Posted: December 26, 2018
On Center Software: 8708 Technology Forest Pl. , Suite 175 The Woodlands, Texas 77381, United States
Cue the confetti cannon! For the seventh straight year, On-Screen Takeoff has ranked as the top takeoff tool for estimating in the annual Construction Technology Report by JBKnowledge.
In fact, On-Screen Takeoff has never slipped from the top spot since the survey began in 2012. Even better, this year’s 2,825 respondents voted On-Screen Takeoff as No. 1 by an even wider margin of 44.8 percent compared to 41.5% in 2017.
Ever since JBKnowledge began collecting, compiling, and analyzing data for their well-respected ConTech Report, On-Screen Takeoff has owned this top spot—starting with the first survey in 2012 through 2018.
Largest Survey Ever
What’s exciting is this year’s survey had the largest number of respondents ever with nearly 3,000 builders answering questions on their construction technology solutions, staffing, and budget. Survey respondents represented several generations of workers, but late boomers and Gen X-ers (born 1960-1979) dominated with 53.9% of respondents. This year’s report had a wide range of roles reported from executives to foremen to project managers and bid coordinators. Of those, 42.5% identified themselves as subcontractors and 36.7% as General Contractor/Construction Manager.
Also, the majority of the construction pros who responded to the survey represented firms that have been in business 50+ years (40.4%) with the majority (18.5%) coming from companies with 201 to 500 employees. Interestingly, there were fewer female respondents (20.5%) and fewer who represented the millennial generation (25%).
Spreadsheet Dependency is Down
One of the most promising changes in 2018 was that the reliance on spreadsheets has dropped. In 2017, 71% of estimating workflows were dependent on spreadsheets; accounting 58.7%; project management 46.1%; and bid management 43.3%. In 2018, the number of estimators relying on spreadsheets fell to 63.2%; accounting to 51%; project management to 45.6 percent; and bid management to 39.7%
This drop may be related to the fact that the construction industry is using fewer software solutions—with 21.4 percent reporting they only use two solutions. It also appears that many firms are struggling with integrated solutions with 29.1% reporting “none” as the number of software tools they use that integrate. As a result, 51.8% reported having to manually transfer data and 44.3% are using spreadsheets when transferring data without integrated tools.
How Much Tech Investment?
Of those surveyed, 38.2% reported budget as being the most limiting factor in adopting new technology. Once again, more than 45% of companies spend less than 1% of annual sales volume on IT. Of those surveyed, 48.5% reported having a dedicated IT department. However, these teams tend to be small with 52% maintaining their department size from 2017 with an average of only 1-5 employees.
While the survey reflected a growing interest in AI-driven robotics and blockchain, for many small-to-medium-size firms, construction technology adoption still comes down to taking those first steps. For them, there is a need to begin by investing in integrated takeoff, estimating, and bid management tools.
On Center can help if you’re ready to take that leap. Why are you spending countless hours cutting and pasting from spreadsheets to estimating software? It’s easy to see with a 14-day free trial or demo On-Screen Takeoff. Find out why so many construction pros use OST to complete takeoffs in a fraction of the time with much greater accuracy.