Estimating is critical to the success or failure of a construction project. When tendering, a higher bid can make you lose on so many jobs, while a lower bid, you won’t gain any profits. Therefore, it becomes essential to do it right. Paper estimates can consume a lot of time, whereas a construction software for estimating can make the job much more comfortable. Additionally, it can help you bid for multiple jobs in a short period.
In this article, we will cover things including what is bidding, how technology has reshaped the whole process and how useful it is for the construction industry besides the role and need of a human estimator in the process.
Here is your guide to ultimate construction software for estimating:
What is bidding in Construction?
Bidding is a proposal for the potential customer to build or manage the structure of a building. The subcontractors can pitch their services to the general contractors.
It begins by using the correct cost estimates followed by submitting the lowest bid among the competing contractors. The bidding process starts with examining the construction plans and executing material quantity takeoffs.
Construction project owners make use of cost estimates to establish the scope of a project, the viability to allocate budgets. For contractors, it is the deciding factor. Based on an estimate, they decide whether or not they want to bid for a project. The estimates are generally prepared by taking inputs from the engineers and architects to ascertain financial suitability and scope of the project.
An intelligent cost bidding software for construction ensures that the builder doesn’t lose money and helps the customer in preventing from overpaying.
What is construction software for estimating and how is it useful?
A collection of processes, programs, and information which can be utilized to measure the total cost of a construction project is a construction cost bidding software. The formulations can be obtained automatically and need not be done manually. Using cost estimating construction software means digital cameras and tablet PCs are used in place of tape measures. The duo ensures improvement in the speed and accuracy in the preparation of an estimate.
The digital estimating is the best thing that has happened to the construction industry. The customers today are keener on having timely estimates. They don’t like to wait for 15 or 20 days to get an estimate. They will instead move on to another contractor who is using a suitable construction bidding software for the contractor. In other words, an estimating process boosts a contractor’s chances of winning a bid by presenting the real cost of a project to the potential clients. It eventually improves productivity.
The construction software for estimating can be utilized in the different sectors of the construction industry. The different versions of the construction software look after specialized apps in the industrial, commercial and residential construction. It includes specialty, general and heavy or highway contracting. Common features comprise of cost databases, takeoff software and estimating worksheets. Estimating applications require some calculations. Hence, a sufficient amount of RAM and fast operating CPU are two essential functionalities.
Construction software for estimating assists in managing subcontractor data, track communications, share documents of the project, bid comparison, and also assemble a complete package for the owners. Also available are success staff and customer service to help the companies boost their tendering after implementing the construction estimating bidding software.
These online solutions help in automating job costing. It means the price of carrying out a unit of work including materials, overhead, and labor is calculated automatically.
Cost Estimating is an essential aspect of the construction process. It is specifically about three things:
- Money: The user calculates the cost, applies markup, and then presented the total to the customer.
- Accuracy: Only an accurate estimate can help a business prosper.
- Speed: Every customer wants a rapid estimate. Customers may even wait for the cost estimate for industrial and commercial projects. Customers may accept the first estimate or house renovations and extensions if they find no issues with it.
Doing it manually may take time; hence to meet all the three criteria, a tool such as a cost estimating construction software can be used.
Construction Software for Tendering – Is it Useful?
No business can survive today without computers and software running on them. By an estimate, more than 55% estimators are found to be inefficient as they can’t use proper tools.
Functional software (one that suits you) doesn’t have to be too complicated or expensive. A few basic features are sufficient. These include:
- Takeoff tool: it assists the process of transferring measurements from paper or digital plans.
- Integrated Cost Databases: it can utilize commercially available data, for instance, RS Means, and the data you provide for cost estimating.
- Calculations for Estimates: it is generated by the applications to lay the estimates and requirements in detail. It is in contrast to the abstracting and squaring out activities of the cost estimators.
The above features speed up an estimator’s work. Along with the above, a construction bidding software for contractor includes the following:
- Interface with other applications: the contractor can take the data from an engineer or architect CAD to create an estimate into a program for procurement or integration with the accounting system of the company.
- Collaboration friendly: comments, approvals, and adjustments are possible digitally with the right construction software for estimating. This preventing hunting for a paper when needed.
Are the applications enough?
Those who believe that a cost estimating construction software is all they need to fulfill customer needs may be a little disappointed. You cannot depend on software for all your needs. The user will require balances and checks.
Human involvement is therefore necessary. For quality results, you have to insert some quality information into it. Consider the cost data. Commercially available cost databases use the latest data. It is refreshed every year, locality by locality, item by item. This is one of the reasons that activities or the building materials vary in the projects hence the real data should be used in the estimating process.
The need for a human cost estimator:
Construction software for estimating won’t operate on its own. You will need a capable human to make it function. Only a well-qualified cost estimator can make the best use of tender software. He can use the features and speed of the cost estimating construction software and apply his knowledge to improve or confirm the results.
Key characteristics of a suitable cost estimator:
- understands engineering, and architectural drawings
- know about construction methods and materials
- Familiar with the preferences and customs of the company and how the company handles its construction projects.
- Organized and systematic approach
- Expert in preparing an estimate – accurate and understandable for the customers and the management
- can evaluate bids from the subcontractors regarding price, scope, and responsiveness with previous performance in mind.
- Engineering knowledge to prepare an estimate in a manner to aid in cost optimization with an array of construction materials and methods.
- Ability to evaluate why a particular tender was accepted or rejected, the number of estimators who bid for the project and whether or not the lowest bidder omitted anything from the estimate.
However, these roles are fulfilled by a human estimator, with software in the pipeline, a lot of repetitive and manual work can be carried out by the computer so the estimator can focus on the presentation. The advantages of having a multitude of applications are that there are a lot of reporting options from which you can select cost proposals and breakdowns including graphics and charts to improve clarity.
A human estimator is required. It is as important as having the right constriction cost bidding software. A cost estimator can decide the presentation of the costs by utilizing units determined by the customer or the one that allows quantities which are neither too big nor too small.
The most suitable cost bidding software for construction is the one supported by a knowledgeable and competent estimator. The combination of human and technology is essential for preserving and improving the profits of a construction company. Both are needed to make a construction process smooth and impressionable for the customer as a whole. It provides relevance, clarity and detailed presentation.