My Favourite CostX® Feature: Report Writer
Each month we will ask a Product Specialist at Exactal what their favourite feature of CostX is, and how it can be used. This month, we are speaking to our Malaysian Product Specialist Andy Ang.
When I recall back to the time that I studying Quantity Surveying, the subject which was most time consuming was measurement. The test for measurement, which only required takeoff of all ground floor beams for a bungalow, would take up to 4 hours. That time I always thought that, if there is software that can help us to do takeoff by a couple of clicks of a button, that will save a lot of my time.
After graduating and starting to practice as QS in construction industry, I found out that still takeoff is very time consuming, but with some formulas using Excel you can expedite the process. The new challenge then shifted from takeoff to preparing Bills of Quantities. The content of the Bills of Quantities we could just copy and paste from an old file, but when come to printing out the Bills of Quantities, it takes from few hours to a whole day just to amend the pages’ alignment, item code, headers, footers and page break.
Hence, my favourite CostX feature would be the standard report writer. We just need to key in our information in the Bills of Quantities, and CostX has the ability to generate the report nicely and neatly automatically. It’s very easy to use- just generate a report with the click of a button. It saves the time where you used to be keying in the item code page by page and filtering I & O manually, and you are not required to identify which line to input the page break in either. Sometimes when there was a minor change in description which affected the page break, we needed to redo all the page breaks in Excel. This will never happen in CostX; CostX auto-generates the page breaks and aligns the content. Other than that, when using Excel, if the number is large, some figures might be missing or hiding when we print it out. CostX always wraps text, so no figures will be hiding when we print out the Bills of Quantities using CostX.
Most of our users might think that CostX saves time in taking off, but as a complete solution, CostX is able to assist Quantity Surveyors to reduce the time to prepare complete Bills of Quantities at the moment drawings are received from designers. From electronic take off, live linked quantities, live linked rate, to printing out the report. For me, the report writer is the feature that Quantity Surveyors cannot live without.