One of the greatest challenges estimators often encounter is not having a single source of truth to refer to when building their estimates – in other words, not having a centralized database that everyone on the preconstruction team can access and reference. But why is it so important for preconstruction teams to be able to access one source of truth? As long as estimators know where data is sourced, even if it’s scattered across a couple of different places, does it really matter?
The answer is yes, it does. In fact, it can make a huge difference when it comes to staying within budget, winning more bids, and even attracting and retaining more talent. Having a single source of truth that all estimators on a preconstruction team can reference means that a company can develop standards within precon, and can also show that they are ahead of the game by choosing to embrace a more efficient method of estimating. A centralized database where all project information is stored also provides a myriad of other benefits.
1). Centralized databases lead to better training.
When data isn’t scattered across a multitude of tools, it’s easier to create training materials for the next generation of estimators, because there aren’t five different methods and three different data sources being used in one office. Better training not only means better estimators, but it also means that less time will be spent showing junior team members how to do something, and more time can be given to problem-solving and collaborating on solutions.
2). Centralized databases lead to company standards.
When a company is able to create standards across the board, they are also able to start producing more consistent estimates in less amount of time. This builds trust with project owners and only serves to improve a company’s reputation, which also increases the likelihood of winning future bids.
3). Centralized databases indicate a company that embraces efficiency and innovation.
Oftentimes, moving to a single source of truth also means changing old methods and processes, and sometimes removing outdated tools from the preconstruction department’s toolset. A willingness to try new methods and processes if it means increased efficiency and more accurate results signals to prospective employees that the company will be a place where their ideas will be met with interest and a desire to collaborate.