Manual takeoff and estimating can often mean long hours and racing against time to complete projects. This is why more businesses are turning to automated estimating software to help them work faster with more accuracy.
Here we speak to project coordinator, Josh Thurman, at CBMC Lighting Solutions to find out how Countfire’s speed, accuracy, and in-house expertise takes the stress out of completing estimates.
About CBMC Lighting Solutions and finding Countfire
CBMC Lighting Solutions, based in Indianapolis USA, was founded in 1994 with the goal of providing complete lighting solutions, from design through to installation.
They have 25 employees across the United States including a team of salespeople, project managers and coordinators specialising in lighting design, interior and exterior lighting, high-end retail lighting, and energy management.
The team at CBMC Lighting Solutions are always on the lookout for innovative ways to cut busy work and find smarter solutions to help complete their projects. They previously used estimating software Stack and Planswift to carry out their takeoffs, but found these platforms didn’t quite cut it when it came to speed and functionality. That’s when they came across Countfire.
After a successful trial period, Countfire was implemented across the entire company and the project team soon saw the benefits of true, automated estimating.
Josh believes that since the company started using Countfire, it has had a positive impact on the team in terms of stress reduction and time management.
“Before Countfire, if I had three jobs due on the same day, I would plan to be at work for 10 to 12 hours, but now it’s so much better. I could have five jobs to do the same day and I know I'm going to be able to get it done in time.”
“Our stress-levels have definitely improved across the board. When we were using our previous software, I’d often find myself getting closer to the deadline. Whereas with the extra speed of Countfire, I consistently get my projects to my salesperson ahead of time, usually a whole day, if not two days, ahead of our schedule.”
Josh says that “Countfire shines in its ability to quickly recognise symbols and count multiple items at the same time across multiple drawings, rather than just the drawing being worked on. This is another reason why we prefer it to our previous software, which didn’t have that ability.”
“Even saving an extra 15 minutes per project is helpful as I do anywhere from eight to 12 projects a week. This means that 15 minutes per project would save me at least a couple of hours a week. If you multiply that across 10 of our people doing takeoffs - it's a huge saving which increases our efficiency extremely well.”
Josh also notes that not only has Countfire been helpful in terms of time-management but also for peace of mind. “Countfire will find symbols that I might overlook. If we miss a symbol here and there that means we may lose a couple of thousand dollars on the project. Countfire is able to pick up on these small details and increase the accuracy of our work.”
World-class training and support
Countfire has an in-house team of product specialists and Josh says the training and assistance provided is “world-class” and enables his team to truly understand the capability of the software.
“Rebecca (product specialist at Countfire) has been there every time I've ever needed to ask a question. I recently had my third training session with her and she's still completely open to doing more with us if we feel we need it. The support is better than I've ever seen with any other software.”
Whilst Josh finds the chat function in the app a helpful feature, he said he rarely has to use it as “Rebecca did two one-on-one training sessions where she taught me pretty much everything I needed to know.”
Josh knows there are still some estimators in the industry who prefer the traditional style of takeoff, but he believes that once they trial Countfire for themselves they’ll soon be won over by modern methods.
“Countfire is incredible software and I don't know why more estimators aren’t using it yet. For someone like me doing the projects that we do, it no doubt increases our accuracy. It has definitely saved my butt a couple of times! Countfire is so much more precise and streamlined than manual counting and every other software we’ve tried.”
To get your free trial of Countfire, sign up today.