5 Reasons to Use a Fully Integrated Estimating Solution
As an estimator or quantity surveyor, your day might begin with a swim through the masses of printed drawings every morning just to fish out the plans you need. Thereafter, preparation for the traditional ritual starts with sharpening pencils, placing multiple rulers at arm’s length and then trying to fit a calculator onto what’s left of your desk. A quick glance at the clock indicates lunch time and your determination to obtain quantities inadvertently tilts to finding a decent feed.
Back from lunch and your determination to complete the BOQ is burning stronger than the sun. But then four hours in, you realise an error necessitating you to manually adjust everything has turned up- the last straw. You ask yourself- why are you trying to start a fire with stick and stones when everyone else is using a lighter? If this sounds like you, today’s post is a must-read- where we will discuss 5 (critical) reasons why you need to start using a fully integrated estimating solution.
The principal advantage of using a full-function estimating system is productivity. With the right program, you can leverage intuitive technology to reduce human error. Streamline 2D and 3D/BIM takeoffs with live-linked quantities, and have multiple users in the same office or different regions working on the same estimate simultaneously. Save time, win more work. Ultimately, speed and productivity will be the differentiating factor for a profitable business.
In the construction industry, productivity alone is meaningless without accuracy. You need to have a system which understands the intelligence in 2D drawings. Utilise the freedom of manipulating Excel®-like formulas and functions for precise calculations. Most importantly, you want to rely on a comprehensive audit trail: revision logs, undo button, comparison reports, and quantity sourcing to limit your risks when it counts. Using computer-aided estimates where takeoff data is extracted and linked directly into the estimating process is not only more accurate, but also saves you the time and possible errors that come with having to re-enter information.
Standardise your estimating process by enhancing cohesiveness. Working within the realm of an estimating software administers consistency throughout your business. This promotes a more centralised business model enhancing communication while greatly diminishing disputes amongst colleagues. Leverage standard pricing structures, templates, and databases so you’re on the same page throughout your business. Apply previous projects or prebuilt models as benchmarks for current bids to reduce overlap and increase consistency. Set the standard on how to win projects across the company.
Most notably, deliver concise presentations. In today’s technology driven environment, companies are leveraging software to deliver a higher level of professionalism. Deploy estimating software in your business for crisp graphical reporting which can comprise of subcontractor comparison, model revisioning, and sourcing criteria. Display 3D BIM models integrated with their associated 2D sheets and show alterations in real time. Have confidence at crunch time and execute!
With BIM becoming more and more prevalent in the industry, it is crucial that you ensure your business is future-proofed with BIM-compatible software. With the power of BIM, you can extend your capabilities like never before. Make sure your estimating program is constantly developing their systems to ensure that you’ll always be up to date with the latest industry technology. If you choose a solution that allows you to do BIM & 2D takeoff in the same program, this will also mean your staff can make the switchover at an optimal pace- able to support BIM models when received, but still able to supplement with 2D drawings where required.
It is no secret that the QS and estimating profession has experienced a paradigm shift where estimating the cost only accounts for a fraction of the work. Former Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) CEO Michael Manikas stressed that advancing technologies has freed up Quantity Surveyors to add more value, becoming an integral part of the management of projects- with the leading QS firms becoming more of a business advisor than their traditional counterparts. Furthermore, David Mitchell, board member of BuildingSMART Australia, notes that to succeed in today’s competitive environment, practitioners need to be comfortable and leverage working with a broad range of software, ultimately aligning your business model with technological advancement.
To find out more on how an estimating software such as CostX can help transform your business, just call or email us here and schedule for a free web demonstration with one of our Product Specialists today.