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Construction Estimating Software a Must to Keep Up With Your Competition

By in large, most contractors and constructions companies are not utilizing technology or construction estimating software to their advantage to survive in the competitive marketplace we find ourselves in today. In fact, it is amazing how many contractors doing construction estimating that do not even have a personal computer. Remember in today's brutal market, survival is directly related to being a leading company that stays ahead of the competition, maintains loyal customers, and always makes an above average profit. Construction estimating software and technology can make the difference in limping along and really getting ahead.

Sadly, some surveys even indicate that staying on the cutting edge of technology was just not a priority with many construction companies. For those that do care, most of these companies are scrambling to catch up with computerization, construction estimating software, backend software management systems, etc. and are too often content doing the minimum to stay even with their competitors and customers. One of your company's goals should be to become a technology leader.

Consider hiring only those project managers or superintendents who are totally literate in email, word processing, scheduling, and construction estimating software. Failing to cater to your customer's needs and demands for your implementation of technology can cost you business; it can make or brake your company. It is estimated that 65% of construction companies communicate with architects and engineers with email, and more than 75% use email to be in contact with customers.

A growing number of contractors use the internet for job correspondence with other contractors, subcontractors, or suppliers. Virtually all construction buyers feel that contractors using construction estimating software provide more accurate quotes. Quite often we find contractors that pay "lip service" to their clients and make claims of their companies being computerized, but in reality most do not manage their business with any type of automation. Only about 10% use the internet to submit invoices or progress payments to customers, and virtually none use the internet to transmit their construction estimating software bids. The construction industry is considerably behind the times compared to others. In the retail business, products are ordered, produced, shipped, paid for, and re-ordered without a single piece of paper.

Construction still requires paper invoices, original and notarized signatures, conditional and final lien releases, joint checks, architect and bank inspector approvals, and copies for everyone involved. This is distressing because most of these paper functions could be made completely paperless it the proper technology, processes and construction estimating software is implemented. Computers are becoming more of a required tool as at least 50% of project managers carry laptops while only around 25% of field supervisors have or use a computer. Many of these computers are used only for email and basic communications but very few are using these computers to dynamically link their construction estimating software and backend systems to the field About one half of construction companies use some type of scheduling software.

Strongly consider upgrading your scheduling software to a more sophisticated, cutting- edge, comprehensive package that allows you to import bids from your construction estimating software. Your customers will quickly notice the difference between you and your competition and this distinction can be a key feature in being much more successful going to contract with a larger share of your construction estimating software bids. Technology will save you cash. Overhead expenses can most often be reduced by at least 25% by implementing and maximizing the use of technology and construction estimating software.

It can help you become much more efficient as you eliminate paper, faxes, mail for project minutes, job correspondence, shop drawing tracking, subcontract logs, change order requests, daily job reports, and many other items. It's very surprising that only 20% of subcontractors and 33% of general contractors use a comprehensive project management software package. Regrettably, very few construction companies are dynamically linking their project management and scheduling software with their construction estimating software. Remember, the construction estimating software bid in the start of every project. It is the heart of your business.

Failing to link the construction estimating bid to the rest of the project functions will guarantee that labor and material functions will be missed, or inefficiently accomplished. Of course, all of these statistics may not really surprise you. Many contractors consider themselves computer illiterate, and most feel that they have only the most basic skills in using a computer. Maybe that's not surprising when most contractors would say that their kids know more about computers than they do. The world is changing and technology is a reality.

Companies who realize these facts become leaders, while those who don't fall behind and never catch up. Using construction estimating software coupled with other basic technology can make you more efficient, more professional, help you win more profitable contracts, keep track of job costs, and make you money. Are you keeping up with technology?.

Phillip P Gilliam is the President and CEO of Discover Software Inc. Phil 58, currently lives in Florida with his wife and youngest daughter, is a native of Ohio. He went to Wright State University and has over 37 years experience in marketing, construction estimating software, business management, construction and finance.


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