Each year, more than 6,000 ocean vessels move through the Port of New Orleans, handling millions of tons of cargo. In the past 10 years, port authorities have invested more than $400 million in capital projects, including building up new and existing infrastructure, wharves, terminals, and marshaling yards. Now, the Port of New Orleans is investing in itself by adopting a capital-project management solution.

In the past, the Port of New Orleans’s Port Development Division says it tracked project costs and scheduling data using spreadsheets and other unsophisticated software tools. Project files stored on multiple servers also made it difficult to share critical data among a project’s team members, limiting communication and visibility. Without proper transparency, potential risks were more likely to turn into cost overruns and/or project delays.

The need to make up-to-date project information available to team members and stakeholders was another glaring flaw in the system. The process of compiling and formatting project information took too long. By the time the data got into the hands of the decisionmakers, it was outdated.

This month, port authorities announced their decision to adopt e-Builder Enterprise from e-Builder, www.e-Builder.net, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., which provides cloud-based capital-program management software. e-Builder Enterprise is designed to improve capital project delivery and execution, ultimately increasing productivity and quality while reducing costs.

Using e-Builder Enterprise, the Port of New Orleans will create a central repository of project information, which key personnel and stakeholders can access to stay abreast of progress on the jobsite. The solution will also foster collaboration, allowing stakeholders to share project documents as needed.

Increased visibility, thanks to improved budget-tracking tools, will also allow those with a vested interest in a capital project to see and track budget changes as a project progresses. With e-Builder Enterprise’s cost-management tools, the solution will also help the Port of New Orleans more efficiently manage overall cashflow, including capital from multiple sources.

By standardizing the management of capital-project information, project reporting, and other business processes, the Port of New Orleans is poised to improve future project deliveries. Project-management software that creates consistency and visibility throughout the lifecycle of a construction project can not only deliver the right information to the right people, it can help deliver a capital project on time and on budget.