Companies that use multiple estimating tools can make their estimators’ lives easier by streamlining their processes. The fastest way to do this is to integrate compatible software and standardize software use across the preconstruction team. A standard software, or database, among estimators at a company can expedite their channels of communication and reduce the number of errors so bids are finished swiftly and accurately.
One especially tedious task for estimators is transferring data between multiple estimates. Firms can simplify the estimating process by combining their sources of information into a unified, central database. A centralized database creates a foundation for estimators to easily switch from project to project, as well as have a reference point if they get stuck on a particularly challenging project. If all the various sources of data are consolidated, it removes the possibility of errors from copy-pasting prices or manually inputting information from another estimate.
Integrated software takes it one step further: estimators, contractors, and architects have access to the same plans, databases, and models. The integration between DESTINI Estimator and Autodesk BIM 360 helps estimators go straight to 2D and 3D takeoff. Any changes to the model automatically transfer to the change in the estimate. Any combination of software and database can work if all estimators use the same ones but it is easier to control if the software is integrated and a firm has to keep up with fewer.
Company-wide standards are important for a firm to implement consistent and recognizable output. An integrated software and a centralized database are key to creating that standard process. The estimators can use the same process when they have access to the same tools and the alignment in toolbox and method means that the estimators know the right way to work with one another. The established procedure and open communication result in fewer mistakes at a higher speed and efficiency. Consistently accurate work lends itself to a good reputation for an estimating team that can mean higher bids for a firm.
The keys to improving efficiency and overall workflow on an estimating team are an integrated database, software that integrates functions, and introducing company-wide standards so that collaboration is easier and work output is more consistent. With these tools, the team is harmonious and bids are expedited.