Estimating and Preconstruction

Why Timing is Important

By March 15, 2022 March 31st, 2022 No Comments

Timing is everything. Not only in your personal life, but in your career too. For example, you might want a promotion or a new role in your company but that doesn’t mean one is open right now. Also, say you have two choices in hiring a new estimator to help with your workload. You can either hire one now, but you know you can’t pay enough for the cream of the crop, or you can wait till you have more of a budget and are able to hire a more experienced one. Instant gratification is something we all love — but it isn’t always best for us, the people around us, or our company.

When it comes to switching estimating platforms, does timing matter? What makes a company pull the trigger and sign on the dotted line? There’s honestly never a “convenient time” to make such a huge change that affects your entire team, but a few motivating factors can help dictate when it is a better time than others to make the change.

  • You have an initiative
  • Software functionality is finally where you need it to be
  • The right resources are available

You Have an Initiative

Not everyone has a technology-based initiative in their yearly goals, but a big chunk of enterprise-level companies do. The bigger the company, the more likely a company’s leadership is to have a digital transformation as a yearly objective. This isn’t to say that smaller general contractors don’t share the same goal, but maybe they have a looser timeline. When you purchase software for a team of 3, time, people, and budget are all less affected, versus if you’re purchasing for 300 people across multiple offices. Larger general contractors also tend to use an initiative as a means to secure the necessary budget.

Software Functionality is Finally Where You Need it to Be

Sometimes the software you are evaluating does not check enough of your boxes. Companies have a list of requirements in order to feel comfortable making the commitment to change. Your team needs to justify the time it will take to get everyone up to speed on a new platform and if the software functionality is not there, it doesn’t make sense to change.

Fast forward six months, is cost history where you need it to be to save your team time digging through old data? Be honest about the features that are important to your team. A partnership will not be successful if you and your vendor aren’t both benefitting from each other. Sometimes saying no is the most helpful thing you can do for your team and your potential software partner.

The Right Resources are Available

Not to throw shade on anyone, but the right eyes might not be looking at the potential software. Maybe your Director of Preconstruction is about to retire next year, does it seem smart for them to head up an implementation now when they’ve worked in Excel their entire career? We’ve seen it from all ends of the spectrum. People really passionate about technology but too early in their careers may not feel comfortable making the recommendation of switching estimating platforms to upper management.

We have also come across the scenario where the precon team is on-board, but company leadership is not. Convincing a CEO and an estimator of ROI are two very different stories. Everyone must align and be in the right positions to make a technology change in the company.

Click here to learn how to make a business case for your boss.

The complete other side of the coin is, does the vendor have the right people available to help your team implement? The vendor’s implementation resources could be swamped with projects but in a few months they will have the bandwidth to give your team the time they deserve.

Time is something we will always want more of, but at least we can control what and when we spend our time. If you’re waiting to make a software change, consider the motivating factors and see where team lines up.

What is most important for your team? Tell us in the comments below!