When your estimators make costly mistakes before a project even begins, you can be fairly sure that your company’s profitability will take a hit—and depending on the scope of the project, it probably means that you will just break even (or actually lose money) once the job is closed. All it takes is out-of-date costing, an incomplete report or a single data entry error, and the project you worked hard to win becomes a financial hardship instead. Construction companies that leave money on the table often make inadvertent estimating errors that reduce—or even wipe out—anticipated profits.
So, what can you do to protect yourself? First and foremost, equip your estimating team with the best possible tools for the job. Excel spreadsheets are well known for producing construction estimates that contain significant errors, either due to the wrong user inputs or persistent faults in formula cells. Then, there’s the problem of multiple users working on different spreadsheet platforms, a scenario that sets the stage for repeated estimating flaws and inconsistencies.
of spreadsheets contain errors
Source: Raymond Panko
Takeoffs present their own challenges. Manual takeoffs from paper blueprints typically require complicated math that is labor-intensive and time-consuming. And mistakes can be made. A flawed takeoff can result in an excess of equipment, materials and labor for the job-or not nearly enough. Either scenario can lead to a sizable loss of time and money.
A more reliable approach is to use powerful software that has been specifically designed for construction estimating, which reduces the risk of manual input errors and includes a costing database. ProEst estimating software sets the standard for the industry, offering error-free on-screen blueprint takeoff capabilities and a comprehensive collection of localized, actively monitored costing data. In addition, ProEst’s robust reporting feature lets you quickly review your estimating history, a good way to benchmark your current proposal against similar projects that yielded positive returns in the past. Result? Your estimates are more accurate—and profitable—than ever before.
- Spreadsheet-generated estimates are prone to inaccuracy due to manual data entry errors and inconsistent platforms
On-screen takeoff methods virtually eliminate errors associated with paper-and-pencil techniques
An actively monitored digital database offers timely and accurate equipment, labor and materials costing