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Why Your Employees Should Avoid Using a Construction Estimating Spreadsheet

construction estimating spreadsheet

The best way to ensure the success of your next commercial construction project is to remove any room for error. However, many companies and even larger firms use an outdated construction estimating spreadsheet for construction or a hard-to-navigate software that hinders their productivity and project timelines.

It’s easier said than done, but there are solutions available to construction firms that can help their employees stay organized, on deadlines, and within budget.

The Problem With Using a Construction Estimating Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are still widely used in the pre-construction and commercial construction process, even though it’s a common cause for inaccuracy in the estimation process. It’s amazing that commercial construction businesses still stick to “what works” instead of looking toward the future and always pushing to do better.

Whether it’s an Excel spreadsheet or free online cost calculator, these tools might not deliver the kind of information needed to bid on a project accurately. A free online estimator tool usually can’t handle the more complicated project data that a commercial construction company needs to bid effectively on a proposal. An inaccurate estimate can cause several project setbacks, and might even lose the bid before the project even begins.

Here are just a few issues that can occur:

Project Delays

Even the smallest miscalculation can cause delays within the pre-construction process. Key pieces of information need to be accounted for and often times are missed due to construction estimating spreadsheet miscalculations.

Failed Inspections

If a construction estimate isn’t thorough, builders can run into bigger issues during the project like unexpected failed inspections or repairs. If your estimate doesn’t account for the sequence of work during a project, you run into more risk for your project.

Negative Customer Reviews

Customer service and relationships are a big part of running a business. If your estimate is unreliable, that can often cause a detriment to your construction company’s reputation. Negative customer reviews, whether they’re issued online or through word-of-mouth, should be prevented where possible. An accurate estimate that includes details like carefully-planned timelines and cost-effective materials will help to maintain better customer relationships and your reputation.

Digital Solutions for Today’s Commercial Construction Owner

Today’s construction industry has seen recent innovations with technology that can help commercial construction businesses save time and money on their projects.

There’s a bigger need (and demand) than ever for efficiency in today’s pre-construction and commercial construction industry. The time for improvement is now, according to Kim Slowey with Construction Dive.

“Under economic strains, it’s all the more important for the construction industry to clamp down on inefficiency and improve productivity levels,” writes Slowey.

“Contractors are increasingly looking to lean principles, which, along with automation, helped grow manufacturing’s global labor productivity by 3.6% annually over the past two decades compared with construction’s unimpressive 1% productivity growth.”

This demand for an efficient, effective solution in commercial construction has given rise to technology platforms such as ProEst.

ProEst is a proactive approach to commercial construction estimating. ProEst is an on-screen takeoff software that’s helped many construction businesses improve their estimating processes with efficiency. The cloud-based estimating software provides construction companies with a platform of innovative tools and cost estimation to help manage projects (and project costs) effectively with accuracy.

One California-based construction company, GBC Construction, needed a more user-friendly software solution for managing projects and made the switch.

If you would like to learn more about how you tackle estimation inaccuracies for your commercial construction business and gain the profit you’ve been losing, feel free to reach out to ProEst today and schedule a 1-on-1 walkthrough with one of our specialists!