Our company formed a committee investigating several estimating software options available to us. We developed an extensive list of over 100 criteria demonstrating various software capabilities to support our evaluation and decision-making process. The four most important criteria that rose to the top during our evaluation process were:
a. A software platform enabling collaboration across several cities and remote locations
b. A software platform to encourage standardization and risk management to mitigate errors
c. Consolidating 2D take-off, 3D take-off, and workbook into one software
d. Ease of adoption to our team through software interface and functionality.
CostX provided the best results overall but specifically with these criteria.
Very early on, we decided to utilize a virtual environment to allow easy access remotely, efficient hardware & software upgrade capability, data back-up security, and to drive less demand on localized computer requirements. This environment also proved to allow for a seamless installation process with the support of our IT and Exactal’s technical experts.
Implementation of CostX for the Ohio Region was designed as a year-long transition to allow our teams to work through legacy projects and client-specific requirements. Our 4 offices with over 30 estimators are now fully engaged and utilizing CostX as our primary tool for estimating. Nationally, we are in the process of introducing and transitioning multiple regions to CostX. Exactal has provided tremendous support for software access, operational implementation, and technical training.
We have developed a process internally with our CostX Implementation Team to beta test each CostX update in our system before rolling out to the rest of the national users. The virtual environment provides for easy upgrades – one location, one machine, and complete overnight to hundreds of users. To date, we have had no issues with CostX update implementation.
As a manager who reviews the quality of estimating content, specific CostX software capabilities allow for easy review. As an example, CostX enables targeting of specific values through automated linking from take-off to drawing to provide clarity of take-off locations and intent. Furthermore, the collaboration capability enables for remote locations and multiple users to review an estimate simultaneously. We are still working through the roll-out of CostX nationwide to several hundred users, so we are focused on implementation, training, and adoption for now.