Top Pre-construction Planning Techniques

Top Pre-construction Planning Techniques

Any good construction project starts with solid planning. But how you plan means the difference between a successful project and one that doesn’t get off the ground.

Your challenges are numerous—collaborating with your team, addressing ongoing issues with your estimations, and attaining proper visibility—all coming with the risk of taking a project down in a big way before it can even launch . . . or during the work itself.

Handling these the wrong way can affect the outcome of winning multiple bids. If you need top pre-construction planning techniques, then read on.

Just the Facts

Today, construction remains the least digitized industry in the world. According to McKinsey & Company, this is why, for the past twenty years, construction productivity has only grown 1% a year, lagging far behind manufacturing at 3.6% and the economic average of 2.8%. From 2005-2015, fewer than 15% of E&C firms had double-digit growth or margins.

Yet, construction is booming, and with growing numbers of new homes and offices being built, the industry momentum is showing no signs of slowing down. Despite the many sophisticated structures being built, construction remains an industry with a puzzling negative attitude toward new technology, especially when it comes to productivity, even though there’s an opportunity to boost its value by $1.6 trillion.

How are you doing with your pre-construction planning? Are you growing with the times?

Pre-construction Planning: The Cornerstone of Every Successful Project

Planning is a specific process that is used to identify how a construction project will be managed and executed, listing the various steps to achieve the desired effects, from arranging for material orders to hiring teams. What should you look for when conducting your pre-construction planning? For starters, you should:

  • Determine the personnel, materials, and budget required for the project.
  • Draft your plan to set concrete and specific goals.
  • Execute your plan with meetings with your team to get on the same page, set expectations, and assign managers to oversee progress.
  • Track your key performance indicators, like project objectives, performance, and work quality.
  • Evaluate performance, and talk with your team on how the next project can be improved.

Stop Running to and Fro

When you’re involved in any construction project, it is easy to see high levels of activity throughout the job site. They are working just as they have been for decades. However, the way they are working is no longer feasible. It’s difficult to know which workers are on site and what tasks are being worked on and what is actually being completed. There are also the issues of working on different platforms. Throughout all this, teams are still relying on paper for timesheets, estimations, and takeoffs. This reliance on antiquated ways of working needs improvement. Automation is the key to innovationso is working in the cloud to keep everyone on the same page.

Get It Together with Automation and the Cloud: The Reshaping of Construction

When it comes to pre-construction planning, embrace automation. It enables you to work smarter and faster than doing former manual, paper-based planning, which in turn, will not help you win bids.

Automation increases your team’s efficiency and minimizes mistakes and your team’s productivity. When it comes to automated estimating, this enables you to take on more without being held back by manual work.

The cloud can improve the way that you can perform your pre-construction planning. Companies have found that by putting their projects in the cloud, everyone can experience a real-time sense of progress, along with knowing what everyone else is doing. Every project member has access at any time and can accomplish tasks with others more efficiently.

Using cloud technology, smartphones, and tablets makes working together easier. You and your teams can check messages, edit documents, and access cloud information at any time from virtually anywhere from their chosen devices. This allows everyone to make efficient use of their time and continue their tasks from any location.

Use Accurate Cost Estimating

Twenty-five percent of construction business owners state that just two or three bad estimates could put them out of business. Almost 18% say that just one wrong estimate could result in their downfall.

Around 20% of these same business owners state that estimating projects is the hardest financial process to get right. They also say that they’re using spreadsheets to track their project estimateswith some 8% doing the math in their heads. Meanwhile, almost 21% state that they struggle with over-estimating project costs, while 22% experience the opposite.

Are you one of these construction companies? Are you experiencing these problems?

Because of the growing competitiveness in bid wins, there is now the need to move away from older technologies that result in errors. Pen and paper, notebooks, and spreadsheets have all played roles in estimation errors or bid losses due to human mistakes. There is now a way to get accurate cost estimating in the form of digital, cloud-based software.

Use True Costs to Win the Estimating Game

Every successful estimate needs a successful takeoff. As such, construction takeoffs are a crucial component of any construction project, and an accurate one gives both your client and you a firm outline of the total material cost for a project.

There are disadvantages to manual takeoffs. First, they can be extremely time-consuming, depending on the complexity of your project. Second, manual construction takeoffs are prone to errors. Materials can be miscounted, counted twice, or not counted at all, affecting the estimate in terms of an underestimate or overestimate. Third, the manual estimate also requires a high degree of skill to be accurate. Complex calculations are involved and must be verified to be correct. This leaves you with the increased likelihood of losing your part in the estimating game. Fortunately, there is a digital technology that eliminates those time-consuming manual takeoff steps and can reduce takeoff time by 50%.

Get the Right Tools for Solid Planning

For a successful estimating process, a cloud-based, digital technology platform can help drive your pre-construction planning techniques.

ProEst is a powerful, easy-to-use construction estimating platform that helps your construction company create accurate, competitive bids for projects. Cloud-based, automated, and digital, ProEst enables you to generate estimates, perform digital blueprint takeoffs using electronic blueprints, store project drawings, and manage the bid day process, all with a single solution. You can also:

  • Easily generate accurate estimates.
  • Increase efficiency and eliminate errors.
  • Perform digital blueprint takeoffs, saving significant hours in the process.
  • View markups like profit and overheads that are automatically calculated.
  • Know if your bid is on budget.
  • Store project drawings in a single database for easy access.
  • Manage the bid day process.
  • Save hundreds of staff hours a year.
  • Cut down on the rush to select subcontractors on bid day.

Pre-construction Planning Doesn’t Need to Be Wrought with Issues

You need to have great construction project estimates to win bids. To do so means to embrace solid planning. Using proper planning techniques, coupled with ProEst’s digital, automated platform, will help you leverage technology that will help get your projects off the ground and successfully stay there.

To learn more about how your pre-commercial construction company can increase its performance through proper planning techniques, reach out today and schedule a 1-on-1 walkthrough with one of our specialists!