Advancements in the technology-driven world have caused impactful changes in almost every industry. The construction industry is no exception. Gone are the days of using handwritten estimates.
After all, manual estimates lack accurate information for influencing decisions. Construction estimation software helps with managing several elements of the construction process and, most importantly, estimation.
Choosing the right construction estimation software can enhance your accuracy and efficiency quickly. Similarly, choosing the wrong one will not only result in wasted money, but might also hamper your reputation in the construction industry.
Therefore, we’ve curated a guide to help you identify and select the best software for your construction business. Want to know more about the best construction estimation software? Click here.
What is construction estimating software?
Construction estimation software represents an application or program framework that enables contractors and construction business firms to introduce automation into estimation workflows and bidding management.
During the estimation phase, contractors or business owners share information with the client, including material expenses, delivery timelines, and labor costs. Estimation applications eliminate the requirement of spreadsheets and manual processes to speed up the entire bidding framework.
5 features to consider in construction estimation software
When you select construction estimation software, make sure to consider the following five things.
1. Cloud-based functionality
Almost every estimating software comes with two operating functionalities: desktop solutions and cloud-based platforms.
Cloud solutions offer several advantages over traditional in-house or desktop models. With cloud-based platforms, you can work and access information from anywhere and everywhere. Remote access data makes it easier to work on a particular project, even if you’re not present in the office or don’t have your system.
Not only does it make information easily accessible, but it fosters enhanced collaboration and simultaneous multi-project management through more control. You can control who gets access to what level of information.
It also supports business expansion by eliminating the requirement of additional physical or technical infrastructure, which would take days for installation.
2. Integration and plugins
End-to-end construction management includes accounting, invoicing, workforce management, project management, and much more, so you’ll likely need integration with other platforms and software tools to execute these operations easily.
Without integration functionality, you’ll need to transfer data from different software solutions into estimation software manually. This can require immense hours of work and increase your overall burden. Integration doesn’t just introduce efficiency, it also protects data integrity.
3. Post-purchase customer support
Integrating new applications into your organization’s framework or business can be tricky and sometimes overwhelming without the correct guidance.
Regardless of user-friendliness and interface, there can sometimes be a learning curve during adaptation. Without technical support, it can be challenging to understand how to integrate new software and plugins into your existing system.
Therefore, post-purchase technical support on call is incredibly important for smooth onboarding.
Quality construction estimating software generally doesn’t offer free features. They might offer a free trial period, but you’ll probably need to opt for a paid version to unlock its full potential.
Before making a purchase or starting to browse the best construction estimate software, prepare a realistic budget. Most software platforms have two to three pricing plans depending on your duration of usage and the tools you’ll require for your business.
Select a pricing structure that works best for your construction business. During selection, consider the number of users using the application and the projected growth rate of your business after integration.
5. Easy sharing with clients
A well-detailed estimate with immaculate aesthetic appeal is of no use if you can’t share it with your clients.
Therefore, while choosing construction estimation software, check if there are options available for link sharing, exporting dashboards, and downloading files. This helps you share estimates easily without requiring additional support from other applications.
The advantages of using estimation software
Using a construction estimation software can see the following benefits:
- Eradicates spreadsheet complexity and manual errors
- Conveys professionalism and improves communication
- Enhances productivity and reduces the time required for tedious processes, so you can dedicate time to more critical processes for business growth and innovation
- When your estimation document looks polished and detailed, it positively influences the client’s decision and acquisition rates
The best practices for utilizing construction software
Before sharing estimation documents, make sure you’re verifying all costs and information. While most quality applications are designed to integrate accurate information, it’s best to evaluate them to avoid any complications or errors in the future.
Conduct insightful training and education for adapting the software features. Provide training resources to employees for using the new tools.
Encourage organization-wide adoption and understanding. New technology needs to be applied at every level of your organization for smoother processes and valuable outcomes. Therefore, provide consistent training and support while highlighting the advantages of encouraging organization-wide adoption.
Selecting the right software is important
Selecting the correct construction estimate software can significantly impact your business. Quality tools and applications are necessary for improving operation efficiency, maximizing profits, and maintaining all your construction projects. Use this guide to choose construction software that suits your project in the most ideal way.