Resources: Main Page in ALICE Pro

On This Page: 

Getting Started with Resources

A. Intro to Resources

ALICE works with the following resources: 

  • Labor: crews and workforce
  • Equipment: all equipment types can be assigned
  • Cranes: understands radius and move time for equipment
    • Example: mobile cranes
  • Materials: includes consumable and reusable materials 

The following inputs are also located under the “Resources” tab:

  • Milestones
  • Metadata:
  • Production Rates
    • Custom Properties: see G.1 Production Rates
    • Custom Task IDs: will be covered in the Advanced Guidebook
  • Calendars

Click the “Resource” button on the upper right to access the “Resource” Pool.

 

B. Labor 

In ALICE, Labor consists of Subcontractor and Crew.

To create a Subcontractor:

  1. Click the  Create Subcontractor” button 
  2. Fill in “Subcontractor Name
  3. Fill “Tradefield and any other fields if the information is available
  4. Click “Saveto create a subcontractor

Resources.svg

To create a Crew: 

    1. Click the  + Add Crew” button 
    2. Fill in “CrewName
    3. Fill in “# Available: Available number of crews (i.e. max # of crews available)
      Notes: This field can be set to no limit on the number of available crews (∞)by deleting the value in the field. If there is no restriction to the number of crews available, ALICE will flood the project with this resource and then recommend the optimal number of crews required based on the project constraints Fill in# Prs./Crew: # of persons per crew
    4. Fill in “$/Prs./Hr: Cost per person per hour
    5. Fill in “$/Prs./Hr: Cost per person per hour
      $/Crew/Hr” will be automatically filled in, provided that “# Prs./Crew” and “$/Prs./Hr” are filled in (# Prs./Crew x $/Prs./Hr = $/Crew/Hr)
    6. Select a “Calendarfor this crew. See H. Calendars for more information on how to set up calendars
    7. Toggle on or off Idle Cost: see Analyze Page Section H.4 for more details
    8. Click Create Laborto create the crew Resources__1_.svg

Note: You can create an unlimited number of crews for each subcontractor. It is also possible to create a crew without a subcontractor (e.g. during the early planning phase when a subcontractor has not been assigned).

C. Equipment  

To create equipment types, go to the “Equipmenttab

  1. Fill in the “Equipment Name
  2. Fill in the “Quantity”: Available number of equipment (i.e. max # of equipment available)
  3. Fill in “$/Hr”: Hourly rate of equipment based on a 24/7 calendar
    Note: if cost is not available, an index cost can be used. An index cost is a value that can be used as a basis for comparison to other relative costs
  4. Toggle on or off “Idle Cost: see Chapter XX for more details
  5. Click  Create Equipment” to create the equipmentResources__2_.svg

Note: You can create an unlimited number of equipment.

Example: Most projects set up tower cranes using the “Equipment” type. This is for the use case when the user is not looking to control the radius of the crane and the move time of the crane as these variables are fixed.

 

D. Cranes (typically refers to Mobile Cranes)

The “Cranes” feature allows the user to control the radius and the move time of the crane. This is typically used for mobile cranes, but the user can also use this feature for any other crane or plant equipment where flexibility in radius or in move time is important. 

Note: Multiple cranes can be assigned to a recipe. By doing so, the user is looking to have ALICE choose which crane to use based on the project constraints.

In order to set up a crane in ALICE, the user needs to:

  1. Add a crane: this adds the crane equipment to ALICE
  2. Define the radius and move time
  3. Define the location(s) of the crane. One crane can have multiple locations if it’s a mobile crane

Note: ALICE does not capture crane lifting capacity.

 

D.1 Crane vs Equipment 

The Crane resource and the Equipment resource are powerful features that allow users to do accurate project and resource planning. However, understanding essential similarities and differences is important to ensure the right functionality is used for the intended purposes.

