I'm an assistant project manager for a small electrical contracting company, we have 12 electricians in the field, and we routinely do large commercial and industrial jobs. I've been looking for a good scheduling software, mainly because we've been asked by our customers to provide scheduling for many of our jobs (especially design/build jobs with no GC). I've looked at MS Project and at Primavera Contractor. Does anyone have any experience with these programs? Or other alternatives I might be able to use?
Pathfind, Have you looked into any of these yet? I don’t have any personal experience with these programs but they seem like something I would use if the need arises. They all offer trial software downloads and pricing doesn’t seem outrageous.
I'm not Dave but his wife, chief cook, bottle washer, bean counter, kind of estimator and scheduler for his dumb hobby business as an EC here in Edmonton. He made the mistake of logging on here and then going away from the computer to answer a phone call so I looked at this thread since I'm the one that has to take care of "his highness".
I use MS Project all the time to get the work booked and done, especially since we are doing projects that are booked now into June of 2008. It works and I got it because it was cheap to buy (just like his highness is, by the way). I had to learn that not all the projects get done on time but the MS Project software can make any changes that happen because of early finishes or delays because the "boyz" went and drank too much beer the night before. Not that that happens too much anymore.!! But You'll find it works pretty good for you. We only have 4 guys to schedule but the program works for large crews too.
Hi Pathfind, I've used MS Project. I haven't used Primavera Contractor, but I have used Primavera Project Planner (P3). P3 is a very powerful, very good piece of software and, while it can be used on small projects, it is best suited for really big projects. P3 is also quite expensive. Primavera has a good reputation, and I would personally feel confident that they would have a good product in "Contractor". My own experience with MS Project is that it is not bad for setting up a schedule, it has nice graphics, and is reasonably priced. However, when it comes to updating the schedule, the program tends to fall short.
If I may offer some free advice (advice being worth what you pay for it), no matter which scheduling software you wind up using, NEVER use forced dates, such as, must start on....., must finish on....., etc. Let the software figure out when things can be done.
Hope this helps,
It's always easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission.