Are you looking to discover the secrets of success in the competitive world of estimating?
Meet Craig, Contracts Director at Dextra Group, who knows that in order to stay ahead of the game, speed and accuracy are key, and he’s found the perfect solution - automated estimating.
Join us as we chat with Craig to learn how automated estimating has revolutionised his team’s efficiency, reduced errors, and allowed them to deliver lightning-fast results!
About Dextra Group
Located in Gillingham, Dorset, Dextra Group is a renowned leader in the UK’s commercial lighting manufacturing industry. Established in 1978 by Rupert Martin, the current owner, the company boasts a workforce of over 550 skilled professionals nationwide and achieved a remarkable turnover of £80 million in the last year.
The company has three selling subsidiaries, Dextra Lighting, Dexeco, and Dexretail, and is a major player in the retail sector. Its impressive portfolio includes collaborations with the largest supermarkets in the UK, as well as some of the most well-known clothing brands in the UK and Europe.
Putting Countfire to work
The team at Dextra originally did their Takeoffs manually, often with two people counting at any one time, but even this would leave room for doubt. Craig recalls spending time with his niece one evening where he light-heartedly asked her to check his numbers, only for her to discover he had made a mistake. “That was embarrassing!”, he laughs. .
Determined to improve accuracy and speed up the estimating process, he began searching for alternative solutions. That’s when he heard about Countfire from an employee who had used it with great success at a previous company.
Craig set up the free trial and immediately saw the benefits it would have to his and his teams’ workflow.
“I did about two jobs in Countfire during the trial period and it was like, wow! This is going to change the way we work. I fed back to the company and said we really need this. Now, it’s instrumental in what we do.”
Speeding up the estimating process
Ultimately, Craig finds the speed of Countfire makes the biggest difference to his workflow and makes the handling of multiple large projects a breeze. “I can count three or four multi-floor retailers in a day now, whereas an estimator who does manual counting might only get one of those done a day.”
He recalls an example six years ago when the team needed to deliver 80 stores in nine weeks. “There is not a chance in the world that we would’ve been able to count all those drawings manually. It would have taken at least an hour or two for each person, whereas with Countfire we can do it in 10 minutes and it only takes one of us.”
“I reckon if we were counting up to 10 drawings a week previously as a team, I'd say we can now easily get 40 completed in a week in Countfire with only 4 estimators - that’s a huge difference for us.”
Countfire has proven to be revolutionary for Craig, not only for its speed but also for its exceptional level of accuracy. Craig says he now has peace of mind that if there’s ever a query about his final count, he can easily double-check his numbers and quickly demonstrate how Countfire has picked up obscured symbols that might have otherwise been missed during a manual count.
“The accuracy and the speed of the software is an absolute game-changer for me.”
Craig also gives a special mention to the support team, which is made up entirely of former-estimators. “The support you get from the product specialists is second to none. They respond quickly to any query you might have - that side of Countfire is unrivalled. On the odd occasion when they take maybe three minutes to respond, I’m wondering if something’s wrong!”
Craig’s advice to other estimators? “If you are manually counting projects regularly, Countfire will absolutely benefit you because it's so much quicker and far more accurate. Even if we had two people counting the same drawing, it's not as accurate as Countfire.”
Craig considers himself to be an “absolute advocate of Countfire” and if he ever moved on from his role at Dextra Group, he says he would make sure he “takes it with him” as that’s how much he values it.
Although he recognises some estimators may be initially hesitant to use automation for their takeoffs, he strongly encourages giving it a chance by doing a trial and seeing the software in action. In fact, Craig is such a strong believer in Countfire that he admits, “I now don't trust anything on a drawing if it hasn't been counted through Countfire first.”
To see how Countfire can speed up your workflow, trial it today.