Similarities:

  • Users can create unlimited number of cranes and equipments
  • Users can assign unlimited number of cranes and equipments to a single operation
  • Cost calculation is the same for both functionalities 

Differences:

  • Users can define locations, the radius of reach, and move time for Cranes (but not for the Equipment
  • Users can assign an unlimited number of Cranes to an operation, but ALICE will use only one. However, ALICE will use all assigned equipment types 
  • The number of equipment can be connected to the number of crews (see Recipes Page Section B.2 for example use cases). However, users are unable to connect the number of crews or use any other parametric mathematical formulas for Cranes 

D.2 Add a Crane 

To create a crane:

  1. Go to the “Cranetab
  2. Click on the  + Create Crane ” button 
  3. Fill in the following:
    1. Crane Name
    2. Radius: radius of crane, reach of the crane (in meters or feet)
    3. Move Time: how long it takes to move the crane to the next location (in hours based on a 24/7 calendar)
    4. Qty of Cranes: Available number of cranes
    5. $/Hr: Cost per hour is based on the working calendar. The working calendar is based on the assigned labor resource for that operation
  4. Click “Saveto create the crane Resources__3_.svg

Note: You can create an unlimited number of cranes. 

 

D.3 Crane Locations 

Cranes are the only resource in ALICE where we have to define the location(s). The 

To create a crane location:

  1. Select the “Crane Locationsfeature from the “Toolbar” at the bottom of the Prepare page 
  2. Select the required Crane from the list in the upper right-hand cornerResources__4_.svg
  3. Click twice on the 3D view to create a Crane Location
  4. The reach of the crane appears as a blue circle and is considered the Crane LocationResources__5_.svg
  5. Select and hold the circle to move it to the desired location Resources__6_.svg
  6. Elements highlighted in green are within the reach of the crane
  7. Click twice again in the 3D view if there is a need to create a second location 
  8. Move this location to the desired locationResources__7_.svg
  9. Click once in the 3D view to deselect the locations 
  10. The green circles are the two crane locations. All crane locations are listed in the upper right-hand corner of the view based on the coordinate locations
  11. Select the Crane Locations feature from the Toolbar again to exit Resources__8_.svg

Note: The crane cannot reach a portion of a group. Keep in mind that the group is treated as an individual entity; therefore, if the crane cannot reach the entire space where the group is located, it cannot reach that group.

Example: In the image below, notice that the blue circle (crane reach) goes into a portion of the middle slab (selected in yellow). However, it only shows the green area as within its reach. 

Resources__9_.svg

E. Materials 

ALICE has two types of materials: 

  • Consumable: These resources are no longer available for the remainder of the project once they are consumed (e.g. concrete, single-use formwork, EPS structural foam, rebar)
  • Reusable: These materials may be reused multiple times over a project’s duration (e.g. reusable formwork sets, deck shoring)

To create Consumable or Reusable materials, go to the “Materials” tab in the “Resource” Pool.

Fill in the following:

  1. Material Name: Recommend including unit of measure in the material name 
  2. Select material “Type:Consumable or Reusable
  3. Qty Available: Available quantity of materials available
  4. $/Unit: Cost per unit
  5. Click “Create Material” to create the materialResources__10_.svg

Note: You can create an unlimited number of materials. 

 Example: Reusable materials: A project has 10 pieces of reusable slab formwork available, and it needs 10 pieces of formwork to form one floor. When setting the task operation “install slab formwork,” the user would select “requires” from the drop-down menu and would enter “10” for qty. When setting the task operation “remove slab formwork,” the user would select “supplies” with a qty of “10” to let ALICE know that the formwork is once again available in the resource pool.

Note: Double-check that the qty of material available in the resource pool accurately reflects the reusable amount of material.

Example: Consumable materials / non-reusable materials: concrete is a good example because the material can only be consumed and cannot be supplied back into the resource pool.

 

F. Milestones 

ALICE has two types of milestones: Start and End 

  • Start milestone follows Start On or After logic
    Note: Element(s) / group(s) assigned to a start milestone with a fixed date cannot begin until after that date
  • End milestone follows End On or Before logic
    Note: Element(s) / group(s) assigned to an end milestone with a fixed date cannot finish after that date. If the end milestone is not achievable based on the resources available and the constraints provided, ALICE will show an infeasibility error in the Explore page when the schedule is run

 

F.1 Adding Milestones

To create Milestones, go to the “Milestonestab in the “Resource” Pool

  1. Fill in the “Milestone Name
  2. Select milestone “Type: Select either “Start” or “End
  3. Define the “Constraint Date(optional): If this field is left blank, then ALICE will simply use the milestone as a date marker
    Example: A start milestone called “Concrete Slab Start” is assigned to the concrete slab element, but the constraint date is left blank. The Gantt view will show the “Concrete Slab Start” as a start milestone.
  4. Select/deselect the “Key Date” toggle
  5. Click “Createto create a milestoneResources__11_.svg

F.2 Key Date

ALICE allows users to specify from the Plan page which milestones are considered “Key Dates.” This means the key date milestones will be the only ones to show up in summary metrics (solution cards in explore, diamond icons in summary comparison, and diamond icons in Manage Analytics). Both milestone types will still show in the Gantt chart and in the “What If” setting on the Explore page.

Benefits: Planners and Project Managers can more quickly find and communicate key performance metrics as they evaluate different strategies in preconstruction and / or tracking performance over time in the Manage phase.

Example: See image below. The project has three milestones, but only “Interior Completion” and “Structure Completion” have the “Key Date” toggle selected. 

The image below shows how the summary milestone metrics look in the Explore page view.Resources__12_.svg

 

F.3 Edit Milestone Table

For editing milestones in bulk, we recommend the use of the “Edit Milestone Table” (tabular format).

  1. Go to “Milestones” in the Resource Pool
  2. Click on “Edit Milestone TableResources__13_.svg
  3. A new window will open with a tabular view. The columns are
    1. Milestone ID: This ID is auto-generated and how ALICE associates the milestone to a specific milestone
      1. For existing milestones, do not delete the value in the “Milestone ID.” If this value is deleted, ALICE will treat this milestone as a new addition
      2. To add new milestones, the “Milestone ID” cell can be left blank. After the table is saved, ALICE will automatically populate an ID for the new milestone
    2. Name
    3. Type: must input either “Start” or “End
    4. Constraint Date: Date format is mm/dd/yy (month / day / year)
    5. Key Date: must input either “True” or “False

 

F.4 Assign Milestones

After creating the milestones, users need to assign them to 3D or Non-3D (2D) elements. 

Note: The milestones can be assigned only to 3D and Non-3D (2D) elements. Only one milestone can be assigned to an element / a group.

To assign the milestone: 

  • Select the element(s) / group(s) on the Plan page
  • Reminder: You can select the elements from the “Element Tree” or from the 3D View
  • Reminder: The Non-3D (2D) elements can be selected only from the “Element Tree”
  • Go to “Properties” on the right-hand side 
  • Open the “Milestones” drop-down list, select the required milestone, and click “EnterResources__14_.svg



FAQ: Why do I need to assign the same milestone to multiple elements/groups?
In the majority of the cases, users do not know which element/group will be the last to finish. ALICE produces more than one solution, and the sequence may differ each time. Users need to assign the start or end (completion) milestones to multiple elements/groups if they are unsure which will be the first to start or the last to finish.

 

G. Metadata: Production Rates & Properties

 

G.1 Production Rates

To create a “Production Rate” in ALICE, go to “Ratesin the “Metadata” tab:

Fill in the following:

  1. Production Rate Name
    1. Note:We recommend that the unit of measure be included within the production rate name
    2. Example: “slab formwork_sf_hr_person” (slab formwork production rate, square foot per hour per person)
  2. Qty/Hr: production rate number value

Click “Create Production Rate” to create the valueResources__15_.svgNote: Although the field is for “qty/hr,” the production rate can represent different units of measure and does not have to be necessarily by “per hour.” We have seen many creative ways to use the production rate feature to represent a variety of different types of data.

Example:The field can be cubic meters, feet, a number of sets, units per crew, units per person, etc. 

 

G.2 Custom Properties 

Custom Properties” in the Resource pool is the storage of all custom created parameters and imported BIM parameters. 

In “Custom Properties,” users are able to: 

  • Rename the parameter
  • Change the type and recalculate the parameter values

Note: Users cannot change or edit the values of parameters from this section. The parameter value can only be changed from the “Edit Data” table or directly from the element properties.

These are the following types of calculations available in ALICE for the custom properties: 

  • Sum, Max, Min, Average, Concatenation
  • Note: Only the “Concatenation” type can be used for parameters with text values. This can also be used for number values too.

