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Implementing AWP: Where do I start as a contractor or a subcontractor?

I understand the basic principles of Advanced Work Packaging (AWP), but since I’m a contractor a lot of the early planning should already be done by others (EPC contractor and owner).  What can I do as a contractor or subcontractor that is downstream of much of this activity to ensure I can capitalize on these efforts and further implement AWP?

First, for anyone less familiar with the concept, let’s start out with a few definitions of AWP:

From the AWP Institute: Advanced Work Packaging is a construction-driven planning and collaboration system for building capital projects that is sharply focused on creating a constraint-free work environment in the field.

From the Construction Industry Institute (CII): AWP is a planned, executable process that encompasses the work on an EPC project, beginning with initial planning and continuing through detailed design and construction execution.

My Definition: AWP is the alignment of work processes, information and deliverables from various project departments to enable the optimization of construction execution for the purpose of enhancing the safety, quality, productivity and efficiency of a project.

Although this might sound elementary, it is most often a massive undertaking aligning multiple entities and multiple departments within each of those entities to achieve these goals. The primary AWP function served as a contractor is to consume all this aligned information and perform the Workface Planning (work packaging) portion of the process that should assist in streamlining work and enabling your workforce to perform safer and more efficiently.

Supply Chain
Let’s first assume that AWP processes have been put into place where a well-thought out, construction-driven plan has been developed. Then as a contractor, the most logical and high-value place to start would be to ensure that your field resources (field supervision, planners, management, field engineers, etc.) have visibility and trackability for materials all throughout the supply chain, up to and including the point of issuance to you the installer.  This information needs to be as close to real-time as possible and be able to be easily reported and presented to these users.

Let’s look at this from two different scenarios:

Scenario 1 – I am on a project where most all the materials are being procured by the EPC or owner.
Scenario 2 – I am a contractor who procures and provides most all my own materials that will be installed.

In either scenario, I would want/need access to specific attributes and information from their procurement system for each piece of material in my scope such as:
•    Requisition
•    Required on Site (ROS) Date
•    Purchase Order (PO)
•    Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)
•    Received at Site (RAS) Date
•    Location (if on site)
•    Issued to Contractor/Installer Date

Scenario 1:
This is a case where an EPC or someone other than your company has done most of the procurement for your scope of work. You should be looking for the above information related to all materials within your scope of work.  Ideally, direct database connection or APIs would be preferred to allow closer to real-time information from these external systems.

If you are performing any materials management functions, it is highly advisable to have software that is designed for that purpose. Not only that, but one that is fully digital and web-based so that any of your field personnel can access information and be able to execute work processes (i.e. – receiving, overages, shortages and damages, issuing) digitally from any sort of device, in particular mobile devices. Below are some examples and illustrations: