Keeping track of funding sources can be a difficult process, particularly on large-scale capital programs. Whereas in years past, large organizations managed such a process through a series of disconnected systems and applications, we are seeing the continuing trend of migrating to integrated technology.
One of the more recent examples comes from the New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority (PSFA), www.nmpsfa.org, Albuquerque, N.M., which is a state agency that manages funds for public schools’ capital outlay. The organization recently launched e-Builder Enterprise from e-builder, www.e-builder.net, Plantation, Fla., as its new construction program management system. The system will be put in place at PSFA to help track project costs, implement standardized business processes, and create reports to track project performance.
The cost-management capabilities of the system will play a large role in simplifying the management of multiple funding sources and funding rules for PSFA. Its budget for annual capital improvements is $300 million. Some of this funding comes from different tax revenues, but PSFA also partners with school districts with their own funding sources.
Prior to have an effective system for monitoring such funds in place, the organization had some difficulties. Jeff Eaton, chief financial officer, PSFA, says prior to having a system in place the organization often found itself in situations where it was over-participating in terms of its match, and having to balance the books by either deduction through change orders or putting some of the financial responsibility back onto the district.
Construction technology continues to play a strong role for such organization in that it can help users effectively identify and manage costs. Having the technology integrated to other key systems is another important step in the process.
Overall, the trend of more large owners and public organizations adopting integrated project and program-management systems continues to pick up momentum. Looking for systems that create a high level of accountability, these organizations are finding many more options at their disposal than ever before.