To change the calculation type: 

  • Click “Edit
  • Select a required type from the drop-down list
  • Click “Save
  • Click “RecalculateResources__16_.svg

Example: How do we decide the types of calculation to use? Here are some examples:

  • Sum: When selecting multiple groups, the Volume property should show the total volume of all selected items.
  • Concatenation: When selecting multiple groups with different floors, the Level property should show all the floors that the selected items are part of, e.g. “Level 4, Level 7, Level 9.”

 

H. Calendars 

In ALICE, the calendars are Labor-Based by default (calendars are assigned to crew types). The calendar assignment can also be overridden for specific tasks within a recipe within the “Duration” tab.
Calendars consist of two parts: 

  • Workweeks 
  • Calendars

Workweeksshould be created first and then assigned to “Calendarsafter.

Calendars can have more than one workweek assigned. 

 

H.1 Workweeks

To create a “Workweek”: 

  1. Go to the “Calendarstab in the Resource Pool
  2. Go to “Workweeksin the “Calendarstab
  3. Fill in the “WorkweekName
  4. Click “Create WorkweekResources__17_.svg

After the workweek is created, the next step is to specify the following:

  • Working hours vs Non-Working hours
  • Standard hours (e.g. 9AM to 5PM) vs Overtime hours (e.g. after 5PM)

Adding standard working hours at standard x1 rate:

  • Click “+Add Normal Hours” to add working hours. Notice a text field next to this button that is defaulted to “1.” This represents a labor rate of x1 for those hours 
  • Click and drag the ends of the blue bar to modify the normal working hours in the day Resources__18_.svg

Adding overtime working hours at overtime rate:

  • In the text field next to “+ Overtime Hours,” the defaulted value is now “1.5.” This represents a labor rate of x1.5 for those overtime hours. This number can be adjusted. If the rate value is correct, click “+ Overtime Hours” to add overtime working hours 
  • Click and drag the ends of the red bar to change the overtime working hoursResources__19_.svg

 

Repeating the process for all other days of the week:

  • Repeat the same actions for all required working days
  • Total Working Hours are highlighted in the top middle part of the screen 
  • Example:In the image below, there are 8 hours at 1x pay (standard) and 4 hours at 1.5x pay (overtime). There are a total of 12 working hours in a day at 5 times per week. Therefore, the total working hours is a60 hours workweek.

Creating workweeks to capture non-standard work:

  • For public holidays, non-working,or weather seasons,create a new workweek with 0 working hours 

H.2 Calendars 

See B. Labor  to learn more about how to assign calendars to the labor resources. This section will focus on how to create project calendars.

  • Go to the “Calendarstab to create or edit the calendars 
  • Click to create a new calendar
  • In the opened window, you can see the following:
    • Workweeks Used: workweekscurrently being used
    • Project Workweeks: all available workweeks in the project
    • Resources__20_.svg

Assigning a workweek to the calendar with a defined start date and no end date:

  • By clicking on any date once,ALICE will automatically select a range of dates from that day on. There is no end date
    Example:If I click on January 1, 2022 in the calendar view, ALICE will assume I am looking for a range from January 1, 2022 to beyond (without an end date)
  • Click “+Assign” to assign a workweek to the selected range 
  • Repeat the same process for all required years 
  • Add a “Name” tothe calendar and click “Save

 

Note: Weekends are controlled or covered by “Workweeks,” similar to the weekdays.

 Assigning a workweek to the calendar with a defined start date and a defined end date:

  • Use the “Shift” key to select a specific date range 
  • Select the start date → hold the shift key → select the end date
  • Click “+ Assign” to assign a workweek to that range
  • Repeat the same process for all required years 
  • Add a “Name” tothe calendar and click “Save”        

Note: Follow the same process to assign public holidays.

Note: You can have an unlimited number of calendars.

 

H.3 Calendars: Import from P6

P6 calendars can be directly imported to ALICE. 

To import calendars from P6:

  • Click “Import from P6” on the Calendars tabResources__21_.svg

Note: Only XML files can be imported. 

  • Select the required calendar to importResources__22_.svg
  • Click Next Import and Reload to finish the import
  • All imported calendars will be located in the “Calendarstab

Exercise #4: Creating Project Resources

Several of the ALICE Support Pages detail information on key ALICE topics. This learning can be solidified by completing an exercise on a trial project. To put your learning into practice, follow this link:

Exercise #4: Create Project Resources 

Further Resources

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful