Furniture Consulting AB’s project list is impressive both in terms of its customers and its geographic spread. Major customers include IKEA, Fastec, Ikano and LKAB. Over the past 15 years, the company has constructed many of IKEA’s new buildings on sites all around the world. These have often been big projects with complex procurement challenges and Furniture Consulting’s work on these has won them IKEA’s trust.
Jörgen Åslin, one of Furniture Consulting’s tender engineers, says: “We have established a good working relationship with IKEA and were fortunate enough to collaborate with them whilst they established their presence in Thailand. Following this project, we were subsequently asked to build Wine Connect’s latest warehouse. Wine Connect are the leading wine company in Thailand.”
Bidcon reduces risk and improves efficiency and productivity
Of the company’s 80 employees, five work with costings and bids. It only took Jörgen a few months of test driving Bidcon to be convinced that it was the right costing and estimating solution for the company:
“Speed and reliability are the two most important things in my business. I must be able to quickly get hold of the right numbers within my cost plans and rely on their accuracy. This is something that I feel I can do with Bidcon.”
Bidcon’s interface with folders, finished building component types, and the connection to a product database that is continuously updated, makes it possible for Jörgen to construct an estimated budget with ease and work on the detail as required. He says:
“It’s so fast! It’s hard to work out exactly how much time we are saving as each job is different, but overall we save a huge amount of time. Bidcon provides us with the security of knowing that everything is taken into account and nothing is falling between the cracks. This is especially critical during the project when you have to alter the cost plans in several different places, but I know that Bidcon ensures that nothing goes amiss. I can always alter some details later. Even if I have finished price lists, I might get a product for a cheaper price elsewhere and adjust it within the program. It’s not possible to automate everything though. It takes experience to know when alterations and additions etc. should be made. For example, say you are going to calculate the cost of a roof, I might know at the start of the project that mechanical and electrical modules should be added which will mean more adjustments and more hours spent. However, with Bidcon, when I alter those bills, I can save that as a custom item and use it the next time we are doing a similar job.”
Over time, Furniture Consulting has established its own database with costing spreadsheets that are tailored for its customers and way of working. The dynamic connection to the industry database and the price lists ensures that the cost plans are always upto-date. As Jörgen says:
“The customer does not notice any difference. They get an accurate offer and we save time and avoid any mistakes in the cost plans which generates more profit for the company.”
To start working with a new program, or in a new way, does involve a start-up period. In Jörgen’s case this lasted about three weeks. He says:
“The Elecosoft support team was great. You can call as many times you want and no question is too stupid, so it worked out really well. Even now, I am discovering new functionality. You constantly find new ways to work smarter if you let Bidcon do the job. For example, you can present an offer after the cost plans are done and then send the order directly from the programme. It’s seamless”.
Bidcon’s compatibility with other Elecosoft software is something else that Jörgen appreciates:
“We are using Powerproject to plan labour input in the next phase of the project and I can import all the data from Bidcon into Powerproject – avoiding having to put it all in again and with the bonus that that I know that all the information is correct. It’s a very, very smooth process.”
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