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3 Reasons Contractors Should Step Outside Tech Comfort Zone

Posted: February 27, 2019

Let’s say you’re a small roofing contractor using a proprietary, Excel-based tool for estimating. Sure, there are more sophisticated tools out there, but you stick with what you know rather than changing up your workflow and process.

Instead of learning new software that would seamlessly integrate with existing project management and accounting systems, you keep cobbling together spreadsheets or doing takeoffs by hand.

Why Change Now?

Call it a tipping point. But today’s construction industry is under greater scrutiny as the benefits of adopting digital tools are outweighing alternative methods of working. For starters, construction demand is high with project backlogs averaging nine months. With a consistent labor shortage, contractors are struggling with how to capitalize on demand when they can’t seem to hire enough workers.

In fact, 88% of engineering and construction companies are facing real risks due to the lack of skilled craft workers available, according to an AGC/FMI Risk Study. Of those, 67% reported having a limited number of available field supervisors.

Meanwhile, lagging productivity continues to threaten profitability. Remember, construction has racked up the “least improved” award globally for productivity for 20 straight years. The construction industry is known to blow their schedule by 20 percent and their budget by 80 percent, yet still, refuse to throw additional dollars into technology. The 2018 JBKnowledge ConTech Report found that contractors continue to invest less than 1% of their sales volume on IT.

While experts say new digital tech holds the promise of boosting productivity by as much as 60%, contractors still choose to underspend on technology by 70%. Many of today’s owners, general contractors, and subcontractors still find themselves doing takeoffs by hand rather than embracing powerful, new data-driven tools that offer real-time adjustment capabilities.

Three Reasons to Invest in Estimating Software

Are you willing to risk winning the low bid on a project because of an estimating error? Ultimately, any contractor must weigh the pros and cons of adding new tools that could save substantial time and dramatically reduce errors.  

Here are three reasons contractors should consider making the switch to digital tools:

  1. Inaccurate Data Hurts Your Business

Human error and rough estimates based on old data, unclear notes, and keystroke errors can lead to less than profitable projects. How can your bid be priced correctly if you can’t easily refer to historical data from past projects? Even worse, spreadsheets offer no version control, which can result in substantial re-work. While spreadsheets may have the lowest bar for ease-of-use, they also make it more difficult to consolidate data input.

2. Going Faster to Improve Your Bid-to-Win Ratio

When you have digital-level control over construction input, costs, processes, and relationships, it is much easier to complete day-to-day tasks more quickly. Using software for takeoff, estimating, bidding, accounting, and project management mean your construction business can immediately capitalize on efficiencies. If you’re no longer entering data by hand, you can spend more time generating revenue.

3. Greater Predictability Means Greater Profits

With integrated tools, you can more easily automate how construction projects get designed, planned, and built. Experts say this could result in cost savings as high as 20% annually. No doubt, greater predictability in construction timelines will deliver significant cost savings. When you standardize how every job gets bid, you can more easily price projects consistently by relying on historical data.  

Step Outside Your Tech Comfort Zone

All contractors are hungry for speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Those who decide to purchase, implement, and get trained on new takeoff, estimating, and project management technology are finding the benefits are well worth the investment. They say omitting duplication of effort, minimizing errors, and quicker communication between the field and the office are helping them win the most profitable projects for their business.

Are you ready to step outside your tech comfort zone? If you’re eager to learn more, check out our free white paper,  Step Outside Your Comfort Zone: Digital Tech Holds the Promise of Boosting Construction Productivity.

Are you ready to fast track productivity with an integrated solution for takeoff, estimating, and production management? Find out what the Contractor’s Suite can do for your construction business – request a free demo now.

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