Whew! What a journey!
Feel free to sit back and indulge in a giant sigh of relief…because one of the hardest parts is over— choosing your new construction estimating software.
After weeks and months of researching, evaluating, and test-driving, you’ve finally settled on the one—or at least, the one that works best for your team. But after you’ve signed off on proposals and hammered out contracts, you inevitably must face the next, and in some ways most important, step: the task of getting that software up and running. It’s a task that can be incredibly thankless, grueling, and tedious. There’s the issue of making sure everyone has the right access to the software; training users in the software; checking with IT to avoid firewall conflicts and other related problems. This is one of the greatest challenges of moving to any new estimating tool—the time it takes to get it fully stood up and have everyone onboarded correctly.
Depending on how you approach it, implementing new software doesn’t have to be grueling or tedious. At Beck Technology, we have a full implementation team—included in your price of DESTINI Estimator—to help you set up and learn the software. Throughout our 25 years of paving the way for innovative and revolutionary construction estimating software, we know exactly how to make sure your implementation is smooth and successful.
Here are some of our favorite tips for implementing new software:
Do: Collaborate with the vendor’s services or implementation team to create an implementation plan
All too often, a software purchase does not include implementation. How your software is going to be implemented shouldn’t be a discussion after purchasing. It needs to be talked about as early as the evaluation phase.
If a vendor can’t describe how they strategize implementation with their clients, that’s not a vendor you want to partner with. Ideally, you’ll talk to the vendor’s services team as soon as you enter a negotiation. You may even get a few sample plans for what that implementation schedule would look like.
Most importantly, you should be able to communicate what your company will need and how fast you need it to the services team. Look for a vendor who can adapt to a variety of situations and can customize an implementation plan to your unique needs.
Do: Set up regular check-ins with your implementation specialist
During the implementation process, you should always be in constant communication with your implementation specialist. They’ll be helping you build out custom reports, and they’ll also be the first line of contact if you need to file a support request.
Don’t: Skip training sessions
Beck Technology’s services team will schedule a set number of training sessions as you march towards the end goal of having DESTINI Estimator fully stood up. It might be tempting to skip just one or two sessions—let’s face it, an estimator’s work never stops, and sometimes getting a bid out the door is going to take top priority. But as much as possible, do your best to make your vendor’s training classes, and encourage the rest of your team to do the same.
Training sessions allow space for you to give critical feedback about how your team is handling the software, the progress you’re seeing, and the setbacks and questions you need to address. If you have a large team, only a few of you are likely in constant contact with your implementation specialist—training sessions are a great way for people who might normally fly under the radar to get hands-on with the software and receive real-time answers to any issues they run into.
Don’t: Do it yourself
Implementation fees and the cost of having one-on-one access to an implementation specialist are very expensive from software companies that don’t include that in their price, especially for companies with multiple offices or just one office but a lot of estimators. It is critical to have a team of people from your software vendor solely dedicated to helping you navigate the new software.
Your estimators are always going to be busy, and implementing new software is not something you want to rush. That’s where a vendor’s services team comes into play: they can take on the heavy lifting of developing an implementation schedule, training your estimators, building out reports, and creating templates that can help standardize your preconstruction efforts.
There are many choices out there for software that sells itself as estimating software. You’ll sell yourself short if you pick the cheapest one with the bare minimum number of features. Will the software work? Most likely. But the software will also probably be what we call “out of the box”, meaning you’ll get access to the software and that’s about it. Much like the olden days when you bought a computer program on a disc and downloaded it to your local machine and then read an instruction manual.
Do add ‘implementation plan’ to your list of requirements when exploring new software and you’ll be able to narrow down your choices by eliminating those vendors who charge extra for implementation.
If you need more resources, read the following software implementation guides below:
- Haselden’s Approach to Successful Implementation How to Have a Smooth Software Transition
- Beck Technology Offers Hands-On Implementation Planning and Support for a Seamless Software Rollout
- What is the Best Way to Introduce New Software?
- Implementing New Construction Estimating Software Case Study
- The Best Way to Implement New Software