3 Ways to Prep Before Your Online Takeoff and Estimating Training


In the wake of COVID-19 and work-from-home becoming the new normal, more and more preconstruction professionals are choosing to attend training online. Rather than learning the ins and out of using a new construction software programs in-person, they are clearing their calendars for more online learning.

As always, the adage—you get out of it what you put into it—rings just as true as it would in a classroom setting. In other words, preparation is critical to get the most out of your estimating training investment.

As an experienced training specialist, I’d like to share three important steps you can take in advance of your construction software training to make sure you get the most out of it:

1. Download Your Software and Database 

It’s natural to want to attend training as soon as you (or your company) buys new takeoff and estimating software. After all, these programs are going to save you tons of time when performing takeoffs and completing estimates. (The days of printing paper plans and using highlighters are over!) 

However, before you schedule your training, make sure to download the program you’ll be training on to your computer. And if there are other critical components, such as the database you’ll be using within the program, double-check that you have that ready as well.  

If those pieces aren’t in place prior to the session, we’ll have to spend valuable time doing that setup at the beginning, which slows our momentum and could ultimately cost valuable learning time. 

If you’re a little nervous about doing that initial setup on your own, rest assured that we provide detailed instructions about what to do. And, beyond that, our team is always available if something doesn’t look right or if you have questions.   

2. Play Around in the Program in Advance

Another way you can lay the groundwork for a successful training session is to do a little pre-work in whichever program you’ll be learning. For example, if you’re taking training on one of our takeoff programs, launch the program, create a bid, and, if possible, add some drawings. If you’re not sure how to do some of those things yet, that’s OK. That’s what the training’s for, right? (But if you’re feeling brave, feel free to give it a try.) 

You can also take a few minutes to select some plans to use during the training. If the plans are for a new project, take a few moments to look them over prior to the session. That way, if we need to find a page with a door schedule or a section cut of the slab on grade, we can navigate to it easily.  

And when you’re thinking about which plans to use, pick some that incorporate as many of the elements of your typical work as possible. For example, if you estimate a lot of multi-family projects, you might select plans for an apartment complex or a hotel so we can walk through the many options our takeoff programs have to streamline that kind of takeoff for you.  

3. Bring Your Objectives and Questions

Finally, consider what you’d like to walk away from the training knowing more about. Perhaps your goal is to finish with a solid overview of everything. Or maybe you want to get specific about how to compare original plans to revisions so you can easily identify changes. Or, it could be that you’ve watched a few of our training videos and have some questions about how to add markup into your estimate.  

The truth is we trainers love it when you participate and take an active role in the process. We want to hear how you’re planning to use the software so we can tailor the training to your specific needs. Our goal is not only to increase your knowledge, but also your comfort level so you can feel confident about using the software long-term to win more bids.  

Doing these three things to prepare for your takeoff and estimating training shouldn’t take long—but it will pay off in a big way. Making sure you’re ready for your online training session will likely make your session more productive and enjoyable! 

Ready to book your online estimator training? Call your Customer Success Team at 866-627-6246.

Allyson Grove is a Product Training Specialist at On Center Software by ConstructConnect. She delivers best-in-class training to construction industry professionals. Her passion is
helping estimators and project managers sharpen their takeoff and estimating skills and win more bids. Prior to joining On Center in 2015, she worked in a variety of industries, including broadcast television, publishing, consumer electronics, oil and gas, and management consulting. For the past 15 years, she has held a variety of training and development roles in which she delivered both classroom and virtual training, as well as designed and developed curriculum. Originally hailing from Ohio, Allyson holds a degree in broadcast
journalism from Ohio University. When not at work, Allyson enjoys watching sports, doing yoga, reading, and journaling.

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