Excellence in Estimating and Project Management
Build Health International’s business platform is based on improving the quality and quantity of healthcare systems across the world, with a specific focus on underdeveloped communities. They approach each compassionate project with the principles of integrative design, local workforce inclusion, energy efficiency, and sustainability.
For any organization operating within regions of less economic development and infrastructure, there are business, operational, and process-level challenges to navigate. Build Health International has developed excellent operating standards centered around project management and estimating that help them navigate the complexity of their projects.
Estimating and Project Management Vital for Business Success
Fatlum Troshani is a project engineer with Build Health International. His division coordinates and plans the projects for all geographies that Build Health International serves.
Fatlum is an excellent source to gain insight into the core competencies of estimating and project management that Build Health uses to conduct its vitally important health outreach projects. We took the time to ask him some questions about Build Health International and believe that his answers are a great viewpoint into smart business practices.
Q: Can you explain the role that estimating and project management have in your business?
Estimating and project management are at the core of the planning and execution process for every project that Build Health International undertakes. Resources are very limited in the places and partners that we work with. A proper estimate serves a vitally important role by helping our company and our partners make the best prediction of the possible cost of a project at the time of execution. Our firm is unique in our propensity to operate in regions of economic emergence and resource scarcity, and so our ability to consider all of the environmental variables for a project estimate is absolutely decisive.
Cost estimating is a continuous process at Build Health International, we treat our estimates as living documents and they are a core input into our project management plans. Each iteration of estimating that our planners conduct provides more detail and a more accurate prediction as the project continues to develop.
Growing Organizations Cannot Run on Spreadsheets
Q: Can you describe Build Health International’s historic methods for estimating and project planning?
Originally, Build Health International utilized in-house spreadsheets to conduct project estimates on every project that we undertook. These spreadsheets rolled up quantities and costs of materials needed to complete each project. Spreadsheets were created by project engineers on every project, and as you can imagine, over time versions of spreadsheets and estimating tools diverged.
The main challenge that led Build Health International to look for a new solution was the lack of estimating standards and consistency that persisted across the business.
Once Build Health International started to gain global traction and our projects grew in scope and complexity, the leadership team realized there was a technological need across the business for a better estimating and project management method. The main challenge that led Build Health International to look for a new solution was the lack of estimating standards and consistency that persisted across the business.
Sigma Improves and Standardizes Estimating and Cost Tracking
Q: Why did Build Health International choose Sigma for its business?
To help improve and standardize our estimating process, we researched a few software estimating tools available on the market. After conducting an online demonstration with the Sigma team, we decided to test their software for one of our current projects at the time. The software worked well with our business needs, and it really helped us respond to the irregularities in material costs and construction methods that we experience in all the different regions that we operate in.
The full implementation process of the estimating software into our business took four to six months, but once integrated we were able to operate with a common template across all our projects. This has surprisingly helped our non-engineering departments in ways that we did not at first anticipate. Our finance team has been able to streamline and standardize their operations because now every project team in the business utilizes the same estimate format. This provides them with standardized cost tracking data during the implementation of projects. Our higher corporate strategists also have a better input to compare business plans during project selection and strategy planning.
Across the Business Multiple Teams Now Work Together, Ensuring Low Cost and High-Quality
Q: How has Build Health International improved its business processes over time?
The template that our firm created through Sigma is used to develop project estimates across every area of the business. As a living document, our digital estimate is passed throughout multiple teams and iteratively updated as more information about the project becomes available. Raw data and numbers are typically still passed around the business in Excel spreadsheets, however once finalized they are all uploaded into our master Sigma estimate.
Overall, we have significantly improved over the years in our consistency through the estimating and budgeting process of our projects. Build Health International was created in response to the devastation caused by the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti. We pride ourselves as an organization that addresses the critical need for design and construction expertise in building high-quality, low cost infrastructure in resource-constrained settings. In order to accomplish our goal of bringing low cost and high-quality projects to reality, we have to be specifically deliberate during the estimating process.
Better Estimating and Project Management Support Future Growth
We have grown in our abilities over time, and technology has certainly been part of that growth. We now have the capability to source the lowest cost, yet best quality materials for our projects and integrate them into our design during the construction take-off process.
We now have the capability to source the lowest cost, yet best quality materials for our projects and integrate them into our design during the construction take-off process.
Another important aspect of our project planning is the labor force that we empower to construct the projects. Whenever possible, Build Health International uses local solutions and local talent to build its projects. The differences in construction and labor practices across the many countries that we work in can be stark, but we have the capability to implement these considerations into our planning process.
About Build Health International
Build Health International (BHI), a design build company in healthcare and one of the leading global forces for health infrastructure development, design, and construction in emerging regions of the world has selected Sigma Estimates for their estimating and project execution.