Is Estimating Software Better than Spreadsheets?
Estimating is a crucial part of the construction industry. Bidding and winning jobs to create positive cash flow depends on accurate estimates. Today’s technology is making it easier than ever to create construction estimates by using intuitive estimating software instead of static spreadsheets. Read on to learn about the key differences between construction estimating software and spreadsheets.
What about Human Error?
This is the biggest source of pain and risk of inaccurate estimates when working with spreadsheets. There are three main reasons spreadsheets increase the risk for human error.
- Inaccurate formulas – Formulas are necessary for complicated math involved in estimating. Ever tried a new spreadsheet formula? They are difficult to understand and cumbersome to create. Range Lookups, Pivot Tables, Macros…who has time for a degree in Excel? What happens when formulas change or need updating? You guessed it – it’s a manual process. If you miss something, it can throw the entire spreadsheet calculation off. These potential formula errors leave spreadsheets at risk of producing inaccurate estimates.
Estimating Software’s Solution: Estimating Software is updated automatically, ensuring formulas and calculations are always accurate throughout each estimate.
- Old, wrong, or accidentally deleted data- Data entry mistakes can happen, but they are difficult to track and correct in spreadsheets. You’ll spend hours trying to track down the change. Did someone change a formula? Did the quantity or price change? Is this the first revision or last? Spreadsheets don’t make it easy to find mistakes.
Estimating Software’s Solution: Estimating software reduces this risk by tracking changes between users and resolving human error quickly. They even have built in record checks to quickly identify potential human error. This reduces the risk of incorrect data being entered into the software and increases consistency across the team.
- Not built for multiple users and teams - Spreadsheet estimating is not a multi-user platform and causes errors and miscommunication when working as a team. Spreadsheets must be shared via email or file share programs, and important information can be overwritten or missed due to simple disorganization and multiple files copies. This can lead to missed deadlines and inaccurate estimates because your team isn’t working from a central location where all your files are organized.
Estimating Software’s Solution: Construction estimating software solves the problem with a central database for all projects that can be accessed by all users. Estimators can collaborate in confidence knowing they are all accessing the same accurate data.
Can it Support a Growing Business?
Excel spreadsheets were not designed to scale for complex business systems that require large team functionality. Spreadsheets were built with individual customization in mind, not standardization. Growing businesses require standardization of processes and need systems that help them do that. Keeping up with constant changes in spreadsheets across multiple users costs more time and money to review data and ensure it is correct as the number and size of projects continue to grow.
Estimating Software’s Solution: Estimating Software is made for standardization. Whether you are a team of 1 or 100, your estimating process is standardized within the software. Each user creates and manages the bid process the same, and bids are easily accessed, reviewed, and shared across the company regardless of size and scale.
Who’s going to help when it’s needed?
It’s the day before a big bid is due, and something goes wrong. You can’t figure out what formula is broken, creating a problem with the final bid total. Who are you going to call for help? Your best bet is to google search help articles and hope you find something that makes sense. Calling someone might mean calling the person in your contact list that you remember being a spreadsheet expert. Your last resort is to copy/paste…again….and hope that fixes the formula problem.
Estimating Software’s Solution: Good software companies provide support for their customers when something goes wrong. Something doesn’t seem quite right or receiving an error message? Pick up the phone and talk to a human being that understands the program and can help you resolve it quickly. You’ve got a team of people trained and ready to solve your problem.
Estimating Link™️ - Software that makes sense for the future
With all the competition in the marketplace, more and more construction companies are moving to software, making spreadsheets a thing of the past. Estimating Link™️ is part of the growing technology trend in construction, allowing businesses to run more efficiently than ever before. Collaborative and holistic, Estimating Link connects teams in ways never thought possible. With so many moving parts to manage, and bidding becoming more complex and complicated, construction companies understand the need for technology to do their heavy-lifting. Estimating Link™️ has all your resources in one place so you can spend less time estimating the projects and spend more time completing the projects.
Spreadsheets might be able to sustain you to a point, but they won’t take you to your future. Estimating Link™️ enables you to be more accurate, more organized, and more competitive. Ultimately, your Company's profit margins will grow as a result of making this software a part of your every day business. Start TODAY with a FREE TRIAL OF ESTIMATING LINK™️, and kick those spreadsheets to the curb.