Estimating is an ancient artform which requires an eye for detail and a tradesman with true on-site experience. It all sounds relatively straightforward – count up all of your materials, guestimate your labour, and put a price on it. Get it right and your margin will be accurate, get it wrong and you could lose your business.
Today we sit down for a quick coffee with Delvan Cummings from CBD Plumbing in Christchurch to discuss how he went from printing plans and using a plan roller, to doing everything digitally on-screen.
How long have you been in business and what type of plumbing work do you do?
We started the business five years ago and focus mainly on commercial construction plumbing.
What technology do you use to run your business?
We use Groundplan for digital takeoff/estimating and Fergus for running the jobs. At the back end of the business, we use Xero as our accounting software. While we are on site, we also use Solibri 3D modelling software.
How did you do take-off pre Groundplan?
I was using a plan roller and a spreadsheet. We printed off plans and used highlighters to mark everything up and collated it all into a spreadsheet which had our rates in it. It was very time consuming, and it took an experienced eye to complete each tender.
I think the difference between printing plans/manual takeoff and on-screen digital takeoff is easily 30% in time alone.
Delvan Cummings, CBD Plumbing
Tell us about your takeoff/estimating process now?
Well with Groundplan I have now trained my brother Jamie who has joined this business. He is not from a plumbing background (finance), but with Groundplan I have been able to set up all of my templates so he really can’t get anything wrong. This new process has given me a considerable amount of time back that I can spend on other duties.
How much training did it take?
None! I signed up for the 14-day trial and was up and running on my first project.
How much time has Groundplan saved you?
Well, I think the difference between printing plans/manual takeoff and on-screen digital takeoff is easily 30% in time alone. The other thing we have saved on is a costly printing bill.