3 Tips for Estimating Remotely in the Construction Industry

Preconstruction Team On Video Call

If there’s one thing companies have learned from the pandemic, it’s how to be more versatile. In 2020, stay at home orders began changing the way workers do their jobs. For many, the change wasn’t gradual — it was almost overnight. 

While most people in the construction industry don’t have the option to work from home, estimators are one of the exceptions. Here are three key takeaways we’ve learned from the pandemic that can help estimating teams prepare for remote work ahead of time or improve their current processes. 

1. Make sure all of your data is stored in the Cloud

You can’t do anything without your project data. Make sure you’re backing up all of your files to the Cloud so they’re accessible to everyone on the team no matter where they are. Your estimators have enough on their plates without having to worry about whether they brought home all the files they could possibly need. 

For optimal versatility, you should also make sure your estimating and other construction software are cloud-based. Being cloud-based means the software is accessible from a web browser rather than installed on your computer. A secure login is all you need to pick up right where you left off, on any device, no installation necessary. 

2. Set up communication among team members

Collaborating can be trickier when you’re no longer in the same office as your coworkers. Establish a channel for communication and use it to ask questions, get opinions, and stay connected. If you don’t already use group messaging like Slack, Google Chat, or Microsoft Teams, now is the time to set it up to be used in conjunction with your construction software. 

Even when you and your estimators are working from the office, there are still team members working out on job sites. While you can use group text messaging to communicate with everyone, group messaging platforms are a much more organized way to keep your entire company connected, no matter where they are. 

Preconstruction Laptop Working Remotely

3. Establish clear workflows and processes

Who’s doing what? If multiple estimators are working on the same bid, you need to be clearer than ever about what everyone’s responsibilities are. With cloud-based software, everyone can work on the same estimate at once, with changes saved to the Cloud — but it’s always a good idea to make sure everyone knows their role so there’s no confusion, miscommunication, duplicate work, or dropped tasks.  

ProEst’s estimating platform includes a helpful workflow tool that allows you to define the steps and team members involved in your process. The interactive tool lets you map out clear workflows and notify other team members that a task has been assigned to them. For example, after completing an estimate, the assigned estimator will know who to send it to for review. That person will then either approve the estimate or send it back for revision, and the workflow continues from there. 

If you’d like to learn more about ProEst’s workflow tool, we highlighted it in an episode of CEO Tech Talk.

These are just three of the ways you can adapt your pre-construction processes to make your team more versatile. One more important element to remote work is mobile capabilities. To learn more about why mobile matters, read our executive report, Why Mobile Capabilities Should Be Your #1 Priority.