21 Jun Creative estimators at BSIS and Smekab Citylife
This post is also available in Swedish: Kreativa kalkylatörer på BSIS och Smekab Citylife
Creativity is a factor for sucess for you as an estimator when you work with Geometra, or any other estimation tool. During the estimation process you are often put into situations where problems need to be resolved quickly and efficiently to win the bid and the deal. In an industry, like construction, where costs are a major factor to generate business it’s important that your tools, systems and software don’t limit your creative thinking.
Last week Fredrik described how free-form creation is the basis of the user experience and how we approach the estimation process in Geometra. Traditionally software for estimation, project management and documentation management have included a plethora of buttons and features that not only create confusion but also locks the user in a specific mindset and kills creativity. Compare what mobile phones looked like before Apple launched its first iPhone. Plenty of buttons, deep menus and the only thing we used was calling and sending SMS (although many phones really could do much more). When the first iPhone was launched, there was only one button on the screen, which was also removed in the latest version, yet they could do much more than the competitors. Adding a button to the menu bar that only performs one thing is a failure for us. We do not want to limit estimators, project managers and craftmen in your use of Geometra. Your ultimate goal should be what dictates how you make use of Geometra, not the other way around.
Whether you want an accurate basis for your tenders and bids, work orders, material lists and / or invoice documents for your finance department, you can get it from Geometra. If you give your m, m2 and m3’s properties like wall, floor, ceiling etc early in the estimation process it’ll create great prerequisites for traceability and simplify project management further down the production process. Regardless if your estimating flooring, ceiling or land and constructions contracts, Geometra is a modern tool where several professions in the modern companies in the construction industry can be gathered.
Since the theme of the month is creativity, I want to highlight two companies using Geometra diligently and creatively. Both companies are linked to the construction industry but stand out in our customer base – Bygg och Städspecilisten in Stockholm and Smekab Citylife.
Bygg och Städspecialisten i Stockholm AB (BSIS) (Construction and Cleaning specialist in Stockholm)
Bygg och Städspecialisten offers cleaning services in greater Stockholm area. The company has 70 employees and has a turnover of between SEK 40-50 million. Kostas Psomas is running the company and is doing most of the cost estimations. He uses Geometra to estimate cleaning services, construction cleaning and periodic maintenance. Construction cleaning is a special area for BSIS and usually covers three elements – rough cleaning, final cleaning and occupancy cleaning. The periodic maintenance is about providing services linked to a continuous maintenance plan for floors, carpets, windows and furniture. A well performed periodic maintenance can save both money and the environment. A number of large construction companies can be found on the BSIS customer list in the Stockholm area.
The estimation and tender process is very similar to many other subcontractors in the construction industry, although the results look different. Geometra works great for use in the preparation of estimations of various types.
- The invitation to tender is sent from the costumer with drawings as a basis.
- BSIS are doing takeoffs on floor surfaces, facades and windows according to the work to be performed. A fun detail is that when our brick and facade customers are reducing windows when they are estimation, BSIS are using the square meters of windows when estimation window cleaning jobs.
- When the relevant areas are quantified, results are exported to Excel where the calculation is completed in prepared templates.
- Tenders are compiled and the data from Geometra are attached.
Smekab Citylife creates attractive quotes with Geometra
Smekab Citylife develops, produces and sells products and solutions to create attractive urban environments. Railings and barrier solutions has been a major part of the product line since the 1970s and still exists is still being developed. The range has been supplemented over the years and today there is a wide range of furniture for public outdoor environments, weather protection for bus stops, bicycle parking and cycling products. Smekab Citylife has its head office in Skåne Önnestad, and is represented with staffed offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Jönköping.
At Smekab Citylife, both sales and project managers work with Geometra. We talked to Michael Andersson about their tender process. Michael has been working with Geometra for the 4-5 years and uses the service to make attractive quotes for his costumers. Geometra is primarily used for measuring lengths for rails and fences. The data from Geometra is transferred to Microsoft Dynamics where the quotes are compiled. The annotated drawings from Geometra is attached to the quotes to give the costumers a good visual overview of what is included in the quotation. The substrate is also used as a tool in the assembly work, both when performed by its own staff and when done by the customer.
Michael appreciates the accuracy that Geometra reproduces in the fence lengths that he measures. Even the function of setting scale through reference measures provides flexibility in the work because the drawings are not always scalable. Michael and his colleagues often use different colors to visually structure different products in Geometra. Michael explains that Smekab Citylife’s products are modular and standardized in the way that a certain number of sections run on x-number runs, which makes the calculation and quote work fairly standardised. Next month we will blog about standardisation, and believe it or not, but a standardised approach will actually create space for creative thinking. I know Marco will start July’s blogging about, among other things, this.