Many businesses in the estimating industry have started to leverage automation to improve efficiency, accuracy and, ultimately, profitability. In today’s modern landscape, it’s crucial to adopt tools that can help you work smarter, not harder.
Kyle, Managing Director at Safezone Electrical, recently caught up with us to discuss why he made the decision to switch to automation. During our conversation, we explored how Countfire’s end-to-end estimating solution has proven to be an invaluable asset to his business.
About Safezone Electrical
Safezone Electrical was set up by Kyle and his friend Jason over 8 years ago after they both made the decision to leave the company where they worked together; “we left our jobs with a month’s wages, and a couple of bags of tools between us. That’s how Safezone came about.”
The company is based in Ealing and covers London, Dorset, and Hampshire, providing a range of electrical services from high end residential and commercial installations to maintenance and upgrades.
Kyle proudly defines the company as a “small outfit with a team of 5, but capable of some fair-sized jobs.” One project he is particularly delighted to have been a part of is the installation of new accessible lifts at Wembley Stadium. “It had its challenges, not least because it was done right in the middle of the pandemic, but it was a great feeling when we finally finished it and got it all buttoned up. To say we worked on a project in Wembley Stadium – that’s a real accomplishment for our company.”
Switching to automated estimating
Kyle, who describes himself as “the estimating department” while also fulfilling multiple roles as the company’s Managing Director, recognised the importance of finding an end-to-end automated estimating solution that could help him work more efficiently and ensure the future success of the business.
After being recommended Countfire by a fellow estimator, Kyle gave it a try and was surprised to find that, despite being a self-confessed ‘technophobe’, he quickly adapted to the software. Seeing first-hand how automation can help streamline the estimating process, he says he knew he "couldn’t go back to the old way of working.”
Kyle admitted he briefly switched to another estimating platform due to being offered a “really good deal”, but found that it did not meet his expectations and, specifically, felt the “takeoff side was leagues behind anything that Countfire could do.” Due to this, Kyle soon moved back to Countfire which had recently expanded its offering to include Estimate.
Completing estimates, all in one place
For Kyle, having a tool which enabled him to complete his estimates in one place was a big plus point when it came to settling on an estimating software.
Countfire was “perfect”, Kyle says, as it enabled him to go straight from completing a takeoff to producing client-ready Excel quotes. He explains “the Estimate side of the software really helps speed the process up as I have everything I need to create entire reports. It auto-links items that I use regularly and it’s easy to chop and change things if needed.”
“I’m no longer spending time sitting there, looking through my previous projects, and thinking ‘how much did I charge for this last time?’ It’s already there, pre-populated in the app. The more you use it the better it gets as it learns how you work. Much simpler than using a spreadsheet for estimates.”
“Countfire cuts my time considerably” says Kyle. “Previously, a takeoff might have taken me around three or four hours, and I’d be struggling with oversized drawings, counting with coloured pens and then transferring all that data into my estimate spreadsheets.”
Now with Countfire, Kyle says he can complete entire estimates in just a quarter of the time. “It’s massively time-saving and, not to mention, accurate. The software does exactly what’s promised and makes the whole process simple.”
Kyle is extremely happy with his decision to switch to automated estimating, and he says he would “hands down 100% recommend Countfire to anybody that does electrical or mechanical estimating.”
For big and small companies alike, Kyle believes that having Countfire as your end-to-end estimating solution will be invaluable, and he’s recommending it to every estimator he knows in the business. In his own words, “I suggested it to a friend of mine recently and now he’s hooked!”
Overall, Kyle says he’s happy with every aspect of Countfire; from accuracy and speed to its time-saving capabilities. “Once you’ve tried Countfire, you won’t want to ever be without it.”
Start your free 14-day trial and see how Countfire can help you complete estimates faster, without the busy work.