With the advance of technology in all fields, the advance of construction estimating software in the construction industry is not at all surprising. For even the smallest of businesses, it is no longer prudent to rely on spreadsheets for the data accuracy to compete for contracts. Today’s construction estimating software is computer software designed exclusively for the construction industry, specifically contractors, to estimate and bid on projects. This estimate, generated by the software, often becomes part of the resulting contract. Use of estimating software is changing the business, no doubt. Here are a few of the ways it can alter the business practices of a general contractor:
Creating an estimate is a tedious and time-consuming process. Entering items into a spreadsheet, while ensuring the bid was an accurate, comprehensive estimate, was critical to securing the bid, and then to the success of the project. Estimating software has progressed over time to incorporate intuitive processes allowing the user to navigate quickly through the process and complete the estimate in a timely manner.
Inaccurate estimates can reduce the number of contracts you can secure. Accurate estimates are vital to the business of a contractor, and estimation software is designed to do all the calculations, including material costs, take-offs, labor cost estimates, etc.
Productivity can be affected by lack of organization. Having all of your data neatly sorted where you can access it and monitor is another way the estimating software is changing contractor workflow.
Adding in the costs that include your margins is important for every bid to continue profit and growth. Construction estimation software will continually add this margin, or mark up, along the way, reducing the time that it would take doing a traditional bid.
Having a reporting function allows the contractor to run reports directly from the estimating software, saving time trying to figure out which data is needed to compile. The reporting function also reduces inaccuracies as you’re not migrating data from one system, or program to another to compile reports. There are some facts which you should know before hiring a construction company.
Cost estimating software is changing the way things are done in the construction industry and will most definitely develop and become better as the years go by. As construction businesses learn and use this tool, they will understand that it is there to help them make their business more money, more profits and they can use it in a way to help them get those jobs that they may not have felt comfortable bidding on previously. Like with any new tool, there is a learning curve and an adaptation period for the contractor who is used to doing things ‘the old way.’
Remember, there are many benefits to the ever-changing world of cost estimating software in the construction industry when creating a bid package. And, while a software package or user interface can never replace the human expertise that is needed to create an accurate bid for a project, be it small or large, it never hurts to have another tool in the toolbox to get the job done.