Can Construction Estimating Software Help You Win Bids?

Here at, I often get industry experts who would like my readers to hear their opinions or help spread the word on what is going on in the construction industry. Software Adviceis a company who helps those in selected industries choose the best software for the business. Statistics are always a great way to show if what you are doing is correct and who all it is affecting. Below is a write up from Derek Singleton at Software Advice regarding its Construction Estimating survey. The idea of estimating is to win bids at a price that will make money for the construction company. Software Advice surveyed the industry and their findings are indicated below: Guest Post: Derek Singleton, ERP Analyst, Software Advice "At Software Advice, we spend a lot of time reviewing construction software of every variety. While we’re well-versed in the promised benefits of various systems, we’re always interested to know whether those benefits are realized by companies. Toward that end, we decided to survey the construction estimating industry to find out whether estimating software actually helps companies win bids. To get responses, we enlisted the help of everyone from construction bloggers to LinkedIn group admins and construction associations. Ultimately, we came up with a set of benchmark findings that will allow estimators to compare themselves against industry standards. More than 100 companies responded to the survey and shared their thoughts on how to effectively estimate. The companies that responded to the survey represent a variety of trades and company sizes. While the types and sizes of construction companies participating in the survey varied, there were a few commonalities between companies and how they estimated their jobs. For instance, while the jury is still out as to whether spreadsheets are a good method of estimating, a majority of companies that use an estimating system found that the software helped them perform better estimates. Of course, as one participant noted, it’s possible that the people who use estimating software are more meticulous in their data entry by nature. However the strong correlation between estimating software and effectiveness suggests that having an automated system at hand improves your ability to estimate. There were also some interesting findings about how accurate your estimating data is and the method used. As an example, participants that use an estimating program reported that they underbid projects only 5 percent of the time. Meanwhile, companies that rely on spreadsheets report that they underbid roughly 15 percent of the time. If you’re interested in finding out more about the results of our survey, please visit our website where we are hosting the results at: 2012 ConstructionEstimatingBenchmarkReport. It’d be great if you can share your thoughts on whether these findings match your own experience as well. Also, if you have a tip to offer others in the industry, please share that as well."
About the Author: Seth Smiley
Seth is an attorney licensed to practice in Louisiana and California. He is the owner and lead attorney at Smiley Law Firm. To speak with Seth fill out the form on this page. Follow Seth on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

2 comments on “Can Construction Estimating Software Help You Win Bids?”

  • Interesting study – thanks for sharing. While software can be very helpful, no program can replace the ability to estimate the intangibles that are always present in every job. Software can get you most of the way there, though.

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