With business operations and subsidiaries across Europe, major French civil engineering firm Colas, a worldwide leader in transport infrastructure construction and maintenance, selected Benchmark Estimating Software to achieve the goal of unifying estimating processes across their Central European Division.
Colas Croatia and Slovenia purchased their Benchmark Estimating Software licenses in 2014 and are reporting impressive advantages, especially in regard to speed, precision and accuracy.
The company’s main activities in the public sector are reconstruction and improvement of state roads, as well as new road construction, with projects up to 25 million euros value. Working in the private sector, their activities are mainly environmental improvements through asphalt works. The company has five asphalt plants (four in Croatia and one in Slovenia), a gravel pit and a quarry.
Colas Croatia employs around 240 people including three estimators and Calculation and Contracting Manager Gordana Horenec, and Slovenia has 70 employees with two estimators.
Flexibility Delivers Savings
The implementation of the software was carried out by the Colas Croatia and Slovenia IT department. As with a number of Colas companies, the Benchmark Estimating Software application, as well as the database, are both located on a server in the group’s head office in Paris.
The flexibility and advanced functionality of Benchmark Estimating Software has allowed Colas Group to unify estimating processing across their European operations, delivering significant cost savings across the group.
“Since using Benchmark Estimating Software, we are definitely seeing savings on the time required for calculation. With the same number of estimators we can produce far more bids,” Gordana said.
Speed, Precision, Accuracy
Gordana recalls that, since the changeover to Benchmark Estimating Software, they are realising benefits in speed of use.
“The Cartage feature is particularly useful, as it calculates transport costs automatically on the basis of an initial cost, for a base number of kilometres, and a cost based on the quantity being transported and the distance travelled. This mirrors how we are charged for transport by our subcontractors.”
“Another great feature for asphalt companies such as ours is Sub Items. We can create a Sub Items for each different asphalt mix, showing the base materials that make up that mix. This means that if the mix changes for any reason, the cost of the mix automatically updates,” Gordana said.
“When we have a list of Items to price, the Allocate feature is very useful. The Benchmark Estimating Software looks at the client’s Item, and then matches an Item from our Library of Items.”
“Benchmark Estimating Software then automates this, with the Auto Allocate function bidding the first client Item using Items from the Library, then bidding the second Item and continuing to bid every Item until the job is completed. There are huge savings in time,” Gordana explained.
“Then, when we have all the Items bid in this first pass, we use the Resource Production Rate feature to complete the job. If any task seems particularly difficult on the project, we can adjust the Production Rate downwards to reflect slower production, thus increasing the Item Rate. This means the estimate is aligned with the site conditions.”
These benefits are similar to those experienced by Colas Poland, as detailed in another recent case study.
The next stage for Colas Croatia and Slovenia will be an integration of Benchmark Estimating Software with their customer relationship management software. Along with all the Colas Central European countries, they will be implementing a CRM and also a new ERP system in the future.
“I would definitely recommend Benchmark Estimating Software to other companies,”
Benchmark Estimating Software is extremely proud of the success of the implementation across the Central European Directorate (CED) of the Colas Group and is committed to providing full training and support across similar organisations, regardless of languages and borders.
Colas is a member of the Bouygues group of companies.
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Read more about Colas Croatia/ on their web site.