What will the construction industry shutdown mean for estimators?
The NSW Government’s decision to shutdown the building and construction industry will cost the NSW economy approximately $1.4 billion and leave close to 250,000 people without work. And while certain sections of the industry are now back up and running – with restrictions – the impact will be felt for some time.
The industry has always been the lifeblood of the economy, contributing around 20% of economic output. The government itself has close to $100 billion in infrastructure projects in the pipeline, with the impact to these still unknown.
But what does it mean for estimators, project managers and cost controllers?
Costs, Cash Flow, Margins
Costs increasing, cash flow decreasing, and margins being squeezed. No business owner likes to hear those words but unfortunately that is what the industry is facing.
With no work for the next two weeks, thousands of businesses will receive no income but will still be incurring costs – be it labour, plant & machinery and other overheads, not only putting pressure on their margins for the entire project but forcing many to go back to the drawing board to re-cost the entire project, wasting time, money and resources.
Industry shutdown means the carefully constructed project timelines have completely gone out the window, forcing project managers to revise the entire project and come up with a new plan to mitigate further delays and costs.
All this additional work takes time for estimators and project managers to complete, further eating into project margins and increasing costs, not to mention reducing their ability to work on estimates for other projects, potentially impacting future revenue.
So how does one combat these problems?
We cannot control what is going on in the world around us and many of the decisions made are completely out of our hands. What we can control is how we deal with and approach the challenges the shutdown is causing.
- Robust Estimating Software
Ensuring you have a robust estimating software solution – not Excel – in place will allow you to estimate on jobs more accurately and more confidently, faster and with ease. A robust estimating software platform will include:
- Routines so you can continually price repetitive quotes quickly and easily.
- On-screen take off
- handle contingencies
- re-cost current and future projects easily and with speed
- spread costs over the entire length of the project.
- compare current and future project costs to give the complete picture the shutdown is having on your business.
Go Cloud to Go Home
The ability to work from home is critical in these uncertain times, especially during lockdowns and even more important during industry shutdowns. Having access to estimating software that is available in the cloud means you can work anytime, anywhere, speeding up your estimating process and allowing you to tender for more jobs so you can come out of shutdown stronger.
Additionally, a cloud-based platform can allow you to significantly reduce you IT infrastructure, cutting down on unnecessary maintenance costs.
Be ready when the new normal returns.
The industry shutdown won’t last forever, and construction will be back booming like never before. The best way to combat the challenges faced during the shutdown is to be ready to bounce back by having the right tools in place and more importantly, the time to move forward with future projects.