GCC Inc. is a software products and services company which focuses on design and graphics tools for the construction trade. Based on client feedback, they decided to build a new application which could integrate physical system modeling and graphics capabilities with project management components such as timesheet entry, purchasing and construction correspondence and document tracking.
GCC engaged Comp Three to build True-Trac, a Windows-based application that would combine enterprise style master and transactional data management with PC document tracking, physical modeling, and remote, hand-held devices.
- New multi-user Windows system tied to central SQL Server database, and available via the internet for remote job sites.
- Able to integrate with other enterprise systems for master data such as employees, clients, vendors and job information.
- Able to perform typical construction transactions like purchasing, receiving, inspections, returns, heat and lot tracking, transmittals, RFIs, submittals and responses, timesheet entry, job status tracking, job change orders, AIA forms and billing calculations.
- Able to manage PC-based documents and associate these with transactions, e.g., Excel spreadsheet tied to a billing, or drawing file tied to a submittal, etc.
- Able to interface in real time with NavisWork, an industry-standard 3D and 4D physical modeling and navigation tool, to exchange status and time-tracking information about physical components of jobs.
- Able to integrate in real-time with PocketCad, a CAD design tool, which runs on hand-held Compaq IPAQ devices.
- Able to run stand-alone at remote job site servers, then automatically integrate (upload) all changed data to central office server.
The vendor for this new product development would oversee the architecture and development of the new Windows application, all interface specifications, managing the project timeline, and managing the new development engineers as well as those engaged at NavisWorks and PocketCad.
- GCC selected Comp Three as the vendor for True-Trac because of our demonstrated expertise in the following areas:
- Data Integration : Comp Three has expertise in scores of projects involving back-end data integration and data mapping across diverse platforms.
- New application and database design : Comp Three has delivered dozens of new applications for Fortune 500 companies.
- Project Management : We have 20+ years experience managing IT projects ranging from 2 to 60+ engineers, many involving interfaces with third party IT providers and products.
John Hohn of Comp Three led the project which was completed in 6 months. It involved one engineer each from NavisWorks and PocketCad, and 3 Comp Three developers.
The multi-application integration was accomplished with Windows dll's (COM interface) developed by Comp Three and delivered to NavisWorks and PocketCad engineers. The interface specification/development was done first in the project, so that all three developing companies could proceed while the new True-Trac product was being created.
Because the existing NavisWorks and PocketCad products needed to interface with the brand new True-Trac application (still under development), a special "interface test" application was created along with the dlls. This tool served as a "common platform" wherein all integration methodology could be developed and tested by Comp Three, NavisWorks and PocketCad, in advance of actually hooking up the three applications.
True-Trac was delivered to GCC on time and within budget. It is being used today at Therma Corporation, the San Francisco Bay Area's largest HVAC contractor, and by UHP Process Piping Inc. of Texas. It has enabled these companies to dispense with the "paperwork trail", typical of construction project management, and embrace electronic and centralized transaction and document tracking.
At Therma, True-Trac has proved to be especially valuable for tightly regulated "validated jobs" like the process piping systems constructed for their client Genentech.
“True-Trac is an intuitive, easy-to-use tool which greatly increases our productivity by allowing us to document and track detailed information on our jobs. Comp Three has provided us with excellent support on all aspects of our use of this product.”