Case Study

Midcoast council finds efficiencies and improves accuracy with Benchmark Estimating

January 11, 2022

Midcoast creates accurate and consistent estimates across their various project phases, eliminating hours spent estimating.

Getting the price right: MidCoast Council Estimation Improvement Program

MidCoast Council (formerley MidCoast Water) supplies 11 billion litres of water a year to 35,000 households spread over 7000 square kilometres in coastal NSW, Australia. To deliver this volume of water to their clients MidCoast needs the infrastructure necessary to carry it across such vast distances; this can add up to $65 million worth of water and sewerage works per annum.

In dealing with such a large budget, MidCoast recognised the need to:

  • Improve the consistency and accuracy of their estimating across all project phases,
  • Reduce the hours involved in estimating repetitious tasks, and
  • Build the estimating expertise and construction knowledge within the organisation.

To realise these objectives an internal program titled ‘Getting the Price Right – MidCoast Water’s Estimating Improvement Program’ was launched.

Improving consistency and accuracy in estimating

Moving estimating to a robust, capable system is a necessity when endeavouring to improve estimating consistency and accuracy. Brendan Guiney, Director, Water Services at MidCoast, reveals that, “Benchmark’ Estimating was considered the best fit for our needs in relation to water and sewerage civil works estimating.”

MidCoast is generating increased consistency and accuracy in estimating through the use of one system for estimating various tasks across many project phases. Primary user and Development Engineer David McKeller says, “We are able to use a range of estimating methods to suit a wide variety of tasks all within Benchmark Estimating. In addition to this, new features like Power Routines and the Resource-based Export to Microsoft Project have further enhanced and streamlined our overall estimating processes.”

Reducing the hours involved in estimating repetitious tasks

One particular feature in Benchmark Estimating called Routines is ideal for estimating repetitious tasks quickly and accurately. As Brendan explains, “Routines essentially reduce the estimating process to answering questions about the quantities required in the project. Benchmark Estimating's experts were able to identify ways in which Routines could optimise estimating for our core business of pipelines, as well as for other water and sewerage tasks.”

Building the estimating expertise

Benchmark Estimating's implementation and training services ensured the organisation was much better equipped to handle their estimating through the software. Additionally, features such as Routines and the Item Library, which Benchmark Estimating also helped to create, are now full of MidCoast’s business knowledge which can be deployed and shared across the organisation in a consistent format.

With the help of Benchmark Estimating's software and implementation, MidCoast have been able to check off the objectives of the Estimation Improvement program; they can create accurate, consistent estimates across various project phases, they have reduced the hours spent estimating and they have increased the estimating knowledge of the organisation through training and through sharing their recently captured information.

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