Materials Prices updated: estimating software reflects UK builders merchant pricing
Tuesday, May 25th, 2021
The huge catalogue of materials prices in EstimatorXpress estimating software is a big factor in the success of our award-winning software. We’re not tied to one builders merchant group. So we’re able to provide an independent and widely representative picture of materials pricing in the UK.
And we update our Price Book regularly in line with the changes we’re all seeing right now. If you’re a customer you’ll have come to expect our regular price checks. If you’re not a user of the UK’s leading estimating tool this is what you can look forward to.
Materials prices – what are you estimating?
Material prices continue to go up and (sometimes) down. To give you a flavour, since our April update around a month ago, timber is up on average by 8%+ (although this can vary from 5% up to 35% depending on the specific timber product!). Steel lintels up 15%+. Extraordinarily high demands, shortages, and delays at ports continue to be the issue.
It’s a monumental task the team undertakes checking the thousands of products in the Price Book. But that’s all part of the Software & Updates package available to each customer (and included with subscriptions). We put in the graft so our customers don’t have to! A decent profit margin is nothing if it gets whittled away by inflated costs that you end up funding.
Builders can compare their original estimating with latest materials prices
It’s a clever set-up. After our EstimatorXpress users update their software with the new update, only jobs they create from that date onwards contain the new prices – not existing quotes. The price quoted to the customer for an existing job still stands. But we encourage customers to look at the difference by running a second version of the quote with the new prices. Say a job you quoted six or even 12 months ago is coming up to its start date? You’ll want to see the difference in cost between today’s prices and what you quoted previously – and if it’s a noticeable difference then it’s time for a conversation with the customer… (Our ContractsXpert software tool will help put that conversation on a legal footing).
How does our price checking work?
The EstimatorXpress Price Tracker+ is the system we developed to provide this unique service. We use both live data – and real human beings – to bring each new version of the Price Book together. As well as checking prices, there are the products that are discontinued or become new variants. And all of these changes are factored in to give the user the most accurate information for their estimating. And we listen to customers too, their regular feedback also informs our research.
What should builders be doing to manage the price hikes?
Whilst building firms are having an absolute nightmare doing round trips of 600 miles to buy cement or having to put jobs on hold for weeks on end due to shortages – there is a flip side! Hard to believe when you’re in the midst of a crisis, but we’re finding that building firms are taking the enforced pause to reflect on their processes. Estimates just can’t be based on out-of-date m2 rules of thumb. Those days are long gone. Spreadsheets too need updating – and believe us – it’s nigh on possible to do it on your own.
If I tell you that for just £399+VAT a year you could produce accurate estimates for extensions in an hour not a day using current materials prices – what would stop you from picking up the phone? Lack of time? Well we’ll help you get up to speed quickly. After all, the Quote Templates in EstimatorXpress do most of the work for you. And the (low) price of the subscription is nothing compared to the money you’re potentially losing every time you currently submit a quotation…
So give us a call on 0117 916 7898 or book yourself a short online demonstration – materials prices are changing fast – time do the same. And we’re with you every step of the way.