“One Team.” You’ve heard it before, and it certainly applies to effective estimating. To some contractors, there are no obvious drawbacks to using Excel spreadsheets for construction estimating. After all, they’re easy to use and readily available. Others, however, experience Excel limitations as their company expands and grows, including:
Custom programming can fix some of the issues, but it can be expensive, and customizing Excel at the user level makes it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a standardized approach for multiple estimators. Even more problematical is getting the right data to transfer correctly into your other back office system. In many cases, estimate data may have more detail than a user may want to incorporate into scheduling, job costing or project management, leading to inaccurate calculations and unwanted complexity.
Software created specifically for construction estimating, on the other hand, offers direct integration with many popular construction accounting software solutions, eliminating the need to manually enter estimate data into accounting software on the back end – a common source of unintended errors. Given that estimate data automatically transfers, job costing becomes a true extension of the values used to create each estimate.