The Seamless Estimating Workflow from Trimble Buildings

In the past, construction firms might spend days or weeks setting up budgets in their project management systems, copying over estimate line items, and then updating the work with each revision.  Now the team at Trimble Buildings has turned that workflow on its ear by reducing the time from days and weeks to just seconds.  In fact, the new estimating lifecycle includes creating feasibility budgets in Modelogix based off of completed project actuals in Prolog; creating detailed estimates in WinEst from the conceptual estimates in Modelogix; creating project budgets in Prolog from detailed estimates in WinEst; and closing out the project with actuals in Prolog and sending the data back to Modelogix for even more precise courtesy estimates for Owners.  The workflow is called a closed loop because the system feeds itself with new data, making each new estimate more and more precise with actual numbers from completed projects.


If your preconstruction and operations teams want to hone their work for better results -- this is the new estimating lifecycle for your firm.  No more manually entering budgets into your project management system; repurpose actuals in order to benchmark new detailed estimates; quickly respond to courtesy estimates; carry your conceptual estimate forward as the starting point for the final estimate.  It all flows seamlessly between WinEst, Prolog, and Modelogix -- three solutions from Trimble Buildings working together to improve your productivity. 



WinEst is a very powerful construction estimating solution, in part because it is so flexible.  For example, the new Prolog DataLink feature allows the Estimator to either pull an existing Prolog budget structure into a new estimate in WinEst -- or -- push a WinEst estimate into Prolog.  The key here is that the Prolog budget codes are mapped to the appropriate Work Breakdown Structures so that items like the Phase, Division, CSI code, scope, extension, category, description, etc. all match the appropriate WBS.  Now the data flow is seamless and there is no additional data entry and no opportunity for typing mistakes. 



Prolog is the industry standard for construction project management.  One key reason is that best practices are built into 45 different construction workflows, from cost controls (like contracts, purchase orders, budgets, forecasts, cashflow) to document control (like RFIs, submittals, and communications) to field administration.  One of the best practices that is built into Prolog is pulling over detailed estimates from WinEst to populate the project budget.  Now data entry is eliminated and the operations team can get to work on the fun stuff: getting the building out of the ground.  And now, when all actuals are collected and the project is wrapped up, the closed project is seamlessly transferred to Modelogix so it can continue to inform new courtesy estimates and feasibility budgets. 



Construction Estimators can quickly examine past project cost histories in Modelogix and use the detailed information to put together new feasibility budgets, new courtesy estimates, new conceptual estimates when an Owner calls with a new project.  Pulling in completed projects with actuals from Prolog for use in Modelogix is now automated with the closed loop integration from Trimble Buildings.  In order to make it easier to search and compare tens if not hundreds of similar construction projects, the Estimators needs to apply Smart Categories, or project attributes, to each completed project -- items like project type, square footage, construction type, number of floors, etc.  And these Smart Categories are 100% customizable so imagine all the cool classifications you could create.  The Estimator can also apply an inflationary index to older projects, as well as a location factor to smooth geography dynamics out of pricing.  The original estimate has come full circle and all the effort and hard work that went into creating it can now influence the next estimate with greater precision and accuracy. 



Trimble Buildings is committed to providing more unique workflows for the construction industry.  With our extensive portfolio of solutions for GCs and CMs, we have the opportunity to bring many more best practices and integrations to the industry. 


Learn about other construction workflows unique to Trimble Buildings:

Webinar: Better Quantity Takeoffs from Tekla Models in Vico Office

Webinar: The New Estimating Lifecycle (Modelogix, WinEst, Prolog)