Alignment can mean many things in business. In certain environments, it means matching the information technology you use to your business objectives. In the area of labor, it refers to aligning your business goals with your employees' personal goals. Getting on the same page with the business data and the people who make the business run create a better chance of success for construction estimating companies.
Although the construction industry may have lagged behind other industries in adopting new tech, that trend is changing. Decades ago, master builders oversaw every aspect of projects, from design to completion. Then, the industry fragmented into architects, developers, general contractors, and subcontractors. The result was less efficiency and more potential communication problems between clients and builders.
Today, technologies like BIM and design-build models are bringing construction teams back together. But are your front-facing personnel communicating as well as they could with your back-end information and systems? According to Construction Work Zone, "estimating departments often run like a car in desperate need of an alignment."
Having information, systems, and support in place and fully aligned can be the difference between a missed bid and a successful one. Having your technology and front-facing office personnel aligned with workers on job sites will help keep your work on time and under budget.
You should know why your true costs are the way they are. You can get a better picture of true job costs by aligning all the elements of your business and external and internal sources of information. Post-job reviews can give you a more accurate picture of many parts of your bids. You can even use game theory to identify the best markups. According to John Kellamis, writing for Electrical Contractor, "anybody can win a bid." Winning a bid with an optimal profit margin is better than winning a bid with a low-ball, money-losing estimate.
You may not have thought of the construction business as a game, but game theory emphasizes competitive human nature, and the key to using it well in construction bidding is knowing your limits. Kellamis advises, "Always have a working knowledge of your true cost and the factors playing on your eventual decision." Using technology to align all the factors that will influence your bid gives you the intelligence you need to play the bidding game not only to win but also consistently turn out profitable winning bids.
This is why knowing your true costs is so crucial. You’ll eliminate the risk of underbidding a job and losing money, and you can work on establishing your optimal profit margin. ProEst can help via its reporting capacity, which lets you align your most profitable jobs and repeat the successful process.
Construction estimating companies that win bids while remaining profitable will crush their competition over time. You likely have a goldmine of information lying around your office, but if it's locked in file cabinets or gathering dust on someone's desk, it's of little use. Learning from what you’ve done in the past and using it to build toward the future is a vital competitive advantage that you can have over other businesses, especially ones still using pencil and paper or spreadsheet-based recordkeeping.
Using estimating software like ProEst can give you visibility over past projects and bids. Not only can you save time with features like digital takeoffs, but you can also look at client relationships. Aligning the human element of your business with job-specific data is a critical element in achieving peak performance.
Until you know where you've been, it's hard to chart a course to where you want to be. Peak performance for your company is something that only you can define. But if you're missing bids and losing opportunities on jobs that you could have done well, chances are that your estimating process could use realignment.
Don’t limit your estimating process to the basics. Get total visibility and control over your bids and projects. ProEst is designed specifically to help you in this process. For example, Good & Roberts Construction prepares about 400 estimates every year. They used ProEst's digital takeoff technology to access multiple phases of a job in layers on screen. They ended up saving about 800 staff hours a year and cutting down on the rush to select subcontractors on bid day. They also benefited from the responsive support team to integrate and align ProEst throughout their company.
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 project estimation assurance in commercial construction companies effortless. You won’t have to engage your entire team to be sure your numbers are accurate.
To learn more about how your commercial construction company can increase its profits through company-wide alignment that drastically improves business performance, reach out today and schedule a 1-on-1 walkthrough with one of our specialists!