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Value added, delivered, certified

Published March 11, 2020

IN THE PHOTO, Technical Manager, Senior Cost Manager, and MVM District Value Officer Neal Newman, who now holds an additional title as Certified Value Specialist, sits as it his workspace at the Federal Building in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.


IN THE PHOTO, Technical Manager, Senior Cost Manager, and MVM District Value Officer Neal Newman (third from the right), who now holds an additional title as Certified Value Specialist, posing with the team after a recent Value Engineering Study of the West Helena Floodwall Replacement Project.

The Memphis District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proud to announce that one of its very own is the only employee in the Mississippi Valley Division certified to facilitate Value Engineering Studies totaling more than 10 million dollars.

Neal Newman, technical manager, senior cost manager, and MVM district value officer, now holds an additional title as Certified Value Specialist.

According to the SAVE International website, the Certified Value Specialist (CVS) is the highest level of certification attainable through the SAVE Certification Program. Designation is reserved for value specialists who have demonstrated expert level experience and knowledge in the practice of the value methodology.

“A Value Engineering Program and using value engineering is legally required as well as a requirement by Office of Management and Budget. Current regulations require a Value Engineering Study for all projects costing $2 million or more,” Newman explained. “During the study, a team of various multi-disciplined experts get together use Value Methodology to analyze the design of a project in an effort to add value (function divided by resources) to the overall project. Sometimes the value can be in the form of cost savings by increasing function while decreasing resources and sometimes it’s in the way of increasing function while increasing resources.”

These studies are conducted often as many USACE projects exceed the $2 million dollar threshold, so Newman racked up a lot of experience facilitating them, as long as the project wasn’t $10 million or more.

“In order to conduct a Value Engineering Study for a project over $10 million, the person facilitating the study must have a CVS,” Newman explained. “So up until I’ve been certified, our district had to hire architectural engineer firms to conduct the Value Engineering Studies for our larger projects, evaluation and issuing a contract. Now that I’m certified, I can put a team together much more quickly and conduct a study as soon as it’s needed.”

Newman said he would not only be able to conduct VE studies in the Memphis District but that he could also do them for other districts as needed as long as he felt he had the needed expertise.

“It’s much easier to move funds within the Corps than it is to pay an external organization to do a Value Engineering Study,” Newman said. “I’ve done a total of 49 studies with 13 of them being outside of the district. With my new certification, I imagine that number will likely increase pretty quickly.”

This certification serves as a major asset for the Mississippi Valley Division and will be sure to deliver on its value for many years to come.