Costing Estimating Software: What is it and How Can it Help?

If you work in the construction world, there’s a good chance that you have to handle cost estimating on a regular basis. 

What kind of tools are you using to avoid mistakes and make sure your estimates as accurate as possible? Are you using any cost estimating software, or are you just winging it?

If you’re not currently using cost estimating software, or if you’re using an outdated program, you’re missing out on a lot of features that can make your job easier and help you to do it better. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about cost estimating software for construction businesses.

What is Cost Estimating Software?

Cost estimating software, which is sometimes referred to as construction bidding software, is a program that makes it easy for estimators to calculate the costs associated with a particular project.

Specifically, this software simplifies the process of calculating material costs and labor costs. It also produces detailed and professional-looking proposals based on these estimates. 

A typical cost estimating software program will feature the following tools:

  • Proposal Generator: This is used to create a proposal based on the estimates you calculate
  • Cost Database: This stores information about typical material and labor costs for easy reference
  • Visual Assemblies: This makes it easy for you to visualize a specific portion of a project when you’re estimating its cost
  • Templates: These make it easy for you to generate proposals and estimate costs based on common projects
  • Project Reporting: This provides you with detailed reports of cost breakdowns to help you create more accurate estimates in the future

Many software programs also feature a what-if analysis. This allows the estimator to show ways the cost of the project will change depending on various situations. 

Benefits of Cost Estimating Software

As a business owner, you’re probably bombarded on a regular basis with tools that you “need” to run your company effectively. It’s easy to assume that any new technology introduced to you isn’t as useful as people make it out to be.

While you definitely don’t need the latest smartphone or MacBook accessories, you most likely do need a good cost estimating software program.

There are many benefits that come with using a good cost estimating software program, including the following:

Increased Efficiency

As someone who works in the construction industry, you know that time is money. Why wouldn’t you invest in a tool that helps you manage your business in a more efficient way?

Cost estimating software cuts down on the amount of time it takes to calculate the cost of a project.

This frees your estimator up to generate more quotes, which, in turn, can lead to an increase in jobs and an increase in revenue for your business. What could be better?

Increased Accuracy

You don’t have to sacrifice accuracy when you prioritize efficiency. In fact, cost estimating software can improve your estimator’s accuracy in a dramatic way.

When you make use of a good estimating software program, you can get closer than ever to the true cost of a project. This is great for you and great for your customers.

Everyone wins when accuracy is a top priority!

More Consistency

Estimating software also allows you to use the same procedures and input the same data every time you’re calculating the cost of a new build.

You’ll be able to produce consistently accurate bids for all of your customers and streamline the estimating process. 

Most cost estimating software also includes a database that can be updated as often as you’d like. This, in turn, allows you to make sure your estimator is always using the latest prices when they’re calculating your estimates.

Integration

Many estimating software programs can be integrated easily with the other programs you’re using to run your business.

For example, you can pair your program of choice with your accounting software and project management software to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

Increased Professionalism

Finally, estimating software allows you to produce more professional proposals for your customers.

It might not seem like a big deal to you, but this enhanced professionalism could be the deciding factor when a customer is trying to choose between your business and someone else’s.

How to Choose the Right Cost Estimating Software

Okay, you can see that there are benefits to using a cost estimating software. How do you choose the right one, though?

Here are some factors you ought to consider when you’re deciding between different programs:

Ease of Use

Before you purchase a particular program, take it for a test run and make sure it’s easy to navigate. Make sure that everyone who will be using the program feels relatively comfortable using it before you make a decision.

Turnaround Time

How quickly will the program generate the proposals you need? Look for a program that runs efficiently and has a fast turnaround time. Make sure it stores all your data, too, so that you can quickly find information as soon as you need it. 

Collaboration

Your software should be easy for multiple people to use at once. Look for a program like Rhumbix that allows for easy document access. It should also track changes made to these documents so that everyone can stay on the same page as updates are made.

Price

Finally, you’ll need to consider the price of the program. Estimating software can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

Think about what you can realistically afford for your business and remember that there are a lot of great programs out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Learn About More Business Tools Today

As you can see, cost estimating software programs are great tools that can help you manage your construction business with ease.

Keep this information in mind and you’ll have no trouble finding a great cost estimating software that meets your specific business needs.

Do you want to learn about some other great business management tools? If so, we’ve got you covered.

This article on accounting technology is a great starting point for any business owner looking for ways to better control their finances. Check it out today!

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