Progress and development in our modern world is swift and the pace of change is felt in all sectors of industry. Apart from perhaps the smallest of construction jobs, the use of ‘best guess’ hand written and calculated estimates are long gone, or at the very least they should be. Technology is used in every aspect of the construction industry to help manage the construction process and none more important than in estimating.Choosing the right estimating solution
will immediately impact accuracy and efficiency whilst managing costs through efficiency as well as providing business critical details regarding scheduling and project management.
On the flip side, choosing the wrong solution
could end up as anything from a waste of money to a business disaster. To find a solution
that provides value to the estimator and project team, construction business owners must employ certain best practices and procedures.
The estimating process will be handled differently by any given organization but will inevitably rely on core fundamental principles of detailed breakdowns and accuracy. Bid summary and takeoff facilitated by estimating software drive accuracy whilst saving the valuable and considerable resource of time.
A common failing
in the construction industry in selecting software is a misunderstanding of the core functions that will impact their business. All too often the person tasked with selecting the software compares every available feature within the platforms available and the one with the most features wins. Add to this that the features being compared are likely based on the presentation of a salesman or representative who, believe it or not, may not have your best interests at heart, you could be considering elements that have no bearing at all on what is really best for you.
By far and away the best way to explore if a solution is the right fit for you
is to ensure those making the decisions take guidance from someone who knows the software very well. The evaluation should involve the very people that will be using it and who will feel the impact and benefit. This would include the estimating team as well as the management team who approve and sign off on the estimates being made. Although it is important to involve your IT team, to ensure the system requirements are met, ensure that the key drivers of the decision are the ones that would use and feel the maximum benefit from the software. When considering your potential software solutions
, dig deeper and ask:
Your selected estimating software should be specifically designed for the construction industry, be intuitive, easy or at least logical to operate and fundamentally, be provided by an industry respected provider with verifiable references and genuine track record for supply and support.
- Does the system address the specific needs of construction estimating and was it devised and developed by construction industry professionals?
- How does the software and system meet estimator and business expectations in commercial and legal compliance and is the platform intuitive?
- Is the system designed on logical process (in the same way traditional non-software driven estimations were raised)?
The age-old dilemma of value versus price
will come into play. The cheapest product could well cost you dearly if it is not the best fit for you. The process of effectively and comprehensively reviewing the options available requires in depth knowledge of its use and application for your business. This can be time consuming and carry a cost but should ultimately deliver true value and ROI once the right platform is fully operational and integrated.
Before you take the plunge
The proof of the pudding is, as they say, in the eating. Why not ask other construction professionals who have already implemented your chosen software a few simple questions:
- From making the decision to proceed, what was the time taken for implementation of the system?
- What training was required for your team?
- How long did it take to review and revise the database to make it effective and ready for use?
- What has been your customer experience and how responsive, helpful and professional is the customer service pre and post-sale?
- Are there any elements that have not met your needs or expectations?
The real experience of companies like yourself who have gone through a similar selection process will give the final comfort that you have made the right choice. In short it is best to choose a system that is designed, built, used and loved by the experts in the construction industry.Find out
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