How NetPoint is Used in a Multi-Billion-Dollar Manufacturing Portfolio
June 05, 2023
For over 155 years, Cargill has connected farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and families with daily essentials. Cargill is currently the largest privately owned company in the US, with a robust capital expansion portfolio comprising small, medium, and large-sized projects worldwide. Through all phases of project execution at Cargill, NetPoint paints a clear picture for stakeholders to understand expectations, opportunities, and risks in a project schedule. NetPoint is also the preferred tool in the organization to conduct interactive planning sessions and communicate schedule related issues to sponsors and steering team. This session will demonstrate how NetPoint is utilized in various scenarios during project execution across a multi-billion-dollar portfolio.
Mr. Reniz Moosa is a project management professional with extensive experience in providing schedule, cost, and change control services. Currently, Mr. Moosa actively manages Cargill’s overall portfolio and ensures his team provides the client appropriate support to complete projects on time and on budget. He orchestrates the effort to implement industry best practices and best-in-class standards as the client expands their business reach in the US, Canada, and Latin America. Mr. Moosa also manages the proposal process, purchase orders, and invoices for PMA’s engagement with the client’s North America Capability Center.
Mr. Alberto Martinez is a meticulous project controls specialist with experience in a variety of construction types that require efficient schedule and cost coordination. He has proven experience as a project planner and scheduler, and he is well versed in the fundamentals of the critical path method. Mr. Martinez is additionally capable of developing, integrating, and maintaining cost- and resource-loaded schedules utilizing many of the industry leading tools including Primavera P6, Microsoft Project, and NetPoint.
Ms. Ewere Mgbeke is an experienced project scheduling and controls consultant with multiple years of managing oil and gas, IT, engineering, transportation, civil, construction, and utilities projects. She is highly skilled in Primavera P6, versions 8.0 through18.8, and Microsoft Project Professional, both in the standalone and PPM environment. She has led the resource planning process for both horizontal and vertical projects to optimize organization-wide resource plans. Ms. Mgbeke successfully anticipates, communicates, and manages technical, business, and project schedule challenges.
Ms. Archana Harikrishnan has significant experience in project management and claims management. She is technically skilled in construction management software, including Procore, Bluebeam Revu, Microsoft Project, Primavera P6, and Kahua. Ms. Harikrishnan is also trained in virtual design software, including REVIT, Sketchup, AUTOCAD, and Navisworks. She is a certified associate within the Project Management Institute and is fluent in English and Malayalam.
Mr. Benjamin Solano brings substantial experience in project management, project controls, financial reporting, marketing, consulting, IT support, and product management in nuclear power projects as well as business process environments. He is adept in leading and integrating teams, clients, and key stakeholders to deliver projects on schedule and within budget. He has successfully used analytics, software, and technology and other business data tools and methods to drive change and progress toward the desired goal.
Mr. Besher Alsbiei has significant experience in planning and scheduling for construction projects during all phases, including design, engineering, procurement, construction, closeout, and turnover. He is skilled in working with project constraints (e.g., economic, environmental, social, ethical); has been involved on numerous multidisciplinary teams; and is an effective communicator. Mr. Alsbiei is a hands-on user of Primavera P6, Autodesk Revit, Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel); AutoCAD (2-D); and MS Project.
We do have the ability to do that if we specifically call it on the software, but not every project in NetPoint is done this way. For example, the legend in this presentation was to demonstrate that sometimes we don’t need to filter it and we can simply display it in this manner. This way we are giving an instant correlation between what is engineering, what is procurement, and what is construction so that everyone viewing it (typically in a PDF format) can easily distinguish this. In terms of there being a feature, you can filter as much as you want pertaining to the description of the activity itself; there’s multiple options.
We’re able to standardize the calendar depending on what the team is running. So, you could have five by ten or six by ten since there is a feature that standardizes or changes the calendar as needed. Some of the additional standardization to determine calendar adjustment comes from what the team is working on.
All our work resides on the client’s SharePoint site. Because we have NetPoint on our Cargill laptops as well, our work happens in their systems. We have a typical filing structure where it’s easy for the PM to go into their particular projects where the latest schedule update is right up front, and then all our current schedules are in a separate file. Because we all work in one SharePoint environment, and we’ve got NetPoint in our Cargill laptops, it becomes very easy for the client to access the information and they don’t have to wait for us. We send weekly emails, share requested, and host meetings for the project team, but we have made that independent of us.
Project Summit is our new software that easily summarizes schedules with its own algorithm and innovation, allowing you to work with much bigger schedules. We definitely have plans to explore Summit and use it for Cargill projects as well. Typically, in our phase four, we start getting schedules from outsiders, like contractors and engineering firms. At that point, there is a possibility for us to use Summit to summarize the information as they provide us PC schedules, and stakeholders can see what the outside vendors are planning. Currently we are summarizing manually for them in NetPoint, but Summit could be a great prototype for us to try when we get schedules from external parties.
It’s a mix of both, depending on the contracting strategy. Typically, if we are doing something like going from phase three to phase four, we do a planning session towards the end of phase three so that we can baseline things. Cargill usually takes a design-bid-build approach, and we hire contractors by trade. In our schedule, we have time allotted for each trade, so when I’m engaging with a specific contractor, I’ll understand where point A and point B are and pass that on to the contractors during the bidding stage itself. When a contractor comes on board, we ask them for a baseline so we can define the boundaries for them, allowing them to demonstrate that they are logical. This helps avoid constructability and safety issues and makes sure resource loading makes sense; it’s up to the contractor to demonstrate to us that this is feasible. At that point, we just make sure that they meet the dates that we’ve mentioned. If they go beyond those dates, we take that information to the project team to review. There are instances where maybe the contractor has a better view of what needs to be done in the schedule or something else that needs to happen differently, so we go back to contract and ask questions, making it a collaborative experience.