to know what is intended. Once you know the goal, you can work hard towards achieving the same.
Monitor performance: This is the third and an impoirt6ant step. After the planning and establishing the benchmark process is completed, it is necessary to monitor now and then if everything is going per plan. Every aspect of project management needs to be traced.
Identify deviations: Deviations can refer to cost overruns. After monitoring the performance of the cost control project if the project manager notices any variation in the actual performance against the plan, then he must take corrective actions.
Make adjustments: When deviations are noticed, the project manager may be needed to make adjustments in the performance so that the performance goal can be met.
Reporting and evaluation:
As the final step, the result must be evaluated and documented. Various analytical methods can be used in the evaluation process. Sufficient documentation is crucial for the success of the project. Unfortunately, many project managers fail in this last step, and as a result, the benefits of cost control are not appropriately realised. Everybody remains keen to move on to the next project, and it becomes complicated to get the parties together for a discussion, a project manager you must check that the last step can be carried out carefully.
Features of a successful cost control plan:
Let’s check out some of the other features of a successful cost control plan so that you can use this as a benchmark and know if you are in the right track or not.
Achievable target: An excellent cost-control plan must be based on achievable goals. If the goals are unrealistic, then it won’t be easy to fulfil them and hence may not see significant results. The project manager must set goals that can be achieved easily.
Should have an effective corrective action: An excellent cost6 control project must have an effective corrective action and the corrective action will depend upon the project and the decisions of the project manager.
Finish within deadline: A good construction project must finish within the deadline. Remember if the deadline fails, then it can result in dissatisfaction of the end-users and impact your brand value. Since time is the money, it is crucial to finish the projects within deadline.
Good communication flow: A cooperative project should have a good communication flow. The stakeholders and the parties involved must be informed about the project progress in the entire life cycle. It would help if you did not remain contended by forming an excellent plan, but you should monitor in every step to make sure that the procedure is followed correctly. Also, you must keep all the parties involved informed so that if required, they can suggest for some alternate plan of action. Communication flow must again happen between the employees. A cost control plan will be successful when all the employees involved are aware of the nitti0gritties of the plan so that they can follow the same. When something goes well, you can consider rewarding the employees so that they are always motivated to perform better. It may be a good idea to highlight the critical aspect of the cost control plan in the dashboard to increase visibility.
Constant monitoring: The monitoring should be constant in a good cost control plan. It is also essential to prepare the daily and weekly report. Many project manager s tend to ignore the reporting part, but reporting forms a crucial step in the monitoring process. You can get some data filled by the employees itself. For instance, you may ask the employees to fill in their working time daily. Daily, weekly and monthly monitoring of your cost plan is essential for the success of the project.
Essential facts that cannot be ignored in the cost control process of construction project:
Having a thorough knowledge of the cost: For an effective cost control plan, you must have a good idea about the different types of costs involved in the project. The costs are direct costs, general conditions, labour costs, heavy equipment costs etc.
Understand the bigger picture: it is important to understand the bigger picture before getting into the details of the project. Plans are reviewed in detail before focussing on the nitty-gritty.
Discover the red flag issues: The red flag issues need to be checked in priority. You must check for any adverse conditions, clauses that can affect the cost of your project in the long run.
Discuss questions and clarifications: Discover questions that need clarification, you must have all the answers in advance to avoid last-minute conflicts. An efficient project manager will prepare all the possible questions and answers before he bid meeting.
Site visit: The cost must be calculated to post a proper site visit. Everything should be minutely examined before the cost control plan is curated. Once you walk through the land, you can come to know about the hidden elements that can affect your pricing. You must consider the distance of the project from the commercial locations, the water facility, the site conditions, the commutation facilities etc. You need to check for the labour costs, material cost etc. Having an answer to how many and how much will help you do the project control plan effectively.
Taxes: The taxes part need to be considered well in advance before planning the cost. The ties are sometimes liable to change; you should consider those aspects as well.
The work breakdown structure (WBS) needs to be adequately developed: WBS is an essential part of cost control. The size and complexity of the project determine the WBS structure. The top-down approach or the bottom down approach can be followed for the WBS determination. Top-down refers to the complete project work, whereas the bottom down refers to the collation of the list or tasks required to complete the project.
Reporting part: The reporting part needs to be adequately checked. Several methods of reporting exist; you need to find the best one per your convenience and the suitability of the project. The earned value measure system (EVMS) is an essential method of reporting. The EVMS accurately portrays the project status and helps in the identification of trends. The EVMS defects the issues early so that you can have a significant cost control system. You can use the reporting tools as well for more accuracy. You also need to consider the performance reports, status report, project report and exception reports. The cumulative cost report will help to understand the variance from the estimation.
By lowering the company’s expenses through cost control, you can maximize the profits. Also, when you have success in one project, you will create a good reputation for the company and will increase its chances of getting more projects in the future. Through cost control when you can submit the project time it will impress the end clients and this in this manner, your brand value will be enhanced in future. Cost control will also help to keep your cost transparent to the customers. If through an Abad control system, the overall pri9ces increase of the project, then it may set a wrong impression for the clients who may end up believing that your cost structure is not transparent. Hence the above article will help you to do management effectively to get high returns on investment.
We have seen above the cost control in detail and different aspects related to it. You can take the help of Suvarna Consultancy, in case you feel your construction project is in need of Cost Control Services. The Company is also providing an ERP known as CCIS or Construction Cost Information System that will help you to keep an eye on the project cost and streamline your way to cost control in your project.