How to Win the Spreadsheets vs. Estimating Software Battle

An Epic Battle

You fear that your worst nightmare as an estimator is about to come true.

Management is siding with a small group of estimators who want to throw away your estimating software and standardize the production of all estimates using only spreadsheets.  They believe that it’s an easier and cheaper solution.  You know they are taking two steps backwards to get one doubtful step forward. How can you convince them that estimating software is better than using spreadsheets?

Here’s some ammunition to help you win the fight and win more bids:

Accuracy Minimizes Risk: Estimating software separates the database from the estimating functions.  No more complicated, hard to remember formulas inside of your database.  Forgetting to include a formula, item or decimal point on a bid can be a costly mistake. Estimating software standardizes the bid process across multiple estimators without forfeiting individual styles and flexibility.

A Knowledgebase to Share:  A common database of materials, pricing and productivity rates can be shared and used by the entire company.  You can build the intelligence of your most Senior Estimator into the estimating database and have less experienced estimators create the same fast and accurate bids by accessing that intelligence with the software.

Better Organization:  Estimating software organizes the entire estimating function better than any spreadsheet can, making it easier to schedule, communicate and confirm all project details across your team. Data can be shared across estimating, job cost, and accounting functions – with no data re-entry.

Greater Speed:  Takeoff time is slashed by 50% or more compared to spreadsheet methods. Built-in efficiency tools like smart assemblies, reports and markup tables can generate estimates faster and more accurately for getting more work with the same number of estimators. Final proposals and reports are produced in seconds.

If these reasons are not enough to convince skeptics that an estimating program is worth the investment in time and money, a simple return on investment model will reveal how inefficient spreadsheets can be when compared to using an estimating program.

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