How ProEst Helped Silverado Meet the Demands of Rapid Growth.
Before moving to the ProEst platform, Silverado relied on the most basic of tool sets to get their bids out the door. “We used pen and paper and calculators,” said Joe Sims, one of Silverado’s three principal estimators and project managers. But as the size and value of potential projects increased— many projects were in excess of $1M—the company recognized the need for an automated estimating solution that could integrate with accounting and project management software. It was then that Sims took the lead in finding a system that could accommodate their increasingly complex requir ments, choosing ProEst over other solutions as their new estimating platform in 2015. “ProEst looked like the most user-friendly choice,” he said, a clear advantage for Silverado employees with a spectrum of technical skills.
Focused primarily on commercial projects, Silverado takes the long view when it comes to attract- ing and keeping clients. “That first job is everything, and from there, you can create a relationship so you’re invited back to bid on future projects,” explained Sims. “You give them a good price and off you go.” That’s where ProEst, says Sims, has helped the Silverado team gain visibility into their numbers, the best way to win bids, initiate new client relationships and protect profit margins. It’s an approach that has helped the company achieve “unbelievable growth” over the past few years, establishing Silverado as a multi-million-dollar corporation that continues to forecast double-digit revenue growth.
ProEst enabled us to take on the multi-million- dollar construction projects we do now.”
Silverado took full advantage of early training sessions to familiarize new users with ProEst functionality, and while some on the Silverado team relied exclusively on feature-specific learning modules within the ProEst system, others—Sims included—were more comfortable with one-on-one instruction from ProEst trainers. “I’ve taken a total of eight courses and I’m scheduled to do more training soon,” he said. “The support network is totally there.” After five class- es, Sims and his estimating team “never went back” to manual methods, using ProEst exclusively to prepare and submit their bids. And as the ProEst program itself evolves, Silverado wants to make sure that they are using it to their full advantage. “Training is something I want to make an investment in,” said Sims.
ProEst helps me keep track of how I got to my numbers, and what my cost is all the time.
Sims credits ProEst with a sizable increase in awarded projects, giving Silverado a new ability to consistently produce more take-offs in less time—all with a corresponding increase in accuracy. “ProEst helps us stay organized,” he said, “and when estimators and ownership sit down for a review, we’re familiar with what we’re looking at. That helps us pick out mistakes as well as advantages.” Basically, explained Sims, ProEst keeps them all “on the same page” and acts as a conduit between their three estimators and ownership. In the case of $10 million+ jobs that are detailed and complicated, Silverado has found that ProEst helps facilitate communication and agreement among the team as adjustments are being made on bid day, the key, say Sims, to a competitive estimate.
ProEst has also allowed Silverado estimators to hand off bids-in-progress whenever the need arises, picking up where someone else left off without the need to start from the beginning. “I can pick up old estimates and make changes,” said Sims, “or I can pass the ball rather than carry it.” That’s the kind of time-saving efficiency that Silverado values most, allowing estimators to produce more bids while safeguarding their accuracy. Just as important, Silverado’s current methodology—in which estimators morph into project managers once the job is awarded—is well supported by the kind of end-to-end visibility ProEst offers. “We wear multiple hats here,” said Sims, “all in the interest of getting projects through the door and making money.”