The Capabilities of CostX: the Benefits of New Software

Sam McEvoy
Delving in to why we aren’t using modern software properly and obtaining the full benefits, and asking how we can counteract this.

New technologies, and the associated software that comes along with them, are prominent in our day and age. They are everywhere: in our phones, our watches, our cars, even changing the way you order your morning coffee, and software plays a part. It’s in every aspect of our lives whether we recognise it or not – and with good reason.

Software works hand in hand with simplicity. Long, drawn out tasks become manageable and infinitely easier. Organisational tasks can become automated and no longer a challenge of the memory. Need a reminder to pick up a one-off gift purchase? In mere seconds you can have an alert set up on your phone to activate and remind you the next time you step into the supermarket, thanks to the help of your built-in phone assistant. Short on time on the way to work and can’t fit in your morning coffee order? Simply open an app, place your order ahead of time and skip the queue. These technologies can streamline our lives and make things easier with small effort. Most people have access to such efficiencies however, many do not use them, despite the inarguable personal gain.

The same can be applied to our workplace, or more accurately, our work habits. We, as people, get set in our own ways. We create our own habits, and that can be where the problem often lies. We like what we know and what we are comfortable with, even if there is an obvious alternative. In our workplaces we all use software to carry out our jobs yet, we aren’t always using it to its full capability, which is a missed opportunity given that many construction professionals use software for several hours a day, five days a week. A good example of this is CostX, a new cost estimating solution we have recently adopted at Faithful+Gould.

A good example of this is CostX, a new cost estimating solution we have recently adopted at Faithful+Gould.

CostX is essentially an all-in-one streamlined software for Quantity Surveyors. It measures, it costs, and it ties the two of them together with ease and automation. For example, normally, if you had to revise a project cost estimate because the design had changed significantly and the drawings had been revised, you’d be forced to remeasure the project from scratch. This process could take anywhere from one week upwards, particularly for the larger and more complex projects. Using CostX could save you up to 80% of that time in some cases. CostX can compare old and new drawings, recognise exactly where they have changed, and combine that with your measurements to notify you which ones need reviewing. Even the reviewing process is simple. You get a clear warning symbol next to each measure that needs review, you click it, you adjust the measure and you approve it. You simply repeat this for each item until you hit the end of the list. As CostX live-links your measurements with the cost plan (i.e. if you update a measure to increase a floor finish, it automatically updates that quantity in your cost plan), hitting the end of that list results in the updated cost estimate. The software provides the ease, the speed, and the efficiency.

Software isn’t the absolute however, as there is another equally important part of the equation - the user. The functionality, the ease, the speed and the efficiency that CostX provides can only be used to maximum effect if the user knows how to operate the software, understands its capabilities and harnesses them. CostX can be automated and efficient, but it is reliant on the user operating it that way. Transitioning to any new piece of software, it is easy to revert to familiar manual methods because of the unfamiliarity of new methods. It is important to recognise that this is exactly what ingrains the inefficiencies that we encounter when using new software and technologies, which can often trigger a domino effect as bad habits are taught to others and carried forwards.

Software can make an astounding difference and it really is worth the extra time it takes to become savvy with whatever software you are using on a regular basis. Ask yourself - are you using your software to its full capability? Explore its depths and challenge yourself to grow your skillset. After all, the future is now. And the future is software. There’s no bad time spent in futureproofing.

With the rate that technology is evolving and being integrated, futureproofing can be an ongoing challenge and one that Faithful+Gould actively addresses. Here at Faithful+Gould there is access to online videos and courses that help train and develop the skillsets needed to operate numerous platforms at an advanced level. These videos and courses are supplemented by a network of Super-Users across offices, dedicated user training sessions and the communities of practice that are on hand through Yammer and SharePoint. Faithful+Gould provides masses of support when it comes to development, and our clients experience the benefits first-hand.

As one of the world’s largest project and cost consultants, Faithful+Gould is striving to be at the forefront of innovation. Faithful+Gould is constantly developing its in-house, worldwide technical data repository called “Insight”. This system is built not only to hold technical data from our projects, but to offer desktop analytics and reports for benchmarking, trend analysis, business intelligence and more. This pioneering approach puts us ahead of our competitors thanks to the capability of our in-house software developers.

As a CostX London and South East Super-User, I can assure you that your projects are in good hands at Faithful+Gould. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you with your next project.

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