For the technically savvy, project-driven businesses, the right estimating software program can help ensure timelier proposal submissions, increased bid wins, and profitable rates on executed work. This guide provides a practical how-to for selecting the right software to more accurately predict project costs and create efficiency in the estimating process.
Estimating software provides standard processes to build cost models for executing job-based work. It is used most commonly in the construction industry–but can also apply to other industries that conduct work on a project basis and need to determine likely costs of completing the work.
Critical benefits provided by estimating software include:
|Labor cost tracking||Quantification for employee hours and job-specific rate management|
|Material estimating||Calculation of material costs based on defined material base rate costs and input of quantity requirements|
|Subcontractor estimating||Calculation of costs likely to be incurred for payment of subcontractors in the performance of job responsibilities|
|Equipment cost estimating||Cost calculation capabilities for the purchase or rental of equipment required to complete job work|
|Digital takeoff||Digital takeoff allows for dimensional information to be extracted from blueprints and converted into a list of required materials and the associated costs for those materials|
|Estimate document management||Document management capabilities for the storage and retrieval of job estimates|
|Estimate to quote conversion||Capabilities enabling the translation of job cost estimates into customer-facing quote or proposal documentation|
|Historical estimating||Estimating which uses inputs from previously performed work to inform likely costs of job work|
There are many advantages to utilizing software in the estimating process. Consider some of the capabilities of estimating software to:
Electricians, plumbers, many manufacturers, builders, and HVAC companies all deal with estimating on a daily basis. However, some of the elements of the estimating process can be different in each environment. A program written with your industry in mind can help shorten the learning curve for your company’s estimating software users.
A good estimating program will give you an analytical foundation to understand your costs in different areas within the job. Breaking down estimates and costs by sub-projects, physical areas or by other organizing units provides a wealth of info for understanding which job elements are driving the profit or loss on the project overall.
Also, if you’re looking to identify payback, you may need to segment costs to track the resulting revenues. For instance, if you’re a builder looking to lease your own space, it’s typically an imperative to set up rates built on an understanding of what’s required for per unit cost recovery. So, you may want to track the cost of the overall project, by building, or by unit.
Very often it’s necessary to interface an estimating program with your accounting and job costing system. The ability to pass data related to the project will help you track your actuals to your estimated costs. In fact, there are major advantages to considering an estimating module as part of a full system–to ensure seamless integration. Whether you are looking for an add-on module or full ERP program, you can utilize our service to uncover the specific estimating packages best suited to your needs.
If you are looking to find estimating software options to consider, we can help. Through a brief phone call, our software specialists will look to better understand your business and software needs to help you locate a handful of solutions that can address the issues you are currently experiencing. Get started today!