Construction Estimating Software: Integrated vs. Stand-Alone

Construction Estimating Software: Integrated vs. Stand-Alone

Construction Estimating for Contractors

Throughout the centuries both small and large contracting projects have been accomplished using the best methods available at the time; today, contractor construction estimating is being aided by sophisticated software technology designed specifically to optimize the estimating process for contractors.

 

Streamlining the estimating process brings many benefits for contractors, including:

    • saves time with automated processes and databases
    • improves accuracy with estimates
    • saves effort with data centralization and automation
    • creates shareable reports for clients
    • organizes projects

In large part, these benefits come from the estimating software’s ability to integrate and share data with other contractor software solutions. In an effort to explain, let’s discuss integrated vs. stand-alone estimating software.

Using Integrated vs. Stand-Alone Estimating Software

Integrated estimating software means it’s connected with enterprise systems and other applications being used for construction business management. This is the optimal way to use estimating software, as it automates workflow processes and centralizes project data.

Integrating estimating software with ERP, CRM, accounting, project management, and other related applications, is the key to optimizing estimating software. This way, the data is shared seamlessly through automation, which helps contractors save time and have more visibility with important project data.

Whether using stand-alone estimating software or an integrated solution, the estimate is the start point of any project (if accepted), yet with an integrated estimating solution the following workflow processes are streamlined with data sharing and automation tools. The more compatible the systems are the better, which is why using a unified construction software package is the best choice.

This point is validated in an article found on Construction Business Owner called: “The Advantage of Connecting Your Estimating Software”, written on March 30, 2017, by Richard Humphrey, as he explains:

“With unified systems, bid data can be sent directly to the field tracking software and visa versa. Discrepancies between what was bid and what is expected in the field disappear. Information is defined and measured the same way in both applications, and it is easier to use actual data from the field to make future bids more accurate.

…contractors tend to be familiar with the foundational advantages of estimating applications. The database of pre-populated cost items puts up-to-date rates for crews, tasks, materials and equipment at their fingertips, and the specialized functionality assists them in pulling those items into a bid quickly, applying strategies and avoiding errors. However, contractors should not underestimate the added benefits of a unified approach.”

Construction Software Upgrading Process

After contractors carefully consider their estimating and construction software options, they should commit to the upgrade that works best for their budget and needs. For many, this choice has been Sage Estimating with Sage 100 Contractor or Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate software solutions – fully comprehensive business management solutions.

The upgrade process will vary depending on the situation, yet the goals of streamlining the estimating and project management processes and increasing profits are universal. For some this may mean using a stand-alone estimating solution with limited integration capabilities for a time, yet when business growth leads to multiple estimates and projects being accomplished at once, using a fully integrated estimating software will be crucial for streamlined efficiency in daily workflow.

The upgrade process should be purposeful, in order for solutions to be chosen with a big picture in mind. Adopting estimating software may be part of a larger upgrade that contractors need to make progressively in the future or all at once. Either way, the upgrade is the key to streamlining estimating and other workflow processes for contractors, which prepares them for growth in our modern digital world. If interested in learning more please contact us today.