Regardless of the job, the best-laid plans are only as good as the measurements used to make them. This is where creating an accurate Quantity Take-off (QTO) comes into play. As an integral part of the cost estimation process, QTO enables estimators to simplify a large project by splitting it up into smaller, more manageable sections in greater detail. Keep reading to unpack the crucial features to creating better quantity take-offs.
Choosing an estimation software solution with the right features is invaluable to the process. Beginning with data collected from design blueprints and notes, an accurate QTO becomes a living document constantly updated to reflect the changing situation on a project and the client’s needs. Thanks to estimation software, estimators can create up-to-the-minute measurements of the materials and labour required to complete a construction project. This allows for better risk management, increased productivity and the creation of attractive tenders.
To help you decide on the best solution, here are five features crucial to creating better QTOs:
- Auditable links Information sharing is central to ensuring everyone on a project is working from the same data pool. With a fully auditable link from Candy and Candy QTO to your Bill of Quantity (BOQ), users can transfer measured quantities from the QTO to create or update a Candy BOQ for pricing or progress claims.
- Take Off Templates The most efficient way to maintain accurate measurements on a job is to make use of templates to standardise and streamline your processes. This is especially useful for quantities that require routine updating. Fully customisable to include variables, formulae, and BOQ items like those used in the Take-off Sheet, templates can be created to track all these items in real-time.
- Quantity tracking Quantities can be separated into the various stages of the contract by splitting their measured amounts into Bill, Final, Claimed and Actual Quantities. By comparing these amounts at the end of the project lifecycle, you’ll have a greater understanding of the difference between projected versus actual costing and can better plan for future tenders, increasing the likelihood of winning them.
- Document support Time spent waiting for documents to open is time wasted. The estimating software you use must allow for speedy access to drawings and blueprints with minimal memory usage regardless of the user’s computer hardware. This, in addition to having a user-friendly interface, allows the QTO’s PDF Viewer to facilitate the taking of accurate measurements.
- Comparison tool Seeing is believing, which is why having an image comparison tool is so important. By allowing two drawings to be overlaid for easy comparison, changes can be identified immediately and are easier to track.While plans will change across a project’s lifecycle, your ability to track information in real-time is only as good as your software solution and its features. As an estimator, having the best tools available improves your ability to generate the most accurate Quantity Take-off, and in so doing, the best possible estimation for your tender application.
Thanks to our writers: Tony Cornwall; Rafeeq Emandien