Before a company - in whatever industry - can decide whether or not a project is right for them, they need to carry out the process of cost engineering in order to be aware of any basic and possible costs they may run into during the assignment (cost estimation). While some may do this using their existing staff, many find that bringing in an external specialist cost engineer can be the best way to choose their projects.

So what is involved with cost engineering? The engineer basically looks at a project and helps the company decide whether to take it on or not by establishing how much time, money, and resources a project will involve, as well as any potential problems that could occur and the likely cost of having to fix them. If working in a specific industry - such as construction - a cost engineer will already have practical experience of the area and can therefore use their skills and knowledge in order to advise on the most likely overall expenditure.

On top of the potential costs, the engineer will also look at the planning and scheduling of a project, as well as assessing any risks and potential issues by using engineering principles. The role of the engineer is not always the same, depending on the type of project and the expectations of the company, but it generally involves estimating costs of labour and materials, pinpointing risks and looking at areas where costs could be cut. Once this has been done, the company can then put in a bid for the project, fully aware of any and every eventuality that the assignment could involve.

Cost engineers generally use estimating software to help them with the task of budgeting for a project, as they often need to break down the assignment into smaller areas, develop time scales for each, and also add in the cost of inflation and other factors which could affect the overall total. These specific types of software help them come up with their project plan quickly and efficiently and give the cost engineer a precise, perfectly calculated document which they can then present to the company.

There are many companies who specialise in cost engineering, whether it's providing a cost engineer to look at your project, or helping to train your own staff to use specially designed estimating software. Family-run Benchmark Estimating specialises in construction cost engineering and can offer you advice on any aspect of the industry.

Author's Bio: 

Benchmark Estimating are a specialist construction cost engineering practice with particular expertise in civil engineering infrastructure. Established in 1996, we provide cost engineer services, first principles estimating and estimating software for contractors, engineering consultants, owners and other organisations.