The Chicago Department of Transportation has one of the largest capital improvement programs using in-house labor in the United States. CDOT invests more than $100 million annually in improvement and maintenance of City infrastructure. These projects are completed with an in-house labor force of about 800.
Through its efforts, dsi assisted CDOT in closing a 20 percent gap in its $100 million inhouse construction budget (between what the city spends and what it gets for its money). Part of those savings came from recommendations regarding enhanced oversight of CDOT’s asphalt program, a move that saved more than $6 million on the cost of materials in 2005.
dsi provided project controls support to CDOT, focused on ensuring cost and schedule management of labor, material and equipment. Costs were monitored against budgets and compared to the private contractor cost of comparable services. Extensive and exhaustive analysis and reporting were employed to ensure that projects were completed as planned and public resources were utilized responsibly. Variance tolerances were established and violations reviewed by management for resolution with responsible personnel. Accountability for all projects was ensured through the use of cross-cutting comparative analysis.
CDOT’s system of collecting and maintaining project data in the last century revolved around discreetly disconnected repositories of data. These “data silos” prevented the type of comprehensive reporting necessary to ensure responsible management of these important public resources.
dsi and its team deployed an Oracle-based cost tracking system, with subsequent addition of scheduling, ordering and receiving, project scope, budget and engineering components, to provide a central data source with advanced reporting capabilities.