Life & Times of Construction Cost Estimating

Life & Times of Construction Cost Estimating
Modern technology has revolutionized construction industry not just on the field; it has been reaping benefits through increasing speed of information flow, enhancing the efficiency & effectiveness of information communication & information transfer.
Once in every short while, a new invention comes along that changes the way construction industry does things, once & for all. Years ago in the construction industry, two such products were pre-fabricated units & automated brick laying machines. These saved so much time and money when introduced, but are now taken for granted. Similarly, technology has provided a new lease of life to the way how estimates are done.
Today, estimating technologies used by contractors vary significantly from contractor to contractor. Some still use simple tools such as paper and pencil, while others are more technologically advanced and use computers for activities such as quantity take off, calculations, and estimating report generation. With database technology (cloud storage etc.) being here to stay, it is conveniently possible to organize & rapidly retrieve a large amount of up-to-date data from remote sources paving the way for outsourcing these jobs.
As the scale & scope of building structures around the world has been evolving, it has become easier to assess the monetary aspects of the construction with the help of latest programmes dedicated exclusively for different construction processes, such as the estimating tools for quantity mark-up & assessment. Detailed cost estimating continues to be a cumbersome process that involves a lot of data and calculations.
Ironically, a considerable proportion of industry professionals opt out of using these advanced alternatives, as it doesn’t suit their collective needs & they are reluctant to invest in software designed for specific use. There appears to be a dearth of strategic insights often resulting from poor technological literacy & an inability to understand its potential. Lack of guidance in enhancing usage of the software has an adverse impact on the way the importance of estimating software from the is perceived, from the business point of view.

Although, construction industry can be one of the most vulnerable industries that witnesses crashing markets, inflated service costs & much more; in spite of that, estimating is inevitably required to be efficient and thus it makes all the more sense for professionals to outsource construction estimating so they can supplement their estimating and pre-construction department with savvy alternatives, in the meanwhile pursuing more business, as sustaining the market continues to be an everyday challenge.

In addition, the global economic competition trend has attained momentum in the construction industry, as clients expect better service and project that meet their requirements more closely. In such a scenario, the establishment of framework to further improve the turnaround time & commercials for every project handled, becomes imperative. Software proficiency encounters the construction industry’s reputation for delayed deliveries.

With more collaborative and collective setups like third party services, the costs can be reduced due to eliminated rework and faster delivery of projects, and as a result, a way to have early design modifications in the models during initial stages. When all these benefits are achieved at affordable limits within defined time-frames, budding professionals & businesses are all set to aim for a better place in the global construction industry.
As cited in “The effect of construction cost estimating (CCE) software on job performance: An improvement plan”, [1] as an observation of a research activity for the thesis composed by M.F. Mohd Mukelas, E.M. Ahmad Zawawi, Z. Alias, K. Mohd. Sukur (Department of Building, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, University Technology MARA (UiTM) Malaysia), it was found that the construction cost estimating (CCE) performance of industry professionals was found to be impacted by the use of automation in doing cost estimating activities. The two variables were statistically tested and latter was revealed to have a significant effect on the former variable in a positive manner.