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How Construction Estimators Can Prevent Costly Spreadsheet Mistakes

The role that construction estimators play in a construction project is a complex but crucial one. For today’s firms to stay in business, they need to prevent avoidable (and costly) mistakes. Part of a construction estimator’s job is to prevent those mistakes and help make purchasing decisions, so having the right numbers could ultimately save the company’s bottom line.

With the right technology solutions, estimators are able to make better project estimates and prevent mistakes that manual methods are prone to.

What’s Wrong With Manual Data Entry Methods?

Contractors and construction firms have been collecting data manually for decades now, but there are several problems that crop up when you’re entering data and attempting to track information in multiple spreadsheets.

  • Decentralized data doesn’t help your whole team. Excel can be an effective way to track internal information. But for projects that involve a larger number of project stakeholders, construction estimators need secure, robust technology that’s accessible to a wider group of people.
  • Manual methods are vulnerable to error and inaccuracy because of incorrect formulas or outdated data. When you’re given the right tools for data analysis, formulas, and reporting, you come away with accurate information and transparency.
  • Errors and incorrect measurements ultimately lead to inaccurate estimates, which will directly and negatively impact a company’s growth. When you can’t bid accurately on a project’s budget, someone winds up eating additional costs.

But using high-performing, cloud-based software can help businesses save money on projects. Supporting construction estimators with technology can help them perform in their role more effectively, making them a valuable and relied-upon team member.

According to Whole Building Design Guide: “It is very important to have the cost estimator involved right from the start of the project, to ensure that the project budget reflects the decisions made by the rest of the project team throughout the integrated design process.”

The Need for Better Construction Estimates

“Until the economic crash of 2008, construction professionals relied on historic prices and localization factors to provide reasonably accurate costs to build,” writes Sherman Wong, Sr for ENR. “While these costs and factors are helpful when putting a budget together, stakeholders have increasingly voiced dissatisfaction with their accuracy (or lack of).”

The demand for more innovative construction technology has grown: firms need to keep team members on track and to collect accurate data. And that’s not just to stay relevant with other industries, which are adopting technology more quickly. Construction firms need better, data-supported estimates in order to thrive.

“Roughly 98 percent of construction projects go over budget,” explains Wong for ENR. “Furthermore, the market volatility and the shrinking construction labor pool have contributed to the inability to rely on past data to produce accurate budgets.”

Using the right tools, however, will help businesses thrive. When construction estimators are able to accurately measure their team and project performance, they ensure they’re within the client’s budget and on schedule. By delivering reliable estimates and finishing projects on time, firms can develop a positive reputation among clients and in their community.

Team Up With Technology

ProEst gives construction estimators more solutions for project data, so they can make far more accurate project estimates. This innovative technology includes a few key features:

Client Relationship Management: ProEst will help migrate your existing databases so that all of your customer and project information can be accessed and managed in one place.

Digital Takeoffs: Give everyone on the team the information they need, right from the blueprint. Digital takeoffs are built into ProEst, so your team can perform takeoffs using digital plans (or paper blueprints).

Accurate Estimates: ProEst features data-collecting tools and industry resources for construction estimators, guaranteeing the estimates you deliver aren’t just lucky guesses. To help evaluate all possibilities on your project, ProEst also gives estimators access to RSMeans to help track any material cost changes.

Reporting and Forecasts: Tools like ProEst help estimators make more confident decisions and negotiate more effectively when they have all the data they need within reach. That means they’re able to deliver more accurate project estimates so that their company finds success and stays ahead in the construction industry.

“With ProEst, we have significantly increased the number of estimates we are able to generate,” said Malcolm Smith, Estimating Lead with Kolde Construction.

When estimators have the right tools at their fingertips, they’ll be able to forecast a brighter business future. “It comes down to being able to turn out estimates quickly, and being confident that the numbers you are putting together are correct,” said Smith. “I have that confidence with ProEst.”

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 assurance in commercial construction projects estimation effortless. You won’t have to engage your entire team to be sure your numbers are accurate.

If you would like to learn more about how your commercial construction company can increase its profits and reduce miscalculations during the estimation process, reach out today and schedule a 1-on-1 walkthrough with one of our specialists!

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