Whether you’re just starting with estimating software or have been using it for years, there are a number of ways you can optimize your usage to better ensure you’re getting the best possible outcomes from your investment.
Here’s a quick look at construction estimating software best practices that help you do just that:
- Investigate the aspects of the job. Start by reviewing all the information provided for the job. Are there any particular areas that will be difficult or unusual that will need to be noted for field use? You’ll also want to make sure to generate any requests for information that will be needed for the project, so you can fully grasp the complexity and requirements for that particular project. This helps guarantee that once you’re ready to work on the estimate for that project, you have all the information you need available; instead of having to stop and start multiple times to gather all the information necessary for the project.
- Harness the software’s full potential. Simply using the software isn’t going to provide you with the most efficient use of your time. You need to make sure you have a thorough grasp of how the estimating software works in that system. This way, you can customize it to best meet your needs and reduce the time spent in the estimating process, while making it work more accurately for your situation. Adding or using existing customized material assemblies allows you to simply add one assembly rather than taking the time to add each component individually. Take advantage of formulas to avoid errors and reduce time spent calculating your final figures.
- Use checklists to avoid omissions or errors. Checklists help you catch issues before they arise by making sure all the information you enter in the estimate is correct — before the estimate is provided to the client. This way, you don’t have to make embarrassing changes after the fact. Use a checklist that covers all the information you’ll need to gather before beginning the estimating process, which helps you avoid having to start and stop multiple times. Then, add a checklist at the end to confirm there are no errors.
- Standardize the overall process while staying flexible. When you add standardization to your estimating process, it keeps everyone operating in a similar fashion across the board. This can make it easier to find answers for potential clients or finish a quote if a particular estimator is out of the office. However, it’s just as important to provide flexibility where it’s needed so that unique situations can be addressed as they arise during the estimating process.
- Check your work. Even with estimating software, it’s possible to make mistakes by entering a wrong figure in one area or another during the process. Simply glancing at it when you’ve been staring at the same figures for hours may not be enough. It’s important to have someone else check your work to help ensure the accuracy of the estimate before it gets to the client. At a minimum, check your work after a break to make sure you’re not missing something obvious that is incorrect.
- Analyze results and adjust as needed. As with most things in life, it’s important to regularly review the results of your work. Determine if there are any areas where your work process can be improved. Then, make any adjustments that are needed in your process so you’re getting the best possible performance out of your construction estimating software. Check your bid ratios and see if there are ways you can improve them.
By following construction estimating software best practices, you can maximize your investment while reducing the amount of time, labor and energy you put into the process. If you’re ready to look at a comprehensive estimating software system that helps keep your business moving, PrebuiltML X is a great option to consider. Take a look at the available features and get a 14-day free trial today!