Is the technology of construction estimating the only road to take in the Future?
It seems as though more and more programs to estimate all facets of a construction are being created. These programs’ claim to fame is that they are the way of the future.
Be sure to remember that any program, no matter how detailed or comprehensive it is, it cannot be the only ‘answer’ unless the person behind the keyboard has the understanding and the ‘know how’ to operate the program properly. Making the estimating program work for you requires that the individual you choose to do your estimating has the ability to bring the program to life. Every project is different and unique, which simply means that any specific software must be tailored to dovetail with all types of projects or plans. Boilerplate programs need to fit your projects. If a contractor performs any type specialty construction, the person behind the software must know how to manipulate the program in order to make an estimate accurate and complete
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So, will technology be the ‘end all and be all” for construction estimating? I simply cannot be.
If you are looking for the right construction estimator for your company, outsource estimator or in-house, looking toward the future of technology software is a good thing, but do not let go of some of the basic facts:
- A construction estimator must know and understand the operation of the software in order to meet your specialty needs for your project.
- An estimator must have extensive field experience in order to have a clear understanding of all facets of the job being done, to include the scheduling of the project, coordinating sub-contractors, material solicitation and distribution, pricing comparisons, etc.
- Estimators must know the fundamentals of construction math and the art of reading detailed plans.
- A construction estimator should be able to understand how specifications are written and how to interpret any project description.
- Estimators need to have a clear grasp on mark-up values; what the market will bear, etc.
- An estimator should be able to maintain excellent relationship skills in order to keep positive contacts with architects, contractors, sub-contractors, vendors, homeowners, whoever is necessary to make the job flow effortlessly to its completion.
Sure, a person can operate software, if taught exactly how, but; there are no seminars or tutorials that cover the human characteristics of a good construction estimator. There are no known manufactured replacements for solid, field construction experience, managerial experience, construction managers, or superintendent experience.
Estimating is and art. So, when you are looking for the right person, or construction estimating service that will meet your construction estimating needs, look beyond the software!