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December 10, 2019

Should Subcontractors Use Construction Estimating Software?

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Subcontractors are operating in an environment that’s more competitive than ever. To keep winning new bids, subcontractors must produce them quickly and accurately.

Completing project bids manually using spreadsheets is a tedious and time-consuming process. It’s error-prone, and it can lead to serious losses if the errors aren’t discovered before the bid is submitted. The most efficient way to prepare bids today is to use robust cost estimating software like Sage Estimating.

While some small contractors and subcontractors may feel that they don’t need to use estimating software, the boost in efficiency, accuracy, productivity and profitability makes it a worthy investment.

Here are some of the key benefits subcontractors will enjoy when they start using modern cost estimating software.

Efficient Bid Preparation

To win a bid, a subcontractor needs to prepare it quickly. The bid must also be competitive and accurate to be selected ahead of others. Using subcontractor estimating software speeds up the process by reducing the time and effort required to produce the bid. It automates the creation of takeoffs, aggregates data from different sources, provides a huge database of up-to-date data and reduces the amount of manual data entry required during the estimation process.

Seamless Estimation Process

Estimating solutions like Sage Estimating help streamline the practice of creating accurate construction cost estimates. First, all the information required is provided in one place. Takeoffs are produced from digital blueprints, material lists are created for suppliers and the estimating solution also provides a platform for effective collaboration. When all the data required to create the bid is in one location, there’s no need to create and email dozens of spreadsheets daily when you’re working on a large project.

Estimating software is designed to be user-friendly. The user interface enables you to gain quick access to important data and move from one phase of the process to another without picking up the phone or sending countless emails throughout the day.

Users don’t need to be computer programmers or mathematicians to use this platform effectively. The user interfaces are intuitive and screen layouts enable users with basic to moderate computer skills to produce accurate estimates in a short time.

To enhance the process, the software provides snapshots that allow you to quickly see whether the bid is within your budget and if it can turn a profit. Estimating software also allows you to create customized views of your data. This way you can display exactly what you need while working on any aspect of the estimate. Similarly, users can prevent the screen from being cluttered with unnecessary details by hiding data that isn’t relevant.

Centralized Data Access

Estimating solutions allow you to organize your estimates and bidding process more efficiently. First, you don’t need to use different databases to store different types of data. All the information you need is stored in a central database. This offers various benefits including:

  • Ability to configure how data is displayed
  • Capacity to customize your data views as you work
  • Ability to switch data views and focus on one aspect of the process at a time
  • Ability to keep different estimates organized within the same software and do historical comparisons

Automation Eliminates Guesswork

With estimating software, guessing can be completely avoided. Estimates are based on data pulled from constantly updated data sources. Instead of trying to manage the tedious tasks involved in most manual estimating processes, the software automates them for you.

Estimators won’t need to juggle many formulas, track several little details and keep checking different data sources. Estimating solutions provide calculation functions that are updated dynamically as the work progresses through various phases.

Digital Takeoffs Are Created from Blueprints

Producing takeoffs from blueprints is a time-consuming process. Takeoffs list out all the materials needed for a project, and they must be as accurate as possible. While getting a flawless takeoff may not always be realistic, estimators must create a material listing that is as close to the actual material requirement as possible.

Sage Estimating can create digital takeoffs using blueprints and data that you feed into the program. This eliminates the need for manual calculations. Digital takeoffs can shorten the time needed for producing takeoffs by half. This will allow subcontractors to invest more of their time in marketing to get new projects.

It’s important to note that not all estimating software has the digital takeoff feature. This makes Sage one of the most advanced pre-construction applications available because it can generate takeoffs from both 2D and 3D blueprints.

Profit Markups Are Automatically Calculated

Applying markups can be quite difficult when you try to do it manually. But it’s extremely important to add markups to cost data to ensure profitability. Estimating software can help you add them without any adverse effect on the profitability of your project bid. The software can help you add the markups in a flexible way. This allows subcontractors to adjust markups and see how the final estimate will affect the profitability of the bid.

Efficient Report Creation

Subcontractors can maximize their efficiency and reduce the amount of time used to create estimates through the design, formatting and population of reports. Earlier on, creating reports was a tough and time-consuming process. Data was imported into a spreadsheet or report generation program before the reports were designed and filled with the right data. Ordinarily, report generation can take a substantial amount of time, especially if the report is complex or it involves a large amount of data.

However, with estimating software like Sage Estimating, the reporting functionality eliminates the inefficiencies linked with the creation of reports in spreadsheets. The reports generated are more accurate because they’re not manipulated manually in a spreadsheet. This process is also quite fast since there’s no need to import data into another program.

Contact Us Today to Schedule a Free Demo

The power and benefits of estimating software like Sage Estimating are best appreciated when you see how they work. Request your free demo today.

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