Customer Spotlight: How Stevens Engineers is Driving Schedule Confidence with Deltek Acumen

Posted by Megan Cacioppo on March 28, 2017

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Since 1970, Stevens has been a proven leader in the engineering, construction and management of projects for clients large and small, in a wide variety of industries and environments. The company is committed to providing personalized service on each and every project, as well as delivering the highest quality from concept to completion.

As the general contractor on projects ranging from $1 million to $50 million, Stevens is right in the middle of all of the action. On one hand, they have owners pushing towards a fixed date for project completion. And on the other, engineering, manufacturing and various other teams work towards individual dates for delivery. With so many components and complex schedules to adhere to, it can be difficult to understand how potential changes at each stage of the project will impact the upfront delivery date. Stevens decided it was time to dive deeper into the data and analytics in order to have better, more informed conversations with all project stakeholders.

The Challenge
Despite having decades of experience in project management, Stevens still struggled to accurately understand the potential impacts different delays would have on its projects. Evaluation processes were very manual and gaining buy-in on required changes from key project stakeholders remained challenging. The company’s homegrown system, the Stevens Advanced Project Controls System©, successfully tied together its various database-driven estimating systems, ERP systems and progressing systems; however, project leaders realized that the company could benefit from the ability to perform deeper, more detailed analysis on its projects. With the schedule operating as the centerpiece of each project, Stevens was looking for a complementary tool that would enhance their overall processes, while still being easy to use.

The Solution
After evaluating several other tools on the market and seeing how the Deltek Acumen suite helped similar companies improve schedule quality and overall project execution, Stevens decided to move forward with the purchase of the full Deltek Acumen Suite. The team is leveraging the combination of Acumen Fuse, Risk and 360, in the following ways:

  • Acumen Fuse: All project schedules are run through Fuse prior to final sign-off and distribution to the field to ensure they are of the highest quality. In a matter of minutes, Fuse checks project schedules for missing logic, redundancies and common errors based on its built-in metrics library. Stevens also employs Fuse’s native DCMA 14-point Assessment to ensure compliance with earned value and conduct self-assessment prior to government audits.
  • Acumen Risk: While Stevens has been performing risk analysis on its projects for many years, it is using Acumen Risk to shorten and automate its processes. Through its powerful Monte Carlo simulation engine, Acumen Risk allows Stevens to run anywhere from 500 to 5,000 iterations in a matter of seconds and pinpoint high risk, high impact activities that could lead to project delay.
  • Acumen 360: Almost every project has some stage of recovery. Stevens is leveraging 360’s advanced analytics to run “what if” analyses quickly to identify acceleration cases, hypothesize best and worst-case scenarios and immediately see the impact to the overall project.

The Benefits
While Steven’s homegrown Advanced Project Controls System© provides the underlying metrics they need to monitor and manage projects, the Acumen suite has taken the company’s analytics and reporting capabilities to the next level. With Deltek Acumen, Stevens is:

  • Enhancing the overall quality of its schedules to ensure field teams are adhering to and proactively monitoring status and changes.
  • Diving deep into schedule data to have more informed conversations with key project stakeholders at every stage of the project.
  • Getting a real-time view into how potential setbacks will impact project finish dates.
  • Quickly pinpointing problem areas and accurately allocating additional resources and/or time. This eliminates guesswork, wasted effort and unnecessary added costs.
  • Performing comprehensive and consistent risk analysis across its project portfolio.
  • Creating sophisticated, detailed reports for upper management.

“I’ve been familiar with Deltek Acumen for quite some time, and from what I’ve seen, the suite’s recent upgrades and new features have made it best-of-breed in the industry,” said Tom Fadok, IT Director at Stevens. “I am excited about the deeper forensic capabilities we can achieve with the combination of Fuse, Risk and 360; and ultimately that the tool will not only help us create higher quality schedules, but also gain a competitive advantage in the market.”

To learn more about how your organization can achieve similar results with Deltek Acumen, check out this 8-minute video on YouTube, or contact us to get started with your free trial today.