Estimating Tool – Transport & logistics

Core Consulting Group (CCG) were engaged by one of Asia/Pacific’s leading provider of integrated transport and logistics.  With annual revenues over AU$8.2 billion and an extensive network of over 1,200 sites in 55 countries their Portfolio of projects was quite large.  The project portfolio covered transport and infrastructure assets including road fleets, warehousing, ships, air freight capacity, ports and rail rolling stock plus their back office finance, IT and management.

CCG had been previously engaged to assist with the implementation of Bijingo as their (Enterprise Project Management) EPM system.  The implementation included some advice and training around project planning and controls.  In this case CCG was asked to assist with a need they had to uplift and standardise their estimating process.  Previously the client had been using a series of spreadsheets in an ad hoc manner.

CCG had experience with Estimating and had themselves modelled a Visual Basic driven automated tool using Excel.  The tool had been developed in conjunction with a business associate of ours and included some “smarts” to assist the estimating process.  It was this tool which was shown to Toll and formed the basis of their custom build.  The result was a clever tool which guided the user through the estimating process.

Starting with some basic information, the user defined the WBS, timing and then worked through tabular entry screens where the estimate resided.  Some elements which made the tool of value were the inclusion of upper and lower boundaries on each element of estimate which rolled up to the summary level.  Another handy feature was the inclusion of quantified risk allowances.  Unique to Toll was the need to mark up the “Cost” estimates to result in a “Price” and the presentation of the quotation in a predefined format.

The tool was well received by Toll and their Project Management users.  Our engagement included user training and some minor enhancements after go live.

Key Elements of the solution included:

  • Customised Excel/Visual Basic tool
  • Joint design, innovation and testing
  • Education and training