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January 2014

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University of Utah Uses Oracle’s Primavera Unifier to Save US$11.5 Million in Budgeted Construction Project Costs

Maintaining and constructing new facilities to support a modern education and research institution requires a commitment to continuous improvements and tight management of complex project portfolios. So to improve project visibility and implement better financial controls for capital projects totaling US$900 million, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City replaced its in-house database for tracking construction projects with the cloud-based Oracle’s Primavera Unifier project management system. The result: the university recently completed two large-scale projects on or before their deadlines at a total of US$11.5 million under budget. Paul Bender, Oracle’s director of public administration strategy, explains how the university achieved these impressive outcomes.

Q: One of the projects was the 156,000 square foot Huntsman Cancer Center Phase IIB expansion. What was the impact on that project of having improved financial controls and better collaboration?
A: That project came in two months early and US$9 million under budget. The university attributes a good portion of the savings in time and cost to the project management system. The solution helped school officials reduce the number of electronic RFIs required. It also shortened workflow response times among project team members from a previous maximum of eight weeks to a few hours. In addition, officials benefitted from the elimination of a significant volume of paperwork. The system also helped external partners, including more than 90 consultants and contractors, collaborate more effectively through access to the system for day-to-day project management.

Q: Other large projects saw similar results?
A: Yes, the 150,000 square foot L.S. Skaggs Pharmacy Institute was completed earlier this year—on time and nearly US$2.5 million under budget. The university staff also took advantage of Primavera Unifier for managing the development of a football training center, a molecular biotechnology building, and residential housing.

Q: How does Primavera Unifier help organizations achieve results such as these?
A: It helps in a variety of ways, including providing tools for more tightly controlling campus construction budgets and facilitating collaborative processes with contractors and consultants. It also gives managers an expanded view of projects, so they can optimize their project portfolios and focus on future initiatives. In the case of the University of Utah, Primavera Unifier was integrated with its Oracle’s PeopleSoft Financials environment to manage contracts, automate payments to vendors, and ensure fiscal transparency.

The bottom line is that organizations using Primavera Unifier have the tools necessary to maintain fiscal discipline in day-to-day activities and achieve operational excellence, regardless of a project’s scale or scope.

Read a complete case study of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on page six of Construction Connection and download an in-depth white paper about Oracle’s Primavera Unifier.

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