FIATECH – Day three…

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We heard from Ed Fry (Chevron) this morning. He talked about the challenges of managing the development and operation of large, long-lived capital projects. Here are some interesting numbers to think about:

  • Chevron currently has 5-10 petabytes of information stored for their existing capital projects. Because of the high current rate of capital development and development process changes (like BIM) resulting in more data being generated, Chevron will double that amount of information in the next two years.
  • Each project averages over 100k documents accumulated from activities across the globe. During project development, Chevron is under contractual obligation to respond to external inquiries within 10 days.
  • Ed emphasized that regulations and efficient business practices demand consistency in specifications, business processes, and document workflow across all projects to preserve a record of who made what decision, why, and when. It reminded me of some of the implementation work we are doing with larger ColumbiaSoft customers like Burns & McDonnell, who seem to have the same vision.

Here’s an interesting idea that also came up: At the moment an owner decides that a new facility is needed, AEC actually becomes an impediment to the owner’s business. In other words, the faster the owner can get the facility, the better. So the question that AEC firms should be considering is, what is the value to the owner of reducing that impediment, and how can they share in that value? Ed gave the example of the contractor that repaired highway structures damaged in the 2007 California tanker fire. Caltrans estimated cost of repairs at “less than $20M,” but they got a bid of about $900k from C.C. Myers. That bid got the job and C.C. Myers made an extra $5M in early completion bonuses by working around the clock and finishing in less than half of the originally estimated time. In other words, they figured out the value and how to share in it.

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