Return on Investment of DESTINI Estimator for Balfour Beatty Construction

In 2016, a leading global general contractor, Balfour Beatty Construction, discovered a need for a common construction estimating platform across their regional offices in the United States. With 12 different offices across the country, Balfour Beatty’s preconstruction teams were using 7 different takeoff tools and 4 different estimating tools. Some offices were using MC2, some WinEst, some were using Timberline Sage and all of them were using Excel—all estimating software that does not talk to each other or integrate.

Balfour Beatty recognized how inefficient its processes were in capturing cost history and wanted to position themselves to be able to access all their cost history from all offices and regions, so leadership set out to find a common construction estimating software they could implement enterprise wide.

The Company—Balfour Beatty

blue Balfour Beatty Construction logoAccording to Balfour Beatty’s website:

“Balfour Beatty is an industry-leading provider in the US of general contracting, at-risk construction management, and design-build services for public and private sector clients across the nation. Performing heavy civil and vertical construction, our teams build the unique structures and infrastructure that play an important role in how people live, work, learn and play in our communities. Consistently ranked among the nation’s largest building contractors, by Engineering News-Record, our US business is a subsidiary of London-based Balfour Beatty plc.”

Balfour Beatty primarily operates in the United States, U.K., and Hong Kong and has 26,000 employees around the world. Projects include NPR World Headquarters, Cabela’s, Wounded Warrior HQ, Hope & Care Facility, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dr. Pepper Ballpark and Arena, DFW International Airport, Ronald McDonald House, San Diego, MetLife Corporate Retail Headquarters, National Science Foundation Headquarters, and so much more.

The Problem

The vice president of preconstruction at Balfour Beatty said they were producing “multiple estimates in multiple platforms, summarized in multiple ways, some coded in multiple ways. It was very difficult and time-consuming to go through all of the different information and understand what we had, put it together, and use it in an efficient way to build cost models and benchmark other estimates against it.”

Balfour Beatty’s preconstruction leadership team met and performed an audit of all the tools they were using, developed the goals behind switching estimating platforms, and created a software evaluation team with a comprehensive scoring structure on what they needed in new software.

The Goals

Balfour Beatty wanted to:

  • Standardize its estimating and risk-management best practices
  • Create a common database
  • Make it easier to collect cost history
  • Facilitate a more efficient way to enter quantities and cost items
  • Maintain brand consistency
  • Provide internal and external clients a standardized reporting structure

The Solution

After performing software evaluations on all the available estimating tools, Balfour Beatty decided on Beck Technology’s DESTINI Estimator for their enterprise-wide preconstruction estimating software. Balfour says they came to this decision because “Estimator was more integrated, user-friendly, and efficient” than any of the other tools.

Phase I of implementation began in 2017 and included expressing to the teams the reasons why and the importance of the change, followed by establishing nationally standard WBS and sort codes, development of common reporting and analysis tools, creation of one master cost database and baseline assemblies, started divisional roll-out and established an administration plan.

Beck Technology helped Balfour develop the evaluation structure and customized the implementation and training plan.

During the summer of 2017, Phase II was rolled out to 90% of their regional offices—with subject matter experts being trained to assist in the deployment at each local office.  The relationship that Beck Technology has established with Balfour Beatty allows for communication of their specific needs, as well as future enhancements they would like to see in the software for releases in the coming year.

Return on Investment

After completing implementation, Balfour Beatty won a major project it had been pursuing by being able to show the client the data in DESTINI Estimator. The preconstruction teams increased their efficiency greatly by having a single integrated platform. Collaboration and communication between offices immediately improved, and they were able to capitalize on cost history, providing live feedback with internal and external clients.

Ray discusses how and why his firm switched to DESTINI Estimator construction estimating software, their process for the selection, implementation of the software, the challenges that were faced, lessons learned, and the return on investment in the webinar below.

To discuss how Beck Technology’s DESTINI Estimator can help you increase efficiency in your preconstruction process, prove your return on investment, help win projects, and increase communication and collaboration with owners, schedule a call with us.




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