Estimating – The Foundation of the Project Lifecycle
Project life cycles in construction and other industries revolve around estimates. From one end to the other, accurate estimates are critical for all stakeholders.
- Owners develop the engineer’s estimates to help plan projects and determine future budget needs.
- Contractors develop estimates for bids to win work and forecast their future profitability.
- Construction managers deliver the project per the bid estimates and specifications.
- Schedule and cost controls staff must manage the work based on the engineer’s estimates.
- Operations and maintenance staff need to estimate the level of effort to maintain a facility.
We need a solid foundation for our projects to ensure that we deliver on time, on scope, and within budget. If our foundation is weak, what can happen?
- Opportunity Cost – If we cannot deliver an accurate bid on time, we lose the potential work.
- Errors and Omissions – Change orders and project costs increase resulting in strained relationships and conflict between owner and contractor.
- Owner Dissatisfaction – No one likes surprise or cost overruns that must be explained to stakeholders or the general public.
Cost Estimating Software ROI
Every dollar that comes into engineering and construction companies starts with an estimate. The portion of each dollar they keep depends on the quality of their overall estimating process and the tools used to manage it.
In an industry that is rapidly evolving as technology adoption improves, these companies are realizing that estimating with spreadsheets will not help them stay competitive. Cost estimating software affords users various benefits, from speed and accuracy to standardization and advanced data analysis.
Advantages of Speed and Flexibility
By electing to use cost estimating software over manual processes, companies are directly and positively impacting their bottom lines. Good estimating solutions offer simplified frameworks with built-in calculations that allow users to bid with assured accuracy and the efficiency to complete the simplest or most complex bids quickly. They can also avoid costly errors that stem from items that had zero or negative unit costs entered is easy. Catching one of these mistakes can more than pay for the cost of the software.
Benefit of Centralizing Your Estimates in the Cloud
You need a strong foundation to build upon for the success of your project. Good estimating is that foundation. Centralizing your estimating tools and data in the cloud can eliminate errors, reduce work and make it easier for your staff to complete estimates and bids on time.
- Access from Anywhere – You can now develop your estimates from a simple internet browser and access the data in the LOADSPRING CLOUD PLATFORM. Estimators do not have to wait for IT to fix or upgrade their PCs in order to get the bid out the door.
- Centralized Access and Collaboration – Estimates are built by many people in the company. We need one version of the estimate that everyone can review. This reduces confusion and duplicate effort.
- Integrate with the Schedule – Not only do we estimate the work, we need to plan the phases of work. Owners today often want the estimate integrated with Primavera or Microsoft schedules. Engineering and construction companies that do this gain a competitive advantage.
- System Backups to Keep Data Safe – If an individual PC is corrupted, there is a risk that the estimates will be lost. Storing all project estimates in the cloud enables you to have secure backups of your critical data in case of an emergency.
LoadSpring Gives You the Choice
LoadSpring can deliver that solid foundation for your organization with a choice of industry-leading estimating applications. Each one benefits from robust, high performance hosting to help you optimize and win as many bids as possible.
- B2W’s ONE (Operational Networked Elements) Platform is flexible construction management software that helps optimize estimates in several ways. Examples include being able to copy crews or add/delete equipment and operators with just the click of a mouse (handy in those final minutes before submitting a bid) and comparing multiple subcontractors and vendors to optimize costs.
- CostX is a powerful project costing tool with an advanced electronic takeoff system and building information management (BIM) capability. It can reduce takeoff time by up to 80%.
- CostOS combines traditional estimating methods with BIM 3D, 2D and GIS for greater efficiency, accuracy, and profitability. It offers single-platform efficiency from feasibility or cost plan through to the final detailed bid.
- EcoSys EPC™ helps organizations plan and manage project portfolios, control project costs, and improve project performance, integrating estimating and cost control into project life cycles.
Want to know which estimating application is right for your enterprise? Talk to a LoadSpring expert today to learn about the cloud-based software that can bring you the estimating benefits you’ve just been reading about.