John Huynh works in the calculation department at Miljöhallen Golv in Jönköping. John's keen interest in IT and software has led him to become a true expert in Geometra. In a short time, he has learned almost everything that can be done in the program. We chatted with John about how heuses the program, its advantages, and what tips he would give new users.
"I joined the company about two years ago. At that time, Geometra was being used at a basic level. I saw the potential in the program and developed ways to create takeoffs," says John.
John is responsible for the preliminary work that forms the basis for calculating offers.
"When we receive an inquiry, I start by reading the documents and structuring all relevant information. Then, I create a new project in Geometra, upload the drawings, and start measuring. Then, I export the data and hand it over to my colleague Björn, who prices the calculationin Excel. Björn also receives PDFs of the drawings with finished work areas."
The rows are the primary strength of the program
"The main reason I use Geometra is the "rows" Here, I input all information about material types and what should be in each room on the drawing. One room may contain only one row of information, for example, regarding surface layers. Another room may contain several rows with more information, such as laying plastic flooring as a surface layer and underlayment for sound insulation."
The rows that John creates are saved in his ”row library”.He can search for and reuse saved rows for new projects in the library. It is convenient when bill of quantities need to be allocated to the same type of material as before, e.g., a specific type of plastic flooring. This action saves a lot of time. He explains that he has structured his library so that he can easily choose the right row for a specific type of surface.
John has built a smart way of working in Geometra to make information understandable for his colleagues in production. It is described as a colour scheme where a colour represents, for example, a specific surface layer or a ceramic tile. This foundation greatly helps production by providinga visual overview for the installers on-site.
"You can measure very accurately in Geometra,
which provides great opportunities for surfaces
requiring an advanced measuring method"
"My advice to anyone who hasn't started with the rows is to start simple. Add and learn more ways to measure as needed. I didn't measure a room with several corners that weren't straight lines on day one. You can measure very accurately in Geometra, which provides great opportunities for surfaces requiring an advanced measuring method."
John suggests a little planning before starting with the "rows".
"Think about how you categorize and name different materials in general. Then, match this in the rows through your layout. How do you want to divide materials and tasks? The row library is handy when you want to go back in time and look at completed projects: How did we do this? All information is still available in Geometra."
Alternatives to Geometra
A couple of years ago, John explored alternatives to Geometra. He tested another program and concluded that the "rows" and what you can do with them in Geometra carry much weight.
"The program we tested is not a pure quantity surveying program. I could do rough estimates, but tools for details were not available."
John explains further through an example:
"If I'm measuring a room with more than four corners, then I can easily input the number of corners in the rows in Geometra and get the correct bill of quantity of, for example, silicone. That couldn't be done in the other program. This is because the formulas used for calculation there are static; they cannot be customized like in Geometra. A room that doesn't have straight lines may require diagonally cutting tiles. In Geometra, I can obtain exact measurements for this in the 'rows.'"
In his comparison with the other program, John also wants to highlight another advantage of Geometra: its user-friendliness and interface.
"The user has been the focus
when developing the software"
"For those who could be more computer-savvy, Geometrais the optimal program for quantity surveying. It's straightforward and clear. The user has been the focus when developing the software."
Using statuses in Geometra is an excellent way to track where you are in the project. John and his colleagues have begun to explore this.
"We see great potential in how statuses can be used in Geometra. Right now, we're looking at how we can fully utilize this function. If you keep this a standard, keeping the status updated, everyone involved can get a good overview of the project."
The status could be used by installers on-site. They can, for example, change the status from "ongoing" to "finished" for tasks or rooms directly on the drawing. This way, project managers can see how far the installers have progressed and what is completed.
Currently, Geometra is mainly used by John and his colleague, who calculate the estimates. Project managers and financial managers also benefit from the program. They can access calculations and perform cost reconciliations.
"The takeoff process is essential for the project's profitability. If you calculate too little quantity, you incur losses; if you calculate too much, the quote becomes too expensive. You have to be as accurate as possible, and that's where Geometra shines," concludes John.