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Getting an accurate project estimate can feel like the toughest challenge in the interior Fit out process, but it’s interesting to look at the main challenges of today’s QS team for estimation and successful bidding

Top challenges of Estimation in the Interior Fit-out Industry

  • Short Response time
  • Bill of Quantity (BoQ) Sheet
  • Risks in the estimate
  • Collaboration problems
  • The need for standardization
  • Project Costing

Each estimator sees the job differently, and finding the sweet spot in a High Bid or Low bid and doing it consistently on time is the key to success, and a single integrated, Project-driven ERP system with an Estimation module can be a great enabler to address the above challenges.

1. Short Response Time

In the current competitive world of Fit out projects and customer demand, Lack of time is usually cited by most estimators as their biggest concern, and there is ever more pressure on QS Team to produce estimates faster, thereby increasing the risk of expensive inaccuracies, mistakes and bid success rate. Consequently, time-saving features including ready to use Templates, Rate Analysis, BoQ excel Import, estimation version control, enterprise workflow, collaboration and multi-level approvals in an estimation module of an Integrated ERP system are incredibly useful, save time and improve efficiency.

For instance, a lot of time can be saved if a QS team is able to go quickly identify similar projects or jobs, items from the estimation History or use the template to quickly add the items to a materials list. Advanced search features, Rate card for the BoQ, Prices, multiple Item parameters like Product group, Make, and Technical details like colour, and dimensions make the whole process much quicker, giving the user the ability to find not just priced items but also resources that have been used previously

2. Bill of Quantity (BoQ) Sheets

The most important part of estimation is dealing with customer BoQ sheets, which are different in nature, considering the No of Line items in BoQ, Unit of Measure, Technical descriptions and at times, Separate BoQ sheets for materials and Services.

NAVBUILD offers simple and a 3-step process to load the direct Excel BoQ into the system, Step 1 – Locate the BOQ file shared by the customer. Step 2 – Verify the BOQ before uploading it to the system. Step 3 – Click ok, and allows the estimation team to work on the estimation with the readily available Rate card. NAVBUILD also allows the QS team to categorise and define the templates for BoQ import and Rate card masters for different Projects, and share information easily with those outside the system to collaborate and work on the Estimation.

3. Risks in the estimate

In the estimation calculations, the cost to do a job is different for every company and the bid success lies in the readily available composition of your Job costs for materials, labour, equipment, subcontractors, Overheads cost, and your margin, and real-time data availability with historical bid data, systematic approach to executing complex calculations and decisions on the risk exposure.

NAVBUILD offers much more informative data like estimation revision, version control, comparisons, and flexibility to search and add the prices for different item compositions/Brands or margin changes, handling the non-tendered items with billable or non-billable flags and multi-dimensional Reporting, and analysis including direct-to-Excel report features enables the risks to be quantified and reduced

4. Collaboration problems

One of the most common reasons for estimation delay is a lack of communication and collaboration among the department users resulting in duplication of tasks and poor productivity. When estimation teams can’t collaborate easily, errors happen and waste time and resources.

NAVBUILD helps to bridge many of the productivity gaps by offerings users across the locations or teams the to work on an estimate, at the same time and avoid the users submitting the information in their own format and sending, and this will improve communication and eliminate resource-intensive processes and unnecessary tasks.

5. Standardised approach

In the construction & Fit-out Industry, standardisation is a significant problem faced by the estimation/QS team today. The estimation is done by single or few individuals with an expert judgement approach with the help of Excel sheets and experiences based on similar projects in the past. Standardisation underpins the consistency and expert judgment estimation offers range, rather accurate as any two projects are unlikely to be identical. So, it is vital that your system supports a standardised approach with bottom-up estimations and process automation to streamline the process and minimize mistakes, Improve the accuracy of estimates regardless of project size

The bidding process plays a very significant role in the success of your company. Winning a more profitable project requires effective bid management with integrated tendering and Project management solutions. With the need to meet accuracy, quality, shorter response time, productivity and compliance standards demanding greater bid competence, a structured approach and Process standardizations are essential.

6. Project Costing

In real time, budget cost and the actual cost will always be generated after project completion. When we go back what was the estimated cost of the completed project, then getting the details becomes even more difficult. In BOQ based estimated approach, at any point in time, it is possible to track estimated cost, budgeted cost and actual cost. In addition to this, you will also have provision for committed costs, which will help in managing project cash flow.

Your success starts with accurate project estimates but depends on solid execution. NAVBUILD, a single integrated Industry ready ERP with Pre-configured solutions for the Interior Fit-out industry, will help to address all the challenges described above.

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