Case Study: G.E. Banks Builders Ltd

G.E. Banks Builders Ltd., of Lake, Isle of Wight was established in March 2002 from its predecessor company G.E. Banks and Sons, which was set up in 1918.

The family name of G. E. Banks has been known throughout the Isle of Wight building industry for more than eighty years for its long-standing tradition of quality and reliability. G.E. Banks Builders Ltd is committed to maintaining and enhancing the standards of service and workmanship established by its predecessors.

The company carries out a wide range of works on the Isle of Wight, including new build, refurbishment, alterations and reactive maintenance. The client list includes the Isle of Wight Council, South Wight Housing Association, Lloyds TSB Banks, Diocese of Portsmouth and the National Air Traffic Services.

It employs some thirty people together with around twenty direct contractors and offers a 24-hour a day, 7-days a week service to all. Able to provide multi-trade resources (building, mechanical, gas, plumbing and electrical) the business can deliver a one-stop-shop for construction, maintenance and repair of property throughout the Isle of Wight.

Office Manager, Alex Redmond, was keen to find a computer based cost accounting system that had the flexibility to cover the wide range of works undertaken by the company. "We carry out such a variety of work that it was very difficult to find a reasonably priced solution that adequately covered our requirements - Exordia filled the bill," said Alex.

About half the company’s work is associated with long term contracts with pre-agreed rates and job call-off as required - the classic provision of maintenance and repair by an external company. The remainder is via traditional competitive tendering on a job-by-job basis.

A system was wanted that could not only cope with this range of work, but would also integrate the cost accounts (by job) with the financial accounts and provide a broader picture of all the financial transactions.

A schedule of standard rates is used for costing and pricing the maintenance, repair and smaller construction jobs. Whilst, for larger projects, estimates are created via conventional techniques with details then entered into Job Costing. Standard templates are used as the basis for new jobs and typical costs collected are labour, materials, plant, disposal and sub-contractors. "Tracing all the job costs at the time of billing is now a simple task, we no longer have to spend hours trawling through supplier invoices and timesheets" said Alex "and we are therefore much more confident of the profitability of each piece of work."

The company has over six hundred active jobs at any given time so getting to grips quickly with the new system was important. Alex comments, "We found that other programs we evaluated were very complex to use, but Exordia was user friendly and intuitively easy for our staff to get up to speed with. We have a six-user system and, overall, we are very pleased with the benefits we are getting from the program."