Online Estimating Software For Roofers
Contractors, builders, and anybody who regularly prepares cost estimates for projects or bids on construction contracts can use technology to manage the estimating and bidding process to save time and money. This section of the book will provide you with an overview of the program and how it may be used in the construction industry’s bidding, estimating, and takeoff processes. In the present time most the companies Switching To Online Run Businesses.
What Is Construction Estimating Software and How Does It Work?
Construction estimating software is cloud or desktop software that simplifies and improves the process of evaluating construction costs, materials, and labor. Construction estimating software comes in various flavors, ranging from simple spreadsheet templates to online collaborative software with a plethora of capabilities that optimize far more than the estimate process. Contractors should also keep in mind that certain software is developed specifically for specific subcontractor trades, such as capabilities for electricians or HVAC contractors. Other goods may be made for general contractors or without a particular business.
Estimating software vs. takeoff software vs. bidding software
As we discussed before, the bidding, assessing, and takeoff processes are all closely tied and interlocked. Contractors and subcontractors do takeoffs using project designs and bid documents, then use that information to develop construction cost estimates. These figures are then used to produce project bids, also known as work proposals.
Many “Estimating Software” products focus solely on estimating. Still, it’s also typical for software products to include takeoff, evaluating, bidding, or any combination of the three, all on the same platform. However, these are separate tools given by different companies most of the time. Buyers may be perplexed since some companies market “Estimating Software” and others “Construction Bidding Software,” with product descriptions that purport to answer the same objectives while the products are frequently different.
To help clarify what software developers mean when they use these terms, we’ll explain the most frequent phrases used by estimating software suppliers to brand themselves and the functionality that these terms typically entail. Typically, software suppliers will use the following words to describe themselves:
Construction bidding software focuses on project bids/proposals, subcontractor and project scheduling, client management, and bid analysis/reporting.
Takeoff software specializes in extracting information from digital designs and spec sheets and then using that data to generate cost estimates.
Estimating tools assist estimators (typically contractors and subcontractors) develop line-by-line material and supply cost and quantity estimates. Cost summary templates, preloaded formulas and calculations, and regional part/material cost databases are common examples of these products. Estimating software is sometimes used to describe products that handle all parts of bidding, takeoff, and counting.
Bid management software sounds like construction bidding software, but it’s a set of tools contractors use to track their subcontractor bids. These tools will occasionally allow contractors to generate bid proposals (which is the aim of bidding software), but it is not their primary focus.
The tool that best suits your company’s needs is determined by how you handle the bid process and whether specific aspects of the process require improvement.
Estimating Software: Online vs. Desktop
Estimating software firms can provide clients with access to their technology in one of two ways: (1) by putting it on the buyer’s PCs or servers, or (2) by making it available online, via web browsers and mobile devices. On-premise refers to items that have been installed. These tools are either downloaded and installed on each computer that will utilize the product or installed on company servers and distributed to employees. However, many businesses are now beginning to offer software that can be accessed via web browsers. These goods are sometimes referred to as cloud-based or web-based.
There are numerous advantages to using online estimating software, particularly accessibility. Users can get online-served software from any device with an internet connection. Some advanced gadgets will even allow offline access through local apps that sync data when an internet connection is available. We prefer tools that are accessible online because of the simplicity they give unless your firm has a reason to choose an on-premise estimating solution. You can join from any device with a web connection, rather than being in your office or on a device with a link to your company’s servers.
Online products can also be updated more easily than on-premise products. Once the estimating software developer upgrades their product, online items are automatically updated for all users. One drawback of adopting an on-premise estimating tool is that it will almost always need to be manually updated, either by re-downloading or by contacting a firm’s technical representative. In most situations, this entails paying an additional annual charge to the supplier to continue receiving updates.
Despite the many advantages of online estimating software, customers should consider both and pay more attention to the individual capabilities that the products give than how they are delivered. If your company has special security requirements, an on-premise solution may be best.
Functionality & Features
The capabilities that improve the estimating, takeoff, and bidding processes for users make estimating software so powerful. Not every user requires feature-rich software, but rather one that aids in resolving a few specific issues. Knowing which features are most important to your business and which you don’t require will help you cut down your selections and save money on the product. This section will go over the most crucial characteristics to look for when comparing estimating software firms. Different software businesses will package and design these functions differently, so when particular features are essential, purchasers should inquire about the details with company personnel.
Features of Digital Takeoff
The different steps of the bidding process are described above: takeoff, estimating, and bidding. We’ll go over some of the software’s capabilities to help contractors and subcontractors enhance their takeoff processes. Because digital takeoff capabilities are advanced capabilities that not everyone needs, they are frequently sold as independent software packages from estimating tools. As a result, these features might significantly increase the cost of the product. All of these elements are aimed at improving the efficiency of digital takeoff:
Counts, lengths, areas, and volumes — they’re all there. Takeoff tools rely on digital copies of project designs to provide a list of material, quantity, and part requirements. This capability will almost certainly be incorporated if the gadget offers takeoff.
Collaborative takeoff: A fundamental advantage of cloud-based takeoff systems is this feature. Users should be able to share notes and even take off from the same set of plans simultaneously using cloud-based tools and those that offer collaborative features.
RFI creation: An RFI is utilized when a contractor has questions about the plans or notices an issue. These factors must be addressed to get an accurate estimate. Users can generate a request for information (RFI) in some tools without interrupting their process.
Assemblies: If a contractor constructs the same group of parts on multiple projects, the ability to save these assemblies in the takeoff tool can save a lot of time. Users must repeatedly peel off every appearance assembly from prints part by part if they don’t have stored assemblies. Some software allows users to save groups for use in any plan they look at in the program.