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Flowline Using Schedule Planner

Traditional construction schedules often find themselves disconnected from project details; this is not the case with the Flowline schedules that are created using Vico Office’s Schedule Planner.  Schedule Planner is an innovative and intuitive way to reflect work sequences according to how builders truly intend to construct a project!

Flowlines are just like traditional construction activities, except that they are fed by precise quantities coming from the project locations.  Flowline schedules include an X-axis which shows time across the top and a Y-axis which shows project locations across the side; the combination of XY axis data, being driven by quantities and production rates, provides a more detailed insight into the construction plan than could ever be gleaned from a traditional CPM schedule.

By using the powerful combination of quantiles and locations, Flowline schedules provide you with the ability to balance crews and resources as never before.  Through the power of integration, matching the pitch of schedule activity lines will automatically derive the level of resources necessary to achieve the desired pace and allow the user to make selections about how the work can realistically be achieved.

In addition to being a better way to plan projects, Flowline schedules created inside of Vico Office are fully integrated with the Cost Planner cost loaded schedules, as well as a 4D simulation engine for creating visual outputs of project sequencing.  Any change made to the project quantities, cost or dependency relationships will automatically propagate to the Flowline and will automatically update the system outputs (when desired).


The Parade of Trades

Using Vico Office’s Schedule Planner we can see a more realistic view of how trades will advance through a construction project.  Unlike CPM schedules, which were created for assembly line work, construction projects happen in many different locations; Schedule Planners highly visual approach to scheduling lets you see the relationship between each and every trade participant and across every location.

The Flowlines that come from the system start with the most basic resource composition.  The scheduler can then go into the project and determine what they want the pace of the project to be.  With each shift of a Flowline, the scheduler is asked if they’d like to modify the: crew, consumption or productivity of the activity.  Choosing the right variable for changing a task duration allow scheduler the ability to see exactly what is required from each trade/activity in order to achieve on-time completion.

The result from a balanced set of Flowlines presents what is known on the jobsite as the “parade of trades.”  Another way to view this would be to think of the project completion as a big equation:  4 framers can stay in front of 3 mechanical rough-in guys, which will keep up with 2 plumbers and will require 5 electricians to maintain pace.  The precise handoff between each of the trades in each of the locations can be planned ahead of time, reducing risk and variability from the overall project schedule.

Clash Detection for Labor

By now everyone has accepted 3D clash detection as standard practice for design coordination; Flowline planning inside of Vico Office’s Schedule Planner provides the same exact functionality for labor planning.  You would no more like a duct and pipe conflicting in the ceiling as you’d like the sheet metal worker and the plumber conflicting in the workspace!

Because Flowlines represent a discrete work activity happening in a particular place and at a particular time, any two Flowlines that cross one another represents to crews/workers trying to be in the same location at the same time.  When multiple trades stack up in the same location it is bad for productivity, as well as safety!  With Flowline planning activities can be organized (circa scheduling dependencies) to avoid the stacking of trades within a single location.  When done properly, Flowline schedules increase the productivity that a crew can achieve in a given location while also mitigating the risk associated with congested workspaces.

Integrated Scheduling

Because Vico Office is a fully integrated system, the scheduling outputs that come from it are enriched with many benefits by default that traditional scheduling applications don’t provide.  For example, schedule tasks can be driven by cost planning components, which means that they include the labor, equipment and material requirements that were taken off in the estimate phase by default.

Having the labor, equipment and material mapped to an activity by default can increase scheduler flexibility immensely.  With this built in integration, a scheduler immediately knows what their cost curve will look like after they’ve established the project logic.  Furthermore, they can also see their labor resource graph by defaults, as well as an associated demand histogram of the work that needs to be put in place in order to achieve the predicted schedule.  Gnatt schedules are also integrated into the Flowline way of doing things in Vico Office; managed Flowlines automatically generate a Gnatt chart and conversely planning can be done in the Gnatt chart to generate Flowline relationships.

Further benefits can be found within Vico Office’s Flowline planning when risk simulations are run.  Because each activity is backed by a quantity, crew, location, dependency, etc. it is very easy to go into Schedule Planner and run multiple “what-if” simulations to determine the likelihood of your schedule unfolding as-planned.  Immediate visual feedback is provided to the users via a green/yellow/red stoplight system to let them see exactly where their areas of concern may be.

Product Features: 
  • Location-based Flowlines (as applied on Empire State Building construction!)
  • True model-based schedules: tasks that are driven by project quantities (Takeoff Manager) and locations (LBS Manager)
  • Support for multiple location breakdowns across multiple trades
  • Traditional CPM logic, as well as advanced location logic
  • Optimized work planning through Flowline harmonizing
  • Integrated resource planning, cost control and simulation capabilities
  • Output to other common scheduling applications for reporting purposes
What's New
What's New: 

Trimble Vico Office R6.5 is now available

June 2017

With this release we’ve made some enhancements to benefit design/cost/time workflows:

  • Design workflows: have been improved via the introduction of rebar takeoff support for Tekla models.  Users can now publish their detailed concrete models into Vico Office and get full quantity analysis and change management capabilities on rebar models.  Additionally, users will be pleased to experience even more 3D performance enhancements to help support the increasingly larger models that come with support of such high volume elements.

    Further improvements to support the design workflow include the support of BCF integration for communicating constructability issues outside of the Vico Office application.

  • Cost workflows: have been improved by adding a few new features, including conditional formatting of data and the ability to bring parent hierarchies from a reference estimate.
    Both changes will make working in cost planner for long durations easier, as hierarchy adjustments will automate estimate creation and conditional formatting has the ability to draw user’s attention to specific data within the estimate.

  • Time planning workflows: have been improved with some nice new features, including the ability to create tasks without cost components and a significant increase in the amount of production control data to web services for an increased ability to do analytics tracking around install performance data.
    Model-based schedules are now easier and quicker to create, with the production control information available to anyone who has a web connection.


Vico Office 6.0

December 2016

Vico Office release 6.0 is now available to help you harness the power of models for estimating and scheduling.

The latest release of Vico Office is all about the user.  We listened carefully about how to improve the workflow and made several enhancements to simplify and improve the quantity extraction process. Users now have more access to information, as well as control over how that data is managed. We put users first and designed a workflow that makes it faster and easier to get project quantities.

Vico Office is leaner - the installer has been optimized and is nearly half the size as before.

Vico Office release 6.0 includes an overhaul of Takeoff Manager module. Users will find many new features that give them the flexibility to cultivate their project content and quantities in any way that suites their workflow.  This includes:

  • Element import selection

  • Access to all BIM parameters, including ‘user-defined’ fields

  • Support for CAD quantities

  • Templated imports and content grouping

  • Brand-new: Takeoff Items Builder

  • Selective quantification


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