Our builders often find that they’re spending too much of their time trying to create accurate quotes for their customers. One of the primary reasons for this is that they’re trying to create estimates using their knowledge of previous jobs and putting this together on a notepad or an excel spreadsheet.
We asked Joanna Mulgrew, product director at HXBL Building Software, to look at ways our members can use IT and technology to streamline this process and produce more accurate quotes.
Joanna said “The reason some builders take so long over their quotes is they still produce them based on their past experience and basic pen and paper methods. Even those who have taken the right steps towards technology have struggled to make it work for them.
On top of this research has shown that 88 percent of spreadsheets are known to contain errors, so this highlights the need for builders to up their game to make sure the prices they quote are a true reflection of how much a project will actually cost. If not, many will not only spend too long putting together their quotes but also find their profit margins are continually squeezed, resulting in some making a loss on jobs they were hoping would give them a clear margin.
Those who insist on 'guesstimating' or using a pen and paper method to produce quotes will get left behind as their competitors adapt to new technologies. The recession became a real leveller for the build sector. With money so tight, those who were able to demonstrate to clients where the money was being spent were the ones to pull through and are now reaping the rewards. There is no need to be a busy fool and the sooner builders realise this, the better for their own business and their customers.”
Customer Dan Bull of Bull and Son Ltd Building Contractors agrees.
”We used to do our estimating the old fashion way using just pen and paper but soon found that HBXL’s EstimatorXpress was not only much faster but much more detailed in the final quote. We did consider using a quantity surveyor for a time but they can be costly and we are not always certain exactly where they pull their prices from! With EstimatorXpress we have more control to tailor our material costs as well as adjust our overhead to meet our business needs. The software takes a lot of the guess work out of estimating and ensures that we have a better chance to win work and turn over a profit. We don’t regret changing over to the HBXL software and would recommend others do the same.”
Research carried out by HBXL backs up the claim that by using EstimatorXpress not only speeds up significantly the time it takes to produce estimates but improves the win ratio and accuracy of the quotes.
With EstimatorXpress builders cut the time spent estimating by 39 percent, equating to a staggering 32 days a year!
Nearly 75 percent of EstimatorXpress users also reported an increase in profits once they had started using the software, the main reasons given being the accuracy of the estimate, plus the level of detail and professionalism of the reports.
And when asked if they would recommend using EstimatorXpress, a resounding 94% said that they would.
ROI Calculator proves value of software
For those still unsure on whether investing in HBXL’s EstimatorXpress will provide a decent return on investment (ROI), boss Adrain Wild has devised a handy online ROI calculator.
Taking seconds to fill in, it highlights the value of the time builders spend putting together their estimates. It quickly becomes apparent that by using software to assist with the estimates will soon save builders thousands of pounds.
For further information please visit www.hbxl.co.uk or to work out the ROI please visit http://hbxl.co.uk/return-on-investment-calculator/