How to Improve Estimation Accuracy with Your Employees

Still using old construction technology, or worse, pen and paper?.

Falling dominoes or house of cards

Are your employees still calculating estimates by hand? If they are, you’re running the risk of errors; errors that will affect your estimation accuracy. What’s more, you’re often facing slow takeoffs and ineffective workflows.

You can’t afford to ignore risks that pop up like having insufficient materials, equipment, or labor because the estimates were faulty. It’s like a house of cards or falling dominoes.

Scared yet?

Commercial construction companies face many problems. Improving estimation accuracy is among the most crucial.

For owners, when your employees are using old methods of estimating, like spreadsheets or pencil and paper, there’s a higher risk of errors. When some companies moved from pencil and paper to spreadsheets, many saw them as a godsend. However, spreadsheets became just as tricky. Once one formula is updated, others may need to be updated as well. As you add more formulas, the chances of making errors increase.

Spreadsheets don’t remind you to check where you’ve put a decimal in a cell, or to divide a number to get the steel or electrical cells calculations.

As a result, your estimators need to find the correct spreadsheets in a mass of other data files and hope any corresponding files were also updated.

So what happens with miscalculations? You potentially lose bids. You need a way to improve estimation accuracy for your estimation team.

Process communications are lacking

As a commercial construction company owner, communication is a crucial topic in the industry. When the job site feels chaotic and disorganized, you can blame miscommunication.

According to research by Mieke Hoezen et al., a waste of time is a consequence of poor communication. As a result, any errors in the early stages have to be solved later. As you move through a construction project, making adjustments in the latter stages of your building process usually costs extra money.

Notably, there are common causes of miscommunication. These are:

  • Documents or drawings being incomplete or wrong
  • Unclear writing or mistakes
  • Incorrect data
  • A lack of listening
  • Delayed notifications or follow-up
  • Technology failures

Your team is out of sync

When your estimation team is out of sync due to a lack of reliable tools, project data is scattered across different platforms and files. For successful estimation accuracy, your estimation managers have to get everyone on the same page. They’re unable to do so without the ability to stay in sync throughout the entire construction cycle.

Miscalculated project costs

Miscalculated estimates run the risk of poor takeoffs, miscalculated labor hours, equipment costs, and a host of other issues.

In today’s construction climate, it’s time to look beyond your use of pencil and paper or spreadsheets if you want to gain improved estimation accuracy and increased income.

What are your goals?

As a commercial construction company owner, you naturally have goals to improve your business with increased profit margins being at the top of the list.

What are some of your goals?

Of course, you want improved estimation accuracy so your business can win more bids and increase your income and profit margins.

It doesn’t stop there. You want to see your projects completed faster. After all, velocity matters and results in faster turnaround times and increased profits. But you need to get everyone on the same page with improved company-wide communication, so you need a way to accomplish your goals.

The goal to consider: Automation

How can you improve the estimate accuracy? After long periods of doing your estimations by paper or spreadsheets, it’s time to consider automating your estimating processes.

Automation software such as ProEst’s saves your employees from re-doing work. It also provides real-time visibility, reduces overhead, and increases your revenue and profit margins.

Cost estimating

The days of paper-and spreadsheet-based estimating are over, and so is your proverbial house of cards or those falling dominoes.

When you take automation on board, you’ll benefit from digital cost estimates. This reduces errors from miscalculations and increases estimation accuracies.

If you’re thinking about shifting technologies, go for it. Cloud-based solutions are rapidly increasing in growth as companies see the benefits of using cloud platforms.

There are tons of benefits with ProEst:

  • Your employees can create estimates at least 50% faster than with a spreadsheet
  • They can find any estimate in seconds
  • They can search estimates based on estimator, work, or department type
  • They reduce estimating by hundreds of hours

ProEst is cloud-based, which means your team stays in sync on project drawings, estimates, blueprints, and more, available to them anywhere, anytime.

Takeoffs

Producing a manual takeoff is often more time-consuming and inaccurate than preparing a digital takeoff. Manual takeoffs also require complicated math, which increases the chance of errors.

ProEst helps your employees reduce their time-consuming work as it eliminates performing manual takeoffs. Its built-in digital takeoffs reduce takeoff time by 50%, and remove guesswork, especially on collaborative estimates.

Workflow processes

The old techniques of pencil and paper or spreadsheets as well as paper filing systems and faxed work orders add possible points of errors. Slips of paper are lost. Writing is unclear. Purchase orders are incomplete. It becomes a muddled case of tracking down who was doing what and when.

There’s also the issue of having no real-time data or collaborative sharing tools, again leaving your team out of sync.

With respects to RFIs, submittals, drawings and documents, and design reviews, it’s challenging to follow the workflows of these various processes and the people doing them, especially as they become more complex.

ProEst enables you to identify improvements in your project workflows.

No house of cards or falling dominoes

If you’re struggling to improve your estimation accuracy, you can’t afford to stick with old technology that gives you headaches, miscalculations, and time-consuming exercises. These spell disaster for your revenue and profit margins.

Construction company owners benefit from cloud-based software like ProEst because of its time-saving features, improved communications abilities, and the ability to quickly create estimates that win bids.

If you’d like to know more about how to improve your estimation accuracy, schedule a free 1-on-1 ProEst demo walkthrough session today!