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Sample Product Profile
Sample Product Profile
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Sample Product Profile
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Sample Product Profile

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This was a sample new product profile, written for the Marketing Dept., of a systems provider to the utility industry.

This was a sample new product profile, written for the Marketing Dept., of a systems provider to the utility industry.

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  • 1. Utility Partners, Inc. – U’Pro Software Suite: PRODUCT PROFILE Planning and Managing Construction Project Costs The Challenge In this era of growing economic pressure and industry competition, it is increasingly important for utility companies to plan, monitor and control capital expansion and improvement construction projects effectively. Keeping track of the wealth of data necessary for planning work, estimating costs, tracking required materials, establish-ing and maintaining timetables can be a daunting task for the on-site construction project supervisor. Also, the degree of accountability required of utilities demands that tight cost controls and sophisticated cost-monitoring methods be accurately maintained by the utility. The Solution Utility Partners, Inc., working in close partnership with CoCon Systems Inc., has developed a powerful automated tool that provides a solution to the many construction challenges facing your utility: the U’Pro® software suite. The U’Pro suite is comprised of two powerful tools – U’Pro PRIME™ and U’Pro PLUS™. Together these two feature-rich products provide the automation you need to coordinate every cost aspect of your construction projects. U’Pro is a client/server system designed to retain data in a relational database (RDBMS). On-site data is obtained via mobile computers; however, as a stand-alone system, U’Pro data can be utilized via a desktop PC or even a mainframe system. U’Pro PRIME U’Pro PRIME can be used as a stand-alone product or in tandem with U’Pro PLUS. Essentially an automated tool for estimating project costs based upon specific project and parameters, U’Pro PRIME can use several types of database platforms to store measurements relating to the total project. Multiple projects can be simultaneously estimated with U’Pro PRIME, with each project assigned a unique project number. 1
  • 2. Utility Partners, Inc. – U’Pro Software Suite: PRODUCT PROFILE U’Pro PRIME simplifies the manual cost- and resource-planning process by using what are called DMUs (Dynamic Macro Units). DMUs allow the user to input (via mobile unit or PC) measurements relating directly to the construction project. U’Pro PRIME then generates a “work profile,” including such items as the equipment and related materials required to do the project. This approach can reduce data-entry time by as much as 90 percent, with a high degree of projection accuracy. Also, all DMU data for each project is stored in U’Pro PRIME’s database for later retrieval. U’PRO PRIME’s ability to generate “work profiles” can reduce data-entry time by as much as 90 percent, with a high degree of projection accuracy. Once volumes are created, cost estimates can be generated via U’Pro PRIME’s price databases or tables. These tables can be used by utility company engineers to provide a cost estimate for a planned project, or by outside contractors to respond to RFPs (Requests for Proposals) from the utility. Prices are given a unique identification so they can be reused for analysis and comparisons on future projects. U’Pro PLUS U’Pro PRIME can be expanded to include a comprehensive suite of other interactive components that comprise the U’Pro PLUS software system. Among these is the U’Pro PLUS Materials Management component. The U’Pro PLUS Material Management component saves stock and frees the supervisor’s time, allowing more time for actual project management. During volume-creation planning, the materials needed to complete the project are estimated as part of the DMU process. U’Pro retains construction start dates that can be easily applied to a weekly calendar. Later, when construction is underway, U’Pro PLUS’ materials management component enables the supervisor to shift materials on the weekly calendar. For example, the supervisor can retrieve materials from stock on a “just-in-time” basis. This can save a significant amount of stock, as well as free the supervisor from creating manual stock retrieval forms, thus allowing more time for actual construction management. The U’Pro PLUS Time Management component provides time estimates for activities associated with the project, and displays them on a day-by-day calendar. The component also provides tables to create resources and availability sheets for both workmen and equipment. The U’Pro PLUS Time Management component saves your utility money by balancing workload, reducing overtime, and controlling outsourcing. Ultimately, the time management component combines the project’s activity estimates with the available resources and equipment to produce a workload profile. This enables the utility company to balance workload, reduce resource overtime, and control the outsourcing of work. This optimization results in significant savings to the company. 2
  • 3. Utility Partners, Inc. – U’Pro Software Suite: PRODUCT PROFILE The U’Pro PLUS Data Analyzer component provides the main user interface for reviewing project-related information stored in the U’Pro suite. The Data Analyzer utilizes an Excel® spreadsheet to enable fast and easy access to data. The Data Analyzer provides a warehouse that contains U’Pro data, and interfaces with other systems such as a host-based material-management system or the SAP R/3 System. Additionally, the Data Analyzer replaces any static reporting tools by allowing relevant information to be compared on the fly. Some of the key features of the Data Analyzer component include: 1. All information is derived from a single online database source. 2. Mobile Capability: Any report can be displayed on the screen immediately upon demand, and can also be updated online. No printing work is required. 3. Excel Integration: The Data Analyzer enables full use of the Excel® spreadsheets. 4. Easy Design: No select statements, no special design languages are required. Actions are performed using simple drag-and-drop functionality. 5. Internet/Intranet Capability; Strategic Object: The ability to show a company’s financial information (for example, such as on the World Wide Web) is possible with the Data Analyzer, thus eliminating the need to create additional homepages. 6. Scalability: The component is scalable down to one user, or up to as many as required. 7. Speed: The Data Analyzer utilizes Modern OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) functionality, based upon multi-dimensional databases. 3
  • 4. Utility Partners, Inc. – U’Pro Software Suite: PRODUCT PROFILE In addition to the data maintained by U’Pro PRIME, the Materials Management, and the Time Management components of U’Pro PLUS, the U’Pro PLUS Database component maintains other information relating to the construction project such as permits, appointments, intersections with private property, account numbers, and map sequence numbers. The database component, which is a table-driven feature of U’Pro PLUS, can be easily and quickly accessed by all project managers, and greatly reduces the wealth of paperwork generated by the project. The U’Pro PLUS Database component enables easy, quick access to project data, and greatly reduces paper work generated by the project. U’Pro PLUS’ “learned database” design technology allows you to retrieve data from a past construction project with a similar work profile, and apply the information obtained from that project to the current project. This feature greatly expedites the entire workflow process, and has a positive productivity impact on virtually all phases of construction. Benefits Some benefits currently available with the U’Pro software suite include: • On-time cost control • Faster, more accurate project estimating • Closer control of contractors • Field recording of as-built through mobile computing Other key benefits of the U’Pro soft- ware suite include: • Statistical analysis of projects • Single master list of activities, parts and material for comparability • Fast, easy, and accurate estimates of quantities and related costs • Self billing for quick bill verification process • A “learning database” that facilitates future project planning • Fast, easy information flow from the project site to the utility’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, inventory management, time-keeping, etc. More than 40 large gas, electric and water utility companies are currently using the U’Pro software system. U’Pro is used in more than 40,000 projects yearly, and is currently in use by some 1,500 contractors. The system handles more than $1 billion in projects each year. Utility Partners, Inc. provides proprietary software products for the gas, electric and water utility industries, including mobile computing, work management and gas management. The company’s customer list includes utilities throughout the United States, Europe and Canada. For more information call 1-800-280-8828, or visit the company’s Web site at www.utilpart.com. 4

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