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Software Estimating vs. Excel Estimating - What's The Difference?

software estimating

Construction estimates are a part of every project, and the data that’s included is used to make key decisions in a construction business. From project bids, to takeoffs, to team schedules, estimates have a big impact on how you do business in the construction industry. But with today’s innovation in technology, using estimation software to deliver construction estimates makes the entire process easier and far more accurate.

Commercial building and construction projects are just getting bigger and more complex, so construction firms require larger teams and budgets. When adopting modern construction data technology, firms are able to better manage that information and quickly scale their business.

Today’s large-scale commercial building projects force companies to outgrow manual processes and methods like outdated Excel spreadsheets. But using a software estimating tool can help construction managers and CEOs make better business decisions and find real and lasting success.

The Risk of Excel Estimations

Using a data-based estimating software gives construction leaders solutions that Excel just can’t deliver. That’s because Excel spreadsheets and manual data tracking methods open your project up to a few different risks:

  • Decentralized teams: Tracking projects and task information on different spreadsheets makes it harder for everyone to be on the same page. When your crew has a hard time staying up-to-date on tasks or communicating any project setbacks, Excel will only make those issues worse, especially since it’s not a multi-user tool.
  • Inaccurate or outdated data: Mistakes are a part of every project, but old or incorrect information can throw a wrench in your work, especially if you need accurate numbers for project bids or reporting.
  • Accidental data deletion and broken formulas: Excel spreadsheets can be useful for tracking smaller-scale information. But commercial construction projects require more robust data sets from multiple departments and sources. Using Excel forms and templates require extra time and attention to detail that most managers don’t have.

Having a high-performing software to manage teams and track project information accurately is the first step towards success. Using technology has helped construction firms save money, win more projects bids, and build a reputation for accurate work.

Making Better Business (and Data) Decisions

Software estimation tools can help companies manage their projects (and their company’s future) more effectively and simply. “Ultimately, it’s the simple things that separate high quality, accurate budgetary estimates from poor ones,” writes Rory Woolsey for BCDN Network. “Understanding your costs, knowing where to gather cost data and organizing the data in a way that’s easy for others to comprehend will result in success.”

ProEst helps estimators accurately calculate costs, but can also help construction estimators with a few key strategies so they’re able to do better business overall.

  • Stay organized when dealing with different types of data
  • Keep track of costs and estimates, at any stage of a project
  • Keep track of materials to avoid project waste
  • Save time by using digital takeoffs directly from the project blueprint
  • Create reports for the executive team looking for insights and custom data

Firms can help to ensure their projects stay on track, but also help guarantee the smoothest process for all stakeholders. “It is very important to have the cost estimator involved right from the start of the project,” according to Whole Building Design Guide, because it ensures “the project budget reflects the decisions made by the rest of the project team throughout the integrated design process.”

Solutions for Software Estimating

Having reliable estimation software like ProEst helps managers make better, more informed decisions because they can trust that the data they use is secure and accurate. ProEst is also a cloud-based management tool that integrates with other business technology and software, so estimators have more opportunities than ever to save time and money on construction projects.

“The ProEst support is fantastic,” says Andrew Key with HeadsUp Landscaping. He needed a software solution that would work with the existing technology his team was using. “The integration with ComputerEase couldn’t be easier to manage and the personalized service we continually receive is excellent.

ProEst also provides a number of cost estimation resources and tools for construction professionals, including an RSMeans database with location indexes, productivity and profit rates, crew composition, and data on overhead.

According to Whole Building Design Guide, “accurately forecasting the cost of future projects is vital to the survival of any business or organization contemplating future construction.” By integrating with the software your team already uses, and making construction estimates a more accurate process, construction firms can plan for bigger (more successful) projects in the future.

ProEst is a cloud-based pre-construction estimating platform that helps you create accurate estimates and digital takeoffs directly from blueprints quickly, allowing you to determine the most favorable rates for your company within the estimation process. There’s no guesswork involved. ProEst makes quality assurance in commercial construction projects estimation effortless. You won’t have to engage your entire team to be sure your numbers are accurate.

If you would like to learn more about how your commercial construction company can increase its profits and reduce miscalculations during the estimation process, reach out today and schedule a 1-on-1 walkthrough with one of our specialists.