Estimating software is a collection of programs, processes and information used to calculate the total cost of a project. Estimating software automates the formulations formerly obtained through manual spreadsheets and calculators. Legacy tools like tape measures can be replaced by tablet PCs and digital cameras. The introduction of both tools facilitates and improves the estimating process by increasing the speed and accuracy with which an estimate can be made. Estimating software, in general, improves a contractor's ability to compete with other bids and accurately represent the true cost of a project to potential clients, enhancing productivity and easing the bidding process. This type of software is predominantly used in many different sectors of the construction industry.
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Choosing the right software?
Whether you are big or small choosing the right estimating software for your business can be the difference between securing a contract or not. When choosing software it is important to look for the following four features;
Ease of Use. Usability has to be top of mind when shopping for estimating software. If it’s not easy to use for the least tech-savvy salesperson, it’s not going to help him or her sell more jobs because they will not use it.
Increased efficiency. The most desired outcome for estimating software is increased efficiency. Some of the most important aspects of efficiency in contractor sales include document storage, collaboration features and access, and mobile sales.
Boost Revenues. While the number one goal in purchasing contractor estimating software is increased efficiency, the residual effect of efficiency is increasing revenues. In addition to allowing the sales team to quote more work, estimating software should help the team impress customers and more easily close the sale. This should be apparent from the first impression. The software should be capable of generating professional, customized quotes with a logo, slogans, terms and conditions, and product photos.
Price Points. Naturally, a huge element of new software is cost. Every business, small and large, has different budget parameters. The first consideration is support. The cost of support can be an eye-opening indicator of ease of use, but the cost of support is also imperative to determining value. If consistent support is needed to use the software, it must be readily available and affordable to your company.
How can estimating software benefit your business?
The overall goal of estimating software is to give you the upper hand in securing contracts over the competition. Broken down the main benefits of acquiring estimating software if the following.
Efficiency - By improving the speed and efficiency of your estimating, you'll be able to put more quotes out into the marketplace, win more jobs, and dedicate more time to other important areas of your business.
Accuracy - In a turbulent economy and competitive market, it has never been more crucial for you to keep track of your subcontractor expenses, actual labour costs, equipment costs, and material costs than it is today. It’s essential that you have the ability to track all your back orders, stored materials, and the ones that have already been installed in a recent build. Estimating software drives this accuracy, allowing you to establish the build’s closest true cost.
Consistency - When you use a construction estimating software, you will be able to form estimates that utilise similar procedures and expenses every time you have a new build. This ensures a consistent process across all projects.
Integrations - With estimating software, you can integrate your work with other key software solutions for your business; giving you the ability to streamline your workflow, and reduce replication of data.
Professionalism - estimating software will also take your overall professionalism to new heights. As a contractor operating in today’s competitive construction industry, it’s important that you don’t fall behind the pack by using outdated processes and cumbersome technology.
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