Stay within time and budget with construction cost management software

Calculator to stay in time and budget

Despite the fact that many estimators still use simple spreadsheet tools, the last years brought us advanced cost estimating software to the market. When integrated in your business, it enables you to better stay within time and budget.

Cost estimating models

A modern data software tool allows you to perform regression analysis on data. Make use of this to analyze historical project cost data and quotations to try and find cost estimate relationships (CERs). For example, by studying how the heating area and material type of heat exchangers relate to cost, you might be able to find a formula to predict the cost for future equipment. To do this correctly, you have to index all costs to one price level and make the scope comparable. Performing these kinds of data operations requires an architecture that stores all cost data and models in one database that is easily accessible and maintainable.

Benchmarking projects

In order to calibrate and benchmark project data it is advised to set-up an in-house benchmarking tool, to have a project history and benchmarking solution fit for your needs. Benchmarking can be executed by comparing the different ratios and characteristic values of the projects. To be able to compare projects, it is critical to adjust for scope changes, different locations or market conditions before comparing metrics. A well trained cost engineer should be able to help you out.

Make sure you choose a tool that gives a quick and easy way to access your company’s historical data to establish benchmarking studies. This should be able to generate averages, as well as ranges of normalized costs for each element of a given project for location and time adjustment, escalating historical costs to present-day or future costs.

Integration with other tools

Cost data, factor tables and other cost management should all be stored in one database. When doing this consequently it is easily transferable between other business tools like ERP systems and scheduling software. This allows estimates to be recasted into cost control documents without much effort. The same principle holds for commitments, actuals and other large amounts of data coming in from other departments. With a standardized data format they can be added to cost control documents without much effort. The big benefit of all of this is that you can spend more time on analyzing data rather than handling it.

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