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5 Tips for Adding New Estimating Software

Posted: August 14, 2018

It’s a fact. Contractors from all trades—from roofing to walls and ceilings—still rely heavily on spreadsheets, manual entry, and software that lacks integration. The 2017 JB Knowledge Construction Technology report showed that nearly half of survey respondents spent less than 1% of their sales volume on IT in 2017.

However, there are many contractors who decide to take the leap every day. They’ve done their homework and are ready to add new takeoff and estimating software tools. Once the decision to purchase new software is made, it’s important to have a plan in place to ensure that your implementation of new digital tools goes smoothly.

Next Steps for Adding Estimating Software

First off, you never want to buy new digital tools that will end up being under-utilized because of gaps in training and deployment.

For takeoff software, most implementations are quick and easy—just install, train, and go. However, for estimating software, you’ll need to carve out a bit more time as it will typically require some customization based on database integration.

Here are five best practices to keep in mind from our eBook, Estimators Guide to Assessing and Picking the Right Software:

  1. Go back and communicate your plans to all of the stakeholders who will be impacted. This could include estimators, project managers, owners, GMs, field supervisors, accounting, and IT.
  2. Make sure to create a checklist with a timeline. This would include a go-live date and any additional steps for install, customization, data migration and/or integration, and training.
  3. Test the new software to verify it is working. Make sure everything is working properly by specifying the first project to be completed using the new software.
  4. Allow enough time for training based on the recommendation of your software provider. Be sure to set hours aside for staff and remember that training will take time. You should have realistic expectations.
  5. Connect and integrate with your accounting department. This allows you to communicate to further simplify your process. You can also build and customize cost databases for accuracy.

Great Software Brings Great Rewards

Now that you’ve modernized your estimating department with new software, don’t forget to conduct post-installation reviews at regular intervals. This is a great way to justify your investment to management. You should also consider gathering feedback on a quarterly and yearly basis to ensure the tool is meeting the needs of your construction business.

Not sure if you need digital tools? Find out by taking a quick quiz. Download our eBook, Estimators Guide to Assessing and Picking the Right Software, to gauge if your construction business is ready for estimating software.

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