Diversakore Drives Fast, Accurate Estimates with QuickBase
- Needed to track and manage complex estimation data
- Spreadsheets unable to optimize data insights and opportunities
- Needed to collaborate and share information with external stakeholders
- Estimation app built with QuickBase
- Automatic calculation of cost basis and value engineering data
- Customized summary reports deliver specific information to each stakeholder
- Cloud-based system simplifies project collaboration across devices and browsers
- Time to generate project estimates reduced by 50%
- More time for staff to perform data review and interpretation
- Greater competitive advantage with improved value calculation data
Founded in 1996, Diversakore is a construction-industry supply company that has built a solid reputation for providing expertise in structural framing systems that enhance building performance. The company's patented VERSA:T Composite Framing System combines the speed of building with steel with the strength of concrete to help builders reduce the cost and time associated with their commercial construction — typically by 10% to 15%.
But as demand for their technology increased, so did the number of estimates Diversakore had to prepare for contractors seeking structural framing bids. It's a complex task that involves a lot of data related to project plans and specifications, plus complicated formulas to calculate steel and concrete material and labor costs.
The company was using spreadsheets to manage estimates, but was unable to compare estimates against historical data because of the limited nature of spreadsheets.
"Our estimation data has a lot of interdependent relationships with other information [on the job] — so we needed to be able to parse all that data in a way that was relevant to many different stakeholders, job by job, step by step," says Marc Rahimzadeh, President and CEO of Diversakore.
Simple Summaries. Instant Value.
To improve the estimation process, Rahimzadeh turned to QuickBase. The Diversakore estimation app the company built on QuickBase automates estimation tasks and enables the company to identify new opportunities for value engineering.
Now, Diversakore is able to manage and track all information related to estimates, and provide summary reports to stakeholders — including architects, engineers, designers, owners, and general contractors.
"There's probably about eight different trades that, on any given project, need various pieces of information from us, all the way from project estimating and budgeting right through to execution," says Rahimzadeh.
Because all relevant data now lives in one QuickBase app, Diversakore can drive even better results to its customers. Rahimzadeh can analyze not only the benefits of using Diversakore’s framing systems versus traditional methods, but also how much value those systems add to other areas of the project.
For example, using Diversakore systems might save 6 inches in building height per floor, which can lead to dramatic cost savings in the amount of materials needed for the outside of the building.
"Having an estimating tool with calculations built in lets our team show how we're saving money in other parts of the building — if another part of the project is over budget, we can show total estimated savings with our product," says Rahimzadeh.
Within QuickBase, Rahimzadeh can pare down thousands of data fields into fifty or seventy-five fields per stakeholder or activity — and break each process up into discreet activities with a few keystrokes, something that would have been nearly impossible to do accurately with spreadsheets.
More Insight. Less Work.
With Diversakore's estimation app, the laborious task of creating estimates, which used to consume valuable staff time each day, has been cut in half, giving staff more time to review and interpret the data.
Cost estimating has been improved, now that summary reports to stakeholders can show complete details of the cost basis for the structural framing material and labor costs — reducing a lot of back-and-forth communications typically required to capture the data.
"When you're sifting through a thousand different iterations on a design, having the ability to track, aggregate, and start to draw patterns and trends across that big data pool helps us better understand what we did, why we did it, and what we should do moving forward," says Rahimzadeh.
And competitive advantage is improved, now that Diversakore can make correlations between estimation data and project specifications to show dollar-value savings, structural benefits in other areas of the construction project, and net-cost savings to the customer.
"Ours is an engineering system, so it's very complicated. We needed a tool set that would drive us through a structured process and simplify the input level, and QuickBase gave us that."