Ensuring high levels of accuracy is essential in the construction industry, not only at the detailing and delivery phase but also the initial strategy and tender stages too. All too often, MEP contractors will sadly go out of business because of inaccurate estimating, out-of-date material pricing and poor job cost management.
Like many others, this was a challenge that Shane Mechanical London Ltd faced, a plumbing and mechanical contractor based in Crumlin, Northern Ireland, with the need to improve and streamline their internal take-off and tender process. At the core of this was the need to deliver tenders more quickly and efficiently, while also better managing their mechanical and plumbing projects costs.
As such, Shane Mechanical started looking for a digital solution that would offer the professional and efficient process they needed, while also helping them to keep up with the competition. At the top of the list was a cloud-based solution, which would help them to perform material take-off quickly, accurately and allow them to enter counts and measurements without having to change application.
It was for the above reasons that Shane Mechanical chose to try out Estimation MEP, Trimble’s new cloud-based take-off and estimating solution, with great levels of success.
The Estimation MEP difference
“Estimation MEP is perfect for us as we don’t need to install anything to get started. I can safely and securely store my drawings in the cloud and not have to worry. We can easily perform take-off, search for content and churn out accurate estimates quickly!”
– Gerard Flynn, Contracts Manager at Shane Mechanical Ltd
Estimation MEP is a solution designed specifically for the estimation and tender stage of an MEP project, enabling engineers to generate accurate material take-offs and labour estimates both quickly and easily. The software has the option for either manual or graphical take-offs, depending on your preferred way of working, and provides users with easy access to accurate material quantities, costs and labour estimates through the LUCKINS Database – the UK’s largest comprehensive catalogue of electrical, HVAC and plumbing items.
Cloud-based, Estimation MEP provides teams with one source of information, a data store for all the latest documentation, drawings and estimates relating to a project, which can be accessed at any time, wherever you are.
Speed and efficiencies
Time is a valuable commodity on any construction project. It becomes a key consideration, not only once it has reached the construction and install stage on-site, but right from the very start of the project, at the initial tender stage. Here, the ability to deliver accurate estimates and bids quickly and efficiently is a key priority, both in terms of providing a high-quality service to the prospective client and also freeing up a team’s time to be focused elsewhere.
After employing Estimation MEP within the business, the time savings enabled by this new digital way of working was one of the main benefits for Shane Mechanical. In fact, Gerard said:
“We are seeing that we are saving about 50% of time per estimate - it’s a significant improvement for us.”
One of the main enablers of these time efficiencies is the Graphical Take-Off tool within the Estimation MEP software, a feature that enables you to electronically measure, count and mark up PDF drawings, automatically filling in the corresponding take-off sheet. As well as offering a faster and more efficient process, this level of intelligent, digital automation also helps to improve accuracy, minimising the likelihood of human error and helping to prevent any costly delays further down the line.
Speaking about the Graphical Take-Off tool, Gerard said:
“I love performing take-off with Estimation MEP. I am not the most technically savvy person, but the software is so user friendly that it encouraged me to try graphical take-off for the first time. And I love it. I’m now an advocate for graphical take-off in my business, thanks to Estimation MEP!”
Easy to use
As well as the digital software’s intelligent features and technical tools, another unexpected benefit of Estimation MEP for Shane Mechanical was its usability, as Gerard explained:
“When I started a trial of Estimation MEP, I quickly noticed that I found the software much easier to use than other software I have tried that are on the market right now.”
Considering time was the initial issue that motivated Shane Mechanical into looking for a digital solution, useability of the software is essential. After all, a software that first requires hours of learning and training only detracts away from this time-saving goal, rather than contributing to a faster and more efficient way of working.
In addition to being easy to use, the continued development of the software and the technical support on offer from Trimble’s product team was another unexpected benefit of Estimation MEP for Shane Mechanical. For example, whenever an MEP manufacturer or supplier was missing from the software’s database, or an additional scale was required, Shane Mechanical was able to easily contact Trimble and get a response within just a couple of days. In an industry that is constantly changing and evolving, this emphasis by Trimble on continuous software development is invaluable.
Would you recommend Estimation MEP to other contractors and if so, why?