5 Estimating Shortcuts You’ll Love


The world of professional training and development has been my passion for more than 15 years because I love to learn and help others learn. One of the most rewarding things about helping others is hearing them say, “Wow, that’s going to save me a bunch of time and make my job so much easier.”

This is especially noteworthy when construction estimators and project managers share that feedback about our estimating software, Quick Bid, which is one of our more complex programs.

The truth is that many pre-construction professionals might still be doing things “the long way” if it weren’t for some of the crucial functions spotlighted during our training sessions.

With that in mind—here are five shortcuts you’ll be grateful for as you leverage Quick Bid to win more projects.

(If you don’t have Quick Bid – and these things sound good to you – let us know and we can schedule a demo for you to check it out.)

1. Rounding Material Quantities

As you review the material list for your job, you might notice many of the quantities have decimals. For example, you’ve estimated 14.37 tubes of sound caulk or 32.19 boxes of screws. Suppliers will likely struggle with such numbers, so Quick Bid lets you round those material quantities to the nearest whole number. The program uses your waste factor to do the rounding.

In the latest version of Quick Bid, you can choose whether to round up or down. Previous versions will have the ability to round, and the amount of your waste factor will determine how the rounding occurs. For more information on using this feature, check out this article.

2. Swapping One Material for Another

Have you ever bid a job where you had to make material changes after you had everything priced out?

Since the chances of that happening are high, Quick Bid makes it easy to swap one material for another. The best part is that the program “pre-qualifies” all possible replacements based on the parameters of what’s currently in your bid. Oh, and these swaps can be knocked out in a couple clicks rather than one at a time everywhere that material is being used.

Here’s an article that walks you through the process.

3. Sending eQuotes

How do you solicit the latest pricing from your material suppliers? Do you talk it over during a phone call or exchange a few emails and then manually add the pricing to your bid?

Quick Bid’s eQuote can streamline the whole process and eliminate any manual errors. Essentially, eQuote allows you to create a material list and send it directly from Quick Bid through email to your supplier. The supplier adds their pricing to the email and sends it back to you. Then, you can add the pricing to the bid – and update your database with that pricing for future bids – as well.

Check out this video to learn more about sending and receiving eQuotes. This second one shows you how to modify and accept a quote that you’ve received.

4. Saving Lists for Equipment Rental and General Conditions

Do you rent the same equipment on every job – or have a series of lifts or pumps needed for most bids? What about general conditions? Do you have a standard list you always pull from?

Rather than entering each of those items manually, you can create lists of common equipment items or typical general conditions and save them in a library. After that’s done, all you have to do is drop the saved list into your bid so those costs are instantly added to your total.

Watch this to see how to create an assembly for general conditions.

5. Running Reports for Specific CSI Sections

How much information do you want to see in your bid reports? Do you need to customize what’s included based on your audience?

Quick Bid has a series of 13 reports, each of which can provide a high-level overview or allow you to dive into more detail, depending on your needs.

One of the ways Quick Bid groups and filters bid information is by using industry-standard CSI section numbers. Now, you can easily generate a report showing only CSI Section 07 21 00 for all your Insulation or a report including only Acoustical Ceiling items in Section 09 50 00.

To find out how, check out this quick video.

If you don’t already use some of these features, I hope you consider adding them to your “estimating toolbox.” These are great ways to increase your efficiency when compiling bids. As always, our training team is ready to help with any questions so you can maximize your investment in our software.

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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