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Should I Upgrade from Excel to Construction Estimating Software?

Accurate and efficient bid calculation is essential in the construction industry. When Excel began to replace paper calculations, it made the cost estimation process more reliable, consistent, and sharable. Compared to paper spreadsheets, it saved time and reduced errors. Today, however, contractors have access to far more advanced tools for generating project bids. Modern construction estimating software is to Excel what Excel was to paper—an evolutionary leap forward.

Limitations of Excel

While Excel revolutionized accounting tasks, it’s no longer the most effective tool for construction estimating. Even with automated calculations, the manual data entry required to create Excel spreadsheets is time consuming and highly susceptible to error. Additionally, Excel doesn’t integrate with construction software, making bid creation a disjointed and slow process, and Excel sheets can be cumbersome to share and sync, creating obstacles to collaboration and maintaining version control.

How Construction Estimating Software Streamlines Bid Preparation

Construction estimating software offers numerous advantages over digital spreadsheets. These products include databases, templates, and cost libraries created specifically for construction industry professionals. These features streamline the estimation process while making bids easily sharable and continuously up to date for all viewers. Because construction estimating and takeoff software is designed to seamlessly integrate with project management software, users can directly transfer data from one application to another, saving time and preventing data entry errors. As a result, contractors can quickly generate and share accurate and detailed pricing breakdowns.

How to Know When It’s Time to Upgrade

If you’re wondering whether it’s time to move from Excel to more modern estimating software that’s tailored to the needs of contractors, consider the following questions:

  • How frequently are you generating project bids?
  • How complex is your current cost estimation process?
  • Do you frequently experience errors with your current process?
  • How much time do you or other staff members spend estimating costs for new projects? What is the cost of this labor, and could the time be used in more productive ways?
  • How do the costs associated with your current process compare to the cost of upgrading?
  • How many people are involved in your estimation process, and how much collaboration is required? Do you experience delays or miscommunications during collaboration?

If you find that you’re spending a large proportion of your company’s time and resources on cost estimation, upgrading to construction estimating software could be a common-sense step forward that gives you an edge over your competitors.

What to Consider When Purchasing Takeoff Software

Once you decide it’s time to upgrade, be sure to thoroughly research your options. Start by evaluating the specific needs of your organization. Consider what features are most important to the way you do business and what will save your team the most time and effort. Then, start examining the range of offerings that are available. In addition to comparing the features of different products, look up reviews to see what users are saying about various software solutions. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few main contenders, take advantage of free trials so you can experience firsthand how a product works for your business before taking the leap.

In the constantly evolving business landscape, taking advantage of new technological developments can help you stay a step ahead of the competition. By streamlining your takeoff process, you could prevent costly errors, improve customer satisfaction, and clear space in your schedule for more projects. BuzzBID provides innovative estimating software that not only simplifies and speeds the takeoff process but also allows for seamless and accurate work-in-place tracking. Check out our blog to learn more!