Although the success of a construction project is often based on the customer’s satisfaction, contractors will not remain in business if their jobs aren’t profitable as well. To ensure that both the customer’s and the contractor’s needs are met, a job must be well managed from the beginning—and that starts at the takeoff.
Slow and cumbersome processes—whether manual or disparate tools hitched together—can significantly hinder contractors’ success. Such methods are often laden with inaccuracies and redundancy, as well as demand a workflow of workarounds, and so limits productivity and communication.
By streamlining processes and automating tasks with seamless construction software for takeoff and estimating, contractors will not only become more efficient, but will increase accuracy, reduce costs, and ultimately improve profitability. Such a solution allows applications to “talk to each other” and share data, and so can provide the needed competitive edge for a contractor to succeed and can benefit the entire team.
FASTER AND MORE ACCURATE TAKEOFFS
When using software for takeoff, contractors can complete bids up to 10 times faster than using manual methods plus measure with effortless precision.
Digital takeoff software allows contractors to simply import electronic plans, and then perform point-and-click takeoffs on their computer screen quickly and accurately, eliminating the cost and hassle of working with bulky, expensive paper blueprints.
Contractors can quickly and precisely calculate areas, lengths, and quantities with digital takeoff software; as well as manage sheet revisions, overlay addendum drawings, flag changes, and reduce the chance of missing the changes and additional costs. These solutions enable contractors to quickly measure the scope of work and changes to react on bid day with confidence.
Digital takeoff speed and accuracy is critical to bidding and executing jobs, as well as preventing cost overruns and increase profitability, but it is important that it is seamlessly integrated with other areas of the business.
Seamless workflow between takeoff and estimating applications allows contractors to complete their measurements and then easily send them to their estimate to prepare their bid.
With a seamless solution, once an estimator takes off their plans, that data is pulled directly into the estimating process. This helps avoid the time and error of reentering data and keeps processes moving along while maintaining accuracy and avoiding costly mistakes.
The central databases provided in these solutions maintain updated pricing on cost items, enabling contractors to efficiently and accurately determine costs for a project.
An automated solution also makes it easy to create a bid, allowing contractors to easily add, change and manage costs items, as well as prepare and track alternates to negotiate for a leg up on other bidders and identify profitable opportunities on a job.
Features in these software solutions, such as dashboards that provide fast, graphical representation of a bid and the ability to drill-down for details about proposals, bid details, win-loss statistics, and historical information, are great for the owner, and other team members, to get a quick overview on a bid.
As all contractors know well, bid day can be extremely hectic. The more preparation that has been done, the better chance there is of landing the job. With all the pertinent information necessary to produce the final number in one convenient location, contractors can quickly and accurately create, track, and manage their proposals; manipulate a proposal’s price on the fly; propose “what-if” scenarios; and make up-to-the-minute adjustments before submitting that winning bid.
EFFECTIVELY MANAGING JOBS
The streamlined workflow does not have to stop once the job is won. There are complete construction business management software solutions on the market that enable contractors to instantly connect to the information they need, and automatically share data with others to minimize data entry for a new job. These all-in-one solutions that handle takeoff and estimating through job cost accounting and project management, improve communication and speed workflow between estimators, accounting, and project managers, and the result is maximum efficiency and increased profit margins.
With a seamless solution to handle all of the complexities of a job from bid to cash, estimates provide the details to the accounting and purchasing teams that they need for purchase orders and buying out the job. This streamlines the process and maintains accuracy, and helps protect against purchasing more expensive materials than were estimated.
And when there are change orders, a complete software solution can help manage the changes for the entire construction team. Changes to a project’s original scope can impact budgets, resources, and billing and may ultimately require modifications to the project budget, contract price, and delivery schedule. Because of these impacts, changes must be identified and managed very tightly to ensure that they do not adversely affect a contractors’ ability to make money on the project. With an all-in-one solution, contractors can track change orders and drive timely approvals, capitalize on opportunities for every job, and save money on potentially costly mistakes.
Contractors can also better execute projects profitably with complete software solutions that help bridge the gap between what the estimator was thinking and what the project manager is experiencing on the job site.
BENEFITTING THE ENTIRE TEAM
Obviously, having software for the takeoff and estimating process is great for the estimators as they can appreciate efficiency of precisely performing takeoffs for on-target bids and proposals. In addition, estimators can save valuable time, increase accuracy of calculations and costs, and easily consider “what-if” scenarios to negotiate contracts.
Everyone on the team can agree that the seamless solution is beneficial to submit more bids in less time with precision and profit margin, and ultimately win the work that’s worth the estimating effort.
Beyond the takeoff and estimate, a complete, end-to-end construction management software solution can deliver valuable benefits for everyone involved. All participants in the construction process are able to simplify processes and make informed decisions quickly, while saving time, cutting costs, and winning work that’s profitable for their business. W&C
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