Once the need for a new capital project is identified, the next step for facilities managers is to determine the budget for the project.
The budget number must be accurate and based on objective data to better justify the budget request. If the budget is too high, you risk not getting approval. If the budget is too low, you risk unexpected costs later in the project.
Spreadsheets lack the embedded and up-to-date cost estimation norms data that can be found in leading capital planning software solutions. Without these industry-standard cost sources, facilities managers must make best-guess estimates or spend valuable time researching cost data for their spreadsheets.
The best practice is to leverage solutions that already include the data you need for cost projections, for example:
- Cost estimation data from RSMeans®.
- Cost estimation data from Building Cost Information Service(BCIS®).
- Lifecycle data from the Building Owners and Managers Association(BOMA).
Using cost estimation norms data helps ensure reliable cost projections for deferred maintenance and systems renewal. These tools are a must when using estimates as a basis for budgeting and project planning.
For enhanced accuracy and relevance, the ideal software solution should support multiple cost sources and account for regional variations. Facilities managers should also have the ability to choose the most appropriate cost estimation sources to better match the requirements of each project or facility.
Accruent’s capital planning software features embedded and up-to-date cost estimation norms data to help you create more accurate and defensible capital budget requests. Our solution can also help you objectively model multi-year capital plans that optimize building portfolio investments and align with your mission.
Facilities managers often ask us why they would need something beyond spreadsheets for their facility capital planning. While they suspect that there could be a better way, they are hesitant to jump to a new system without better understanding the benefits.
Every day, you see the limitations of using spreadsheets for facility capital planning. The lack of embedded cost information is just another reason to move beyond spreadsheets for your facility capital planning.
Ready to learn more? Look at these blog posts: