Managing your resources with EstimatorXpress
Friday, February 19th, 2016
Resource management in construction
Waste not, want not
Are you wasting money instead of making money on your building projects? Money lost on wastage is the most frustrating way to lose money on a building project. The answer is smart resource management using EstimatorXpress. The main resources to consider are materials, plant and labour. The software is designed specifically for builders and developers with ease of use in mind. Using our Materials Ordering reports which operate very much like a BOQ, it is easy to save time, money and effort.
Time is money
Materials management in construction has significance beyond the materials themselves. A massive cost to builders is the actual vehicle and fuel cost of regularly going to merchants, both in terms of the fuel going there are back frequently and the often unmeasured cost of your precious time. From the moment you get in the van and leave site you are losing potential man hours and burning into your profit in fuel. One of the chaps at a recent London course calculated that at a cost of 60p per mile plus his hourly rate for his time, he was effectively spending around £11,000 a year going to and from merchants.
By making effective use of the assorted materials reports the software has, builders can reduce significantly the amount of merchant visits and with live prices they can further save time cutting out the process of calling merchants.
Utilise your buying power
Having a complete schedule of materials required for an entire job can be given to a supplier to improve bargaining power. If you know the total amount of a material you will need over the whole project you can negotiate the price for the whole quantity, not just piece meal orders, making a saving on buying a larger quantity and saving you another trip to the merchants. With EstimatorXpress you can also group together numerous jobs say several extensions or a group of houses with a single mouse click and work out, for example how many Blocks or Packs of Insulation you need for the next few months…. And get the best possible deal!
If you plan your materials more accurately, you can crack on with the work instead of making a journey to the merchants each time you need something – one trip, agree a good deal on the entire job and arrange delivery to suit your build programme, which EstimatorXpress has automatically produced for you. (Have you ever worked out how much it costs to send a labourer for say an hour to pick up some materials from a merchant taking into account his time, diesel, wear and tear on the vehicle etc… Probably around £20-30 per go…. Do that twice a week and it will cost a couple of grand a year!)
The same can be said about organising your plant. If you know in advance that you will need a telehandler at different stages of the build process or on several jobs you can negotiate a better rate based on the total amount of time needed.
You can even apply this knowledge of the total quantity of a resource needed to labour by being able to agree a fixed fee on a job with your contractor rather than working on a day rate to save on cost and encourage the job to be completed in a timely manner. Estimating calculators and your built-in Gantt chart will help you organise your labour schedules, helping you plan in advance when you need them on site getting them onsite just when you need them along with the materials and the plant. This will save you any unnecessary headaches with missing materials or any one of them sitting around waiting for materials or other related trades!
Be confident that you have only what you need
Over ordering is a sting in the budget that will eat into your profit if you are not careful. But the answer is not accounting for over ordering, it is ordering the right amount in the first place. With EstimatorXpress you can be confident that you have estimated the right amount of materials from the start helping you avoid over ordering which can be expensive with merchant restocking charges at about 20% of the price!
Forecasting is yet another way in which a smart building firm can get ahead. By linking jobs together as a Workload Project, you can see a profit forecast for ALL the upcoming work as well as an overall cash flow, and again an overall set of costs. This means there’s a way of seeing these figures for the business as a whole.
You can see exactly how much money the company is proposed to make over the next X months. This can then help in making business decisions about expansion, more employees, new equipment and more, essentially giving you a way of seeing into the future!
Client trust through clarity
One of our users has told us about another benefit of using EstimatorXpress to manage his resources. Tony James of Syston Construction has picked out the advantages of being able to demonstrate to clients that the prices he is using are generated live and not some outdated or over charged prices he has made up, which helps the customer trust the company more, encourages more business and better relationships throughout the project, even leading to repeat business. Here is what he had to say; “Because EstimatorXpress uses prices direct from my Travis Perkins account, it means the estimate reflects prices of that day. This is great when you can explain to the client it shows the true cost of their project and is not based on out-of-date prices. It also saves huge amounts of time as I don’t have to wait for prices to be returned from merchant”. As you can see he can also demonstrate to the client that his forward thinking means that he doesn’t need to leave site to pick up materials as he has planned ahead, saving time and allowing the work to go ahead uninterrupted.
Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail
It is common knowledge that a project is going to run more smoothly, efficiently and ultimately have a more successful outcome if everything has been well planned from the start. But, this is easier said than done if you are multi-tasking and juggling multiple projects and have a variety of factors to consider at all times. EstimatorXpress takes the pain out of this balancing act and allows you to manage all your considerations in one simple but powerful piece of kit. Don’t just take our word for it, we have lots of users who like Tony have found HBXL Building Software to drastically improve their business; “The software has helped the business 100% and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.” To read more of Tony’s story or any of our other user success stories click here.