So many contractors go out of business because their construction cost estimating is too low or too high. When the amount estimated in not high enough the company can lose a lot of money; when the estimate is too high you lose the job to a competitor and gain a bad reputation. If either occurs enough times it can result in total failure for the company. Human error is something that will always happen to some degree, and if you want to cut mistakes out completely, you need construction cost estimating software. It can seem overwhelming knowing which is the best construction cost estimating software for your particular company, with such a huge variety available now days. Prior to beginning your search you should read the following guide to ensure you have a clear idea of what you need.
Commercial or Residential
The first decision to make is whether your company is primarily in the business of commercial or residential building, as there is different construction cost estimating software for each. If you feel your business falls pretty much equally into both categories,
there are programs for you as well, however you may find they are more costly.
Work With Your Existing Software
Contractors will usually have several existing programs in use for bookkeeping, ordering and planning, and a program that will be compatible with most of these will make life a lot easier. This will mean you can get the most out of your construction cost estimating software and ultimately use it as a front end system for accessing all your files and records. An example is if you already use Microsoft Office; try to find a program that will be compatible with that program rather than one that is compatible with QuickBooks.
Would You Possibly Like to Customize the Software?
When you become familiar with your construction cost estimating software, you will be likely to start to notice a few things here and there you would like changed or added. This is called customizing a program, and some construction cost estimating software will allow you to do it yourself to a certain degree. It is also an option to have a computer expert spend a few hours making the changes you require, but you need to be sure it is possible with the particular software you choose. It is a exceptional feeling to have a customized program designed to do exactly what you imagined, and even if you think you won't want it upfront, try to keep it in mind as a possibility for making your construction cost estimating software a perfect fit for your company.
How Simple is the Software to Use?
Contractors are busy people, and although you will want to dedicate some time initially to learning the ins and outs of your new construction cost estimating software, you don't want it to go on endlessly! Choose a program that is designed to be simple to learn and use and you wont have to spend forever teaching others either. Undoubtedly, any construction cost estimating software is going to be complex, but the ones that have been tested by others in the industry can be learnt more easily.
How Much to Spend?
Almost everyone in the construction industry is continuously on a tight budget, and cutting costs doesn't often include lashing out on new toys. Paying between one and five hundred for good construction cost estimating software will make its money back in the long run. You will save time, have better records for improvement assessments and appear more professional and organized to clients. Eliminating features could bring the price down, and free trials are available for many programs so you will know what it is you are paying for upfront.
If you cover all your bases and buy the right construction cost estimating software for your company you can save thousands of dollars a year at least! These programs mean more accurate estimates and continuous live update analysis of data, which enables managers to regularly keep the budgets in check. Whether you are a residential or commercial construction company, investing in the right software will mean more profits and more free time in the future.