Making a major commitment should include plenty of research prior to jumping in with both feet. Asking plenty of questions, feeling comfortable with leaving behind the “way I’ve always done it” and embracing new possibilities, and having a plan for the future all go into discovering if your new commitment is right. As any general contractor knows, moving to a new estimating platform is a big decision.
Blindly making the decision based on functions and features is not the way to embrace a technology that plays a major role in winning work and winning over clients. Additionally, being stagnant with an archaic estimating system is just as detrimental because it limits growth, innovation, and collaboration to build a better future for the company.
Haselden Construction and Layton Construction Company have both completed Beck Technology’s DESTINI Estimatorexploration as part of their research in finding a preconstruction solution for their companies. Randy Gunn, Senior Estimator for Layton Construction, stated, “We wanted to look out there and see everything that was involved, and, really, I think Beck Technology was the only one that provided that opportunity for that kind of an exploration. This was very hands-on, very personal, and very tailored to us.”
Beck Technology approaches each exploration and every client on an individual basis, understanding that contractors have unique issues that require unique solutions, rather than a one-size-fits-all answer. In order for the exploration to work well and allow the contractor to feel comfortable with Estimator, Beck Technology works with potential customers to understand nuances, team setup, regional differences, and what the company wants to accomplish. It requires a lot of listening to the people who will ultimately use the software.
“[The exploration] was great, they were very patient with us,” says Christian Ekstrom, Director of Preconstruction for Haselden Construction. “I think they realize that it was a big investment for any company. There was no pressure. The whole team was very laidback. If we had questions, they’d answer them, and every now and then they would touch base to see how we were doing, but it was never a pressure situation, which was great.”
Software vendors typically want to make a sale as quickly as possible, while contractors want to take the time to thoroughly examine the product, which can often result in contractors feeling rushed and unheard. The worst outcome is to commit to purchasing a technology that hasn’t been completely vetted out then having buyer’s remorse but being stuck with a major purchase and still must implement it.
Having productive and happy customers from the beginning is a major focus for Beck Technology. Companies going through explorations are encouraged to provide input into the software and how they would use it or make it better. “The exploration kind of ended up being a collaborative session where we learned the software, and at the same time we gave feedback that was then implemented,” says Trent Isaacson, Director of Preconstruction for Layton Construction. “They went back and rewrote the code and made it better, and we truly appreciated that.”
While the exploration gives potential customers a hands-on and practical application of Estimator it also introduces general contractors to the Beck Technology team that will be responsible for implementation if they decide to purchase the software. Layton Construction’s Director of Preconstruction, Jacob Keith, says, “I think we felt like they were real people that we could work with and reach out to, rather than some massive organization that may or may not listen to what we have to say.”
The Estimator exploration encourages asking questions, feels comfortable with leaving behind the “way I’ve always done it” and embraces new possibilities, and creates a plan for the future. It is the foundation for making the commitment to do preconstruction right.