Despite the upward trajectory of the economy, the construction industry remains intensely competitive. To win bids and maintain profitability in this market, it’s crucial to create accurate and professional-looking bids in a timely manner. To do this, many contractors rely on construction estimating software and related technologies to do their job effectively. Others use spreadsheets, custom-built software or estimate by hand. So what’s the state of software adoption and effectiveness in the construction industry overall?
I’m hosting an 18-question survey on construction estimating to help answer that question. The benchmarking survey will build on research Software Advice conducted in 2012, which surfaced several interesting findings. Here are three of the key findings from our 2012 report.
- Participants who used estimating software reported the highest levels of user satisfaction.
The majority of participants in our 2012 survey reported that they use either spreadsheets or construction estimating software to create their estimates. Participants who relied on spreadsheets to create estimates were evenly split on whether their system was working. However, the majority of estimating software users felt that their software met their estimating needs.
- Participants who used estimating software reported underestimating bids less often.Participants who created bids using estimating software reported underestimating just five percent of their bids. Meanwhile, participants who estimate using “pen and paper” reported that they underestimate nearly 30 percent of their bids, meaning that these projects wound up costing more than planned.
- The top challenges cited by estimators in 2012 did not align with their top priorities. One surprising finding from our 2012 research was that the challenges that estimators cited did not align with their priorities in 2012. For example, less than 25 percent of our participants cited bid accuracy as a top challenge. However, 75 percent told us that they improving the accuracy of their bids and estimating was a top priority for 2012.In our 2013 Construction Estimating Benchmark Report, we’ll be comparing these findings to the current state of affairs and evaluating construction estimators across several benchmarks such as:
- Average bid-to-win ratio (i.e., percent of projects you win out of those you bid on)
- Top estimating errors and most difficult costs to estimate
- Average time to turn around a bid
- Top estimating priorities for 2013
To participate in the survey, and receive a free copy of the final report, go to the 2013 Construction Estimating Software Benchmark Survey.
Take Our 2013 Construction Estimating Software Benchmark Survey
About the Author
Derek Singleton is a Construction Analyst at Software Advice where he manages content related to the construction industry technologies, topics and trends. His work has appeared in a variety of tech publications such as Sandhill, SYS-CON and ZDNet. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org