Primavera P6 Software Review: Traylor Brothers
Traylor Brothers Inc., which has been using Primavera software for bidding, claims, payment tracking and project management since 1996, upgraded to Primavera P6 from P3 and P3E in January 2007.
Jeremy Saperia, project controls manager at Evansville, Indiana-based Traylor Brothers, which specializes in underground construction, had looked at other project management tools, including Microsoft Project and Primavera SureTrak. However, neither was as powerful as Primavera P6, he said.
He particularly appreciated the level of detail and control that P6 brings into managing all elements associated with a project. For example, Traylor can incorporate subcontractors' schedules into the main construction schedule, without having to copy and paste. Although he is not certain how much time and money the company has saved, Saperia is sure he has spared himself many gray hairs.
One useful feature for Traylor is Claim Digger, a schedule analysis tool that enables a company to compare schedules and perform impact analysis and document delays. It looks at things like activities that might have been added or that were not completed. "Claim Digger enables comparison of project schedules updates. It also assists in performing an impact analysis and documenting delays on a project. We also use it to assist in showing schedule slippage and cost overruns," Saperia said.
In Tandem with Claim Digger, Saperia said Traylor also likes to use the construction schedule update/spotlight in P6 to demonstrate the impact of a delay.
Overall, Saperia rated Primavera P6 an 8 out of 10.
How long have you been using this tool?:
We have been using Primavera since 1996.
What kinds of construction projects do you mostly work on?:
Where did you obtain it?:
We got the software from D.R. McNatty & Associates.
How much did you pay?:
A license is $2,500. We also pay $500 for 12 months of software maintenance.
How are you using this product?:
We use it for bidding, for project control, for payments and for claims.
Why did you pick this product?:
Primavera P6 has a proven track record. Also, the product was specified by our clients.
Was this product compatible with the software programs you were already using?:
I have used Primavera software from the beginning of my employment with Traylor Bros. Inc. Prior to that I worked for International Companies, and there, too, Primavera software was always specified by the client.
Did you look at other tools on the market before picking this one?:
Before you bought this product, were you using a different one to do the same job? :
I was using a P3, an earlier version of Primavera scheduling software.
How many people are using this software? :
Eight employees use P6 -- project controls managers, engineers, schedulers and our bidding manager.
Comparing the way you work now with the way you worked before you bought this tool, what has changed? :
We have more details recorded for our projects.
Can you give us an example of a job where this tool really made a difference?:
We can incorporate subcontractors' schedules into the main construction schedule without having to copy and relink their schedules.
Can you estimate how much time or money you saved or other measurable benefits your firm realized using this tool?:
It has saved me many gray hairs!
What are the best features (for your business) in this tool?:
Schedule updating and the Claim Digger
Do you think it's a fair value for the price you paid?:
What would you change about the product if you could?:
It is not compatible with some standard software, such as the fingerprint reader and antivirus software that we use. We are working to rectify the problem, though.
Are there features that you don't use?:
Who would you recommend use this tool?:
Any scheduler would benefit from using Primavera P6.
How much computer experience do you think someone needs to use this tool effectively?:
It's not so much computer knowledge as it is the engineering knowledge necessary to generate a schedule.
Did it take much training (or studying) to learn to use this tool?:
I went on Public Training - 106: Planner/Scheduler (P3e/c) 5.0.
Have you ever called the company's support lines and asked for help?:
Yes, but I found Primavera's knowledge database more useful than waiting for tech support.
How would you rate the user documentation? :
It's paperless and all online. I'm not very fond of it.
When the next version of this software comes out, will you upgrade to it?:
Yes. Clients always require the most up-to-date version.
Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this tool?: