*Sponsored content from HBXL Building Software.

Over recent years there has been a great deal of talk about the ‘digital transformation’ the world is undergoing. Yet the construction industry has been the slowest to digitise - and smaller 1-5 person construction firms slower still.

Those firms not taking a digital approach to their construction projects could be missing a trick. The biggest headache faced by the business owner is generally time management. The hours spent quoting; dashing to Builders Merchants; booking plant; arranging labour; fighting fires and so on.

So whilst there are five different reasons for going digital outlined here, saving time is the thread running through all of them.

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  1. Streamlined projects using one set of data

An integrated digital solution enables you to combine information rather than tackling each aspect of a construction project in isolation. After all, the details of a project (dimensions, material choices and quantity, labour hours and plant) are common to the quotation, project management, health & safety and payment.

synced suite of software makes it possible to use the data from a CAD design or a take off by tracing an existing set of plans supplied by the client to feed the costed estimate together with all quantities of all resources, the health & safety documents, plus a bespoke customer contract. In other words, the whole job end-to-end, fully documented before it’s even been awarded. Think of the time saved, and errors avoided. 

  1. Every single cost covered and the profit locked in

Unlike a static spreadsheet requiring manual correction, good estimating software allows you to regularly download up-to-date prices for all the materials. If you don’t want to risk your profit being eroded by oversights, you should combine accurate material pricing with the latest cost of plant hire, labour hours, as well as including wastage, overheads, and wear and tear percentages, plus profit and inflation calculations. If a good memory and gut feelings are the current go-to’s then a digital approach beckons.

  1. Instant analysis of all the jobs

With all the data on every job stored on the computer, software can provide valuable insights into the future success of your business. A digital dashboard with rich data can be viewed as graphs, bar charts and pie charts. It will tell you your win rate, what jobs are profitable and which resources makes the most money (and therefore which you need to negotiate hardest on!). It can analyse your cashflow and much more.

  1. Improved project management

That same dashboard can also highlight what estimates need completing, and who needs chasing up. It can even give you a reminder of what job is starting soon. Estimating software generally includes a real-time Build Programme that makes date changes easy to accommodate. The project data gets pulled from the digital estimate to also provide instant time-based materials lists, labour schedules, cutting lists, and so on.

  1. Greater security

There’s nothing more anxiety inducing than a hurried quotation. If minimal profit is the likely outcome, that’s a serious waste of three, four, five months… Accurate estimating software removes that worry. Safety on site is another stress point, not to mention the threat of an HSE visit. Health & Safety software puts paid to those concerns. Whilst contract software specific to construction, takes away the fear of late or non-payment. Better still go for integrated solutions that sync with your estimate/quotation and you get the contract and all the health and safety documentation done in a jiffy – time free!

At HBXL Building Software we applaud the value the FMB places on software and I encourage you to watch two previous FMB webinars; one on protecting your profits; and the other on knowing your numbers.

Our mission in 2022 is to make digital solutions accessible to all small building firms. We’re offering more coaching, more training, more ongoing support, and many more help-videos.

And we’ve made more online demonstration slots available to show builders just how straightforward our software is to use. There are a variety of digital products on the market, not all are UK-based and many are trades orientated. So do shop around.

Our own team at HBXL Building Software would be happy to chat through your own business situation on 0117 916 7898 or you can arrange an online demonstration at www.hbxl.co.uk/online-demo.



*Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored content, which is independent of the FMB. Publication does not constitute endorsement or recommendation from the FMB.

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Joanna Mulgrew

Joanna Mulgrew

Managing Director, HBXL Building Software

Joanna Mulgrew is the Managing Director of the HBXL Group, a company she has been with from its launch in 2000. Joanna grew up in a family immersed in the building industry and has herself renovated three properties. As well as leading the team responsible for the research and development of new software, Joanna is spearheading the company’s 2022 mission to help as many residential construction firms as possible ‘Go Digital’, in order to help solve some of the many business issues builders face today.