Founded in 1968, Charles Perry Partners, Inc. (CPPI) is a general contractor focusing on building across the institutional and commercial industries. With a commitment to quality and building long-lasting relationships within the community, CPPI is on a mission to build better, faster, and more sustainable projects. Longtime users of BIM 360, CPPI migrated to Autodesk Build, part of Autodesk Construction Cloud, to further connect workflows and unify data across the project lifecycle. As of July 2023, CPPI has used Build to manage over 380 projects, allowing them to deliver high-quality projects while maximizing profitability.
projects managed with Autodesk Build
of projects delivered on time and within budget
active users on Autodesk Build
CPPI takes a strategic approach to implementing new technology, evaluating software against three pillars: productivity, profitability, and performance. With cost management playing a significant role in project success, CPPI adopted BIM 360 in early 2018 to eliminate multiple methods of managing cost activities to understand how changes impact a project’s bottom line.
With the release of Autodesk Build in November 2020, CPPI migrated from BIM 360 to Build to utilize the robust capabilities of the new product, which unified the best of BIM 360 and PlanGrid, while adding new features.
“With the implementation of Build, we could centralize, connect, and track all cost management activities, acting on our vision of touching data one time. This capability eliminates the human error with manual data entry while providing better insight into the history of specific cost items.”
CPPI took a phased approach to using the cost management module in Build. First, they integrated Build with their ERP system, SAGE 300 CRE, and rolled out the budget, change management, and contract features. Next, they added pay applications. Finally, they applied lessons learned from using these capabilities to optimize processes and refine workflows.
Throughout the process, they trained their internal teams and external partners on using Build to drive efficiencies and increase collaboration using one integrated system. Today, there are over 4,600 active users and approximately 2,000 partner companies collaborating on Autodesk Build.
Projects are getting larger, budgets are getting tighter, and schedules are getting shorter, which makes managing project-related costs and owner expectations more challenging.
“If you don’t have a connected data system, it’s almost like taking a ball of spaghetti, throwing it on paper, and looking at your processes. It can be tragic to maintain. Autodesk Build is bridging that gap while speeding up the decision-making process,” says Brad.
With Build, CPPI can manage cost activities in the same environment as project and field management tasks. By connecting these workflows, CPPI can reduce data loss, capture the origin of changes, and increase access to critical information across project stakeholders.
“Combining our project and cost management workflows in Build creates greater visibility into project data,” says Brad. “With our data in one environment, we can easily trace a change order back to an issue that was converted into an RFI, and so on. This visibility allows us to understand the genesis of a change order and how it will impact project scope.”
With data connected and laid out, project managers coming on or off a project can easily follow the ‘cookie trail’ to understand the cost events that occurred during the project. This capability reduces risk and allows project managers to stay on top of and manage all cost-related items.
In addition to understanding the “how and why” of a cost-related event, the integration between CPPI’s accounting system, Sage 300 CRE, and Build has increased operational efficiency, reduced errors on projects, and provided access to real- time data. With information automatically flowing between operations and accounting, teams can be more proactive in reporting and managing cost- related items. Even more, CPPI could customize the integration to support its current way of working instead of upending its process.
For example, with the Build and Sage 300 CRE integration, CPPI can track the actual cost paid to their subcontractors or partners and see those costs flow back into Build. This up-to-date cost information on a project allows the team to make detailed and timely decisions, eliminating the time spent waiting on a report from accounting.
“With Build, we can make informed decisions, and there’s no longer a divide between knowledge across our teams. Project managers are empowered to produce reports; they don’t have to wait for accounting. This streamlines our process and allows project managers to make real-time project decisions.”
The integration between SAGE 300 CRE and Build has delivered on CPPI’s vision to not only successfully touch data one time but also increase operational efficiency. The success of this newfound process means project managers can now input data three times faster than before.
By centralizing and connecting data in Build, CPPI’s teams can confidently work because they know where they’re financially on a project at any given time. And with CPPI’s track record of effectively managing its budget and schedule, now they can do it with both eyes open to identify a discrepancy in cost that could cause project delays or cost overruns.
Brad shared, “We had an out-of-balance cost sheet and didn’t know where the problem originated. But by looking at the activity log in Build, we quickly identified the root cause of the issue, which was an accidentally changed value in the cost code. Without the activity log, it would have been like looking for a needle in a haystack, which would have wasted the team’s valuable time and resources.”
With Build at the helm, CPPI has delivered 97.8% of projects on time and within budget. And with its ERP integration, CPPI can see what they’ve paid subcontractors in real time to understand how they’re trending towards the overall budget. This allows CPPI to maintain good relationships with its subcontractors and the owners since they can provide a running pulse on the project’s health.
“I talk to project managers daily, and with Build, you recognize that they can do more and less simultaneously. They can do more in the sense that they have more capabilities. They’re doing less because they’re not having to work as hard to get there. A lot of times, the metrics are intangible. And those intangible metrics are increased morale and the ability to be more proactive on projects, leading to better buildings for our customers. It’s a win-win.”
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Gainesville, FL, US
• Cost Management