Programmed Facility Management (PFM), part of the Programmed group of companies, is one of Australia’s leading providers of facilities management services, servicing a range of market sectors including Government, Social Housing, Health and Aged Care, Office and Commercial, Utilities, Education, Justice and Correctional, Industrial and Manufacturing.
Programmed Facility Management offer their clients a wide range of facilities and asset management services and can deliver customised support and maintenance services to ensure the efficient operation of buildings, properties and infrastructure.
Benchmark Estimating recently spoke with Rick Pelletier, Business Systems Manager, and Dave Freedman, State Manager for Queensland, at PFM about the challenges faced by their company in their estimating and how they expected Benchmark Estimating Software to help address these challenges.
Challenges faced by Programmed Facility Management
Rick Pelletier identified one of the major estimating challenges faced by PFM as the lack of a consistent estimating methodology across all Australian offices. Rick states that “currently the linkage between activity, opportunity management, conversion rates and lead generation is inconsistent throughout our organisation. Without Benchmark Estimating Software, Programmed Facility Management isn’t able to effectively leverage individual knowledge and synergies”.
The Benchmark Estimating Software Solution
Benchmark Estimating Software is built around a transparent yet detailed estimating methodology that focuses on the capture of corporate knowledge through the use of a library-based, centralised estimating database. Rick believes that with Benchmark Estimating Software, PFM will be able to “provide a ‘consistent’ and ‘transparent’ method of estimating; and it allows us to implement common processes and best practices for all PFM users across the country”.
Benchmark Estimating Software – Aligned with PFM’s long term strategy
Benchmark Estimating Software is a fundamentally flexible estimating software system that aims to integrate with an organisation’s operations and assist in the overall growth of the company.
In the case of Programmed Facility Management, Benchmark Estimating Software is aligned with the long term goals and strategy of the company and, according to Rick, has been identified as “one of fourteen key ICT efficiency projects to be implemented as part of [PFM’s] Strategic Road-map in the near horizon”. Programmed Facility Management aims to have a “fully integrated business management system throughout the business, and Benchmark [Estimating Software] is a key component of that system”.
Flexibility and Exports – Benefits from a user’s perspective
Dave Freedman, State Manager for Queensland was part of the original steering committee that looked at the Benchmark Estimating Software system. He has been a user for two years and talked to Benchmark Estimating about the features that he believes offer the greatest benefits to Programmed Facility Management.
Flexibility: Dave states that the flexibility of the Benchmark Estimating Software system is what he sees as having the biggest advantage for his estimating. He states “it’s the levels within a Benchmark Estimating Software Project, the Section, Item, Sub-Item and Resources, that provide us plenty of flexibility”. For a diverse business such as Programmed Facility Management who deal with a wide range of complex facility maintenance contracts, this flexibility means they can include as much detail in their quotes as needed. This will lead to more accurate estimates and greater cost efficiency over the life of a contract.
Save time and eliminate errors: Dave also tells us that “the ability to copy and paste at all levels of the software is great”. Benchmark Estimating Software contains numerous advanced features that provide ‘copy and paste’ functionality throughout the software. Add Item from Project, Auto Allocate from Project and Allocate Resources from Project Item will allow Programmed Facilities Management to very quickly and accurately price all packages of work done under a maintenance contract by essentially ‘copying and pasting’ original submission prices, Items and Resources thus saving time and eliminating the need to retype details.
Improved Project Management Processes: Benchmark Estimating Software offers users a Resource based export to Microsoft Project. This feature automatically creates a Gantt chart for a project based on calculations of the duration of each Item (activity) in a contract and exports the Resources and costs as well. “The fact that you can export to Microsoft Project means that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel with each Project” says Dave. He tells us that PFM’s estimators can produce a draft estimate for a Project Manager quickly and easily, freeing up more time for their Project Managers. He says this simple to use feature will “tighten our processes” and improve on their overall time management.
Overall, Dave believes that Benchmark Estimating Software system will be a cost saver for Programmed Facility Management and will promote faster, more consistent estimating processes and estimates throughout the business.
Facilities Maintenance is a complex and diverse industry with companies servicing a wide range of clients. For Programmed Facility Management, the implementation of Benchmark Estimating Software as part of their Strategic Road-map will allow the company to provide a more consistent and transparent method of estimating. It will save time and costs by offering advanced features and the flexibility to provide the detail required by their clients for facilities management projects.