Posted on Oct 20, 2013

Management Controls, the leader in contract spend management software, today called upon managers at industrial facilities to embrace three technologies that when used together have the potential to dramatically improve transparency and efficiency during shutdowns, turnarounds, outages, and other complex maintenance projects.

“Executing STOs on schedule and on the money is all about juggling multiple simultaneous projects composed of thousands of dependent activities,” said Bob Harrell, president and CEO of Management Controls, Inc., makers of Track, Forecaster and Estimator. “Successfully dealing with these challenges requires effective owner/contractor collaboration made possible by sharing accurate, up-to-the-minute progress information.”

Harrell urged industrial managers to integrate their estimates, actuals and forecasts using software solutions that work together to deliver the information needed to make optimal, timely decisions.

“Traditional spreadsheet-based processes for tracking time and payment often lead to errors, payment delays, and disputes. Accurate information engenders trust and promotes collaboration and focus,” Harrell said. “The highest level of accuracy is achieved by software systems that combine scope/budget estimating, real-time field data reporting, cost-at-completion forecasting and ERP financial settlement all using the same information.”

In the U.S. refining space, the most popular contract spend management software is Track, which is used by about 75% of North America’s refining capacity and many large chemical manufacturers. A companion product, Forecaster, is an earned value management solution that imports hours and costs from Track, project contractors’ labor timesheets, project progress from Oracle Primavera, and non-labor committed costs from SAP ERP systems. Estimator, now in beta, builds asset/activity/resource templates used to develop scope and easily add or remove items to look at alternative plans and budgets.

“Track and Forecaster have a great record supporting hundreds of STOs and other projects, controlling hundreds of millions of dollars,” Harrell said. “Estimator will complete the integration of estimates, actuals and forecasts.”

Management Controls solutions don’t just share information; they have a common user interface and are used by the owner execution team as well as the vendors/contractors working on the project. All of the components are web-based and quickly deployed as a service. All the modules are from one software company – one that’s been in the business for more than 20 years.

“We know if a manager at an industrial facility can shorten a turnaround by even one day, he will be a hero,” Harrell said. “We also know most asset-intensive manufacturers want to standardize and consistently control and execute important projects. These three software solutions used together can accomplish both of those worthwhile goals.”

Management Controls has produced a white paper that explores this integration in detail. “Integrating Estimates, Actuals and Forecasts in One Software System” is available for download at

About Management Controls

Management Controls is the maker of Track, Forecaster and Estimator, software that drives success in industrial maintenance projects by providing owners and contractors with the accurate, up-to-the-minute progress information that is fundamental to better decision-making. Track, the leading contract spend management software, is used by about 75% of North American refining capacity and many large chemical manufacturers. Forecaster produces project-cost calculations that have proven to be more than 98% accurate. Founded in 1989, Management Controls is headquartered in Houston. Learn more at