July 18, 2012 – Itâ€™s 2012, more than a decade past the time when we were all supposed to have flying cars or at the very least jetpacks. And yet, most estimators are still using paper plans to do their project takeoffs. While their perseverance is admirable, digital takeoffs are faster, easier, and more accurate, which translates to smoother, more profitable projects–and even more of them.
For general contractors, one key to running a job smoothly and profitably is having accurate estimates for all parts of the job. From time to labor to materials, contractors must be able to quickly and efficiently calculate the total cost of materials in order to maximize potential profits, and every estimate begins with the takeoff.
While manual project takeoffs can be time-consuming, error-riddled processes, GCs who purchase an estimating or project takeoff software can eliminate the aches and pains of the manual takeoff process and reduce the chance of miscalculating or missing material or labor costs. That means a more efficient project for your clients, and more profitability for you business.
But the preconstruction market is seemingly awash with dozens of project takeoff software titles, all claiming to be the best. Given that, what should general contractors look for in a takeoff software platform? Well, we have some suggestions.
First, look for features that save you time (and money). Drawing from the popular saying, â€śTime is money,â€ť a good construction project takeoff software product will allow for time-saving processes including fast uploading and editing of project documents to give you instant estimates of multiple projects and drawings, giving you more time to, well, make money. With digital takeoff software, youâ€™ll also save on costs associated with manual takeoffs, including costly paper plans, print images, and more.
Look for software that makes the takeoff process more efficient. Software that allows for loading multiple drawings at once, turning highlighted areas on and off to see drawings clearly, and capturing screenshots for easy reference when sending RFIs. These are the things that can give you an edge over those still doing manual project takeoffs.
Find software that helps you be more accurate. Good takeoff software gives you confidence that your estimates will be correct every time. Some platforms allow for greater accuracy with integration with Microsoft Office programs, such as Excel, for accurate data entry, ensuring no duplications or miscalculations. Software that includes simple calculation technologies, such as a simple point-and-click option to calculate area, linears, and counts will also help increase your accuracy, saving you costly errors in the estimating process.
When it comes to your project takeoffs, you canâ€™t afford to be without a good digital takeoff. So, do your homework on how takeoff software can save you time and money, and make you more accurate. At the end of the day, these three factors are critical to your firmâ€™s bottom line.
If you have any further questions on project takeoff software, we, as always, are here to help.