Construction build programme

Realistic timetables with EstimatorXpress

At the risk of sounding a tad dated, time is money! And although the phrase has been around a while it is still a significant point to consider when managing any building project. This is why a well planned construction build programme is vital. No matter how big or small a job, careful time and financial management is the key to a profitable project. Successful project management involves a very wide skill set. Being on top of everything all at once requires the ability to multi-task and consider various different time scales and pressures simultaneously. This is no mean feat on your own and I applaud anyone still coping with a variety of spreadsheets and wall charts, we’ve all been there.

More than an estimating package

EstimatorXpress is more than an estimating package as it can produce many reports that help you organise your whole project. Looking to a software solution not only saves you the pain of planning and navigating the various goings on but it can actually help you save money and work more efficiently. The reports such as the build programme and time based linked reports that come with EstimatorXpress take away all the guesswork – and does it automatically produces all your JIT schedules, cashflow and profit forecasts off the back of your estimate.

Not only that but with the Project Manager tool you can view the build programmes of multiple projects you have on the go at the same time, in one place so that you see for example the peaks in requirements for specific trades on site or cashflow dips.

The benefits are high for a smaller business, as due to the nature of a company of this size, you don’t have slack resources available to cover over extension of your workforce nor cash reserves to protect you when lots of expenditure comes all at once. This is why it is even more vital for an SME business to keep to their deadlines, be vigilant on budget and aware of every detail on a project both before it starts and whilst it’s in progress.

Streamlined process

Customers sometimes tell us –“I can estimate that extension in my head, I don’t need a software package to do that”, but when we ask them, and what do you do about writing up your material order schedules, or knowing exactly when they need different trades on site, they tend to scratch their heads and say, “well that would take me maybe a few hours”.

The great thing about EstimatorXpress is that not only has it done your accurate and detailed costing for the project but it has also automatically, produced a Just In Time (JIT) materials schedule with all the product descriptions, supplier codes, quantities, lead times and what you expect to pay….and automatically gives you labour schedules so you have the corresponding labour on site to match.

Delays eat into profits

Unnecessary delays on site are a costly business. Nobody likes it when tradesmen have to stand around on site with nothing to do! It is not uncommon for some items to be on 8 –12 week lead times… so you need to plan well ahead for these and to keep chasing the suppliers to ensure your order is being progressed. EstimatorXpress helps you plan for this with the built in lead times not only telling you what you need, and when they are needed on site, it tells you WHEN TO ORDER THEM.

There is no point in saving a few quid on materials if they arrive late and leave your programme in tatters…and you with a fat labour bill because your tradesmen could not get on with the job! And on top of that there are increased costs of having to extend the rental of plant which can be costly.

Timeline costs to keep them in check

Having a realistic timetable for the job is also useful when it comes to estimating the cost of finance and other onsite costs. You will be surprised how quickly finance costs can eat into your budget if your project extends beyond your completion date, not to mention the additional costs of renting temporary accommodation, onsite toilets, containers, mixers and forklifts that build up with project slippage.

Professional and sound investment wins more business

Not only is a clear, well planned and realistic schedule going to help you save money but it can also be useful for winning projects (as you can show your client at tender stage you know exactly what you are doing!). It can also help your chances of landing loans or finance. You are a far more attractive investment if you can accurately and confidently demonstrate to customers or lenders, in advance, the sequence of events and a professional build plan.

Allowing a customer or lender to feel confident in your ability to produce quality work within a realistic timescale because you can demonstrate each stage of the process and the fact that everything has been considered. This is what Steve Jones of Prime Elements found when he started using EstimatorXpress. He told us that Prime Elements’ business win rate has improved by nearly 50% since using EstimatorXpress which Steve puts down to the professionalism of the quotes and the reports as well as the speed at which he is able to get the quote to the customers. Steve said “HBXL has streamlined my business 100%, I just wish I’d known about their products sooner”.

As we have outlined, there are many advantages to producing an accurate, considered and manageable construction build programme. Further benefits can be as obvious as being able to plan work more effectively as you can be confident in knowing that you can meet your deadline completion date. EstimatorXpress will produce 100% accurate estimates but the strengths are exponential when you consider all the reports, schedules and plans that it automatically produces. It you would like to give it a try today, please follow the link for a 14 day free trial.