The Good (and Bad) News About Excel Estimating

The Good (and Bad) News About Excel Estimating

Excel has long been a mainstay of construction estimating, valued by contractors because it’s readily available, fairly affordable and relatively simple to use. But as many contractors have discovered, Excel is far from an ideal estimating solution for construction; it has a number of limitations that can affect your company’s ability to work efficiently and produce competitive, winning bids. Here’s why: 

Integration. As useful as it is, Excel is a standalone product that doesn’t integrate with other software systems. That means your project information stays stuck in a data silo– and accessing it as the project progresses can be a complicated and time-consuming process. 

The better way: ProEst transfers estimate data automatically to other back-office business systems, giving multiple teams access to the same information throughout the project and eliminating repetitive reentry tasks.

Scalability. Excel is good at what it does, within reason. But without the ability to scale up, Excel is never going to be big or powerful enough to keep up with the demand for complicated, data-driven estimates, or to support the goals of a growing business. 

The better way: The ProEst online cloud platform can be scaled up indefinitely–on demand– as usage dictates, all without additional investments in hardware, maintenance or infrastructure.

Accuracy. Excel calculations can be trusted, up to a point. But even one digit in the wrong place can throw estimates off significantly—and estimates can be modified, sometimes accidentally, by anyone with access to the system.

The Better way: ProEst calculates materials, labor, equipment, taxes, bonds and other costs automatically, a big advantage over manual calculations. Just as important, you get built-in protection for recorded data, so there’s no risk of accidental changes or deletions.

Training. Excel spreadsheets are relatively straightforward and easy to use, one of the reasons for its popularity among contractors to prepare estimates. The problem? If you do have a question or technical glitch, you’re pretty much on your own to figure things out.

The Better Way: ProEst offers a dedicated team of onboarding specialists, trainers and construction software specialists available to answer your questions and resolve any issues right away.

Want to dig deeper? Download our Executive Insight Report, “5 Reasons Why Construction Estimators Are Leaving Excel” with our compliments.