Construction businesses have gone a long way from using the pen and paper to estimate costs. These days, manually calculated cost estimates are reserved only for the smallest of jobs.
The rest is taken care of by using civil construction estimating software that automates the process, saves you more time, money, and resources, and ultimately drive efficiency, productivity, and profits.
There are four important factors that you should look for when deciding which estimating software you need for your business.
It should have all the features you need.
Estimating software can span the gamut from basic, bare-bones apps to full-blown project management systems with fancy features such as proposal generation and professional cost books. The software you choose should eliminate all the unnecessary steps that don’t need to be done every time a quote is requested.
It should be within your budget.
As different apps span a whole range of features, so do they go the entire spectrum of prices. Costs can go anywhere from $200 to $20,000, with options for monthly subscriptions as well. Decide how much you want to save by using estimating software, and make sure the upfront costs are not more than that.
It should be easy to use.
There’s no sense buying software that your team members have a hard time using. If your employees have to go through a steep learning curve to use the software, or if you take a long time getting it implemented, that’s an obvious sign that the software is not as intuitive and user-friendly as its makers claim.
It should be a whole-enterprise solution.
Your estimating software should be compatible with other business software that requires you to enter the same pieces of data. At the very least, all software, including accounting, scheduling, and estimating, must share the same database so you don’t have to enter the same information twice or three times and reduce the risk of inaccurate entries.
When buying civil construction estimating software, keep in mind that it’s not just the software you’re investing in. You’re choosing a software vendor that will be your business partner for as long as you’re using their software.