We talk to contractors all of the time who still use Excel spreadsheets for job bidding because they think that an enterprise-level cost estimating system like SharpeSoft Estimator is more than they can afford.
Indeed, at first glance the cost may seem prohibitive. However, a closer look shows that the system quickly pays for itself by allowing you to accomplish in just a few hours what normally would take you a week - Not to mention the higher margins you will see from improved accuracy and efficiency and the elimination of costly errors.
In fact, the cost of your estimating software can be recouped from the savings on just one job. So, in a sense it’s practically “free.”
How does the system pay for itself?
The biggest return you will see on your software investment is in timesaving. By allowing you to reuse past job estimates and create reusable bid item masters, trench profiles, crews and assemblies, SharpeSoft Estimator makes bidding jobs faster than you ever thought possible.
In fact, clients have reported that Estimator helped them to increase their bid volume by 5-10 times, allowing them to bid more jobs in less time and increase their share of awarded contracts.
Estimator allows for pinpoint accuracy in job costing by allowing you to break bid items down into unlimited sub levels to account for virtually every cost - right down to thumbtacks and screws.
In addition, Equipment Areas give you the power to pinpoint your equipment usage rates, fine tune fuel/oil rates and define burdens in multiple ways to maximize the economy of your equipment fleet.
Similarly, Labor Areas allow you to customize your labor rates, benefits and burdens to give you total flexibility in matching your labor costs to the job.
Many contractors complain that using spreadsheets makes it difficult when time restraints or the complexity of the project requires multiple estimators to work on the job at the same time. Typically, this requires each person to work on a copy of the job and then merge their work into one master spreadsheet.
Not only does this increase the likelihood of costly errors, but keeping track of all of those job copies can be difficult, and then merging them is just another job that needs to be done.
On the other hand, SharpeSoft Estimator stores your work on a central database, which allows multiple estimators to work on the same job – even the same bid item - at the same time and records everyone’s work in real time - No multiple job copies to keep track of and no need to waste time on merging files.
When tackling complex jobs with difficult timelines that require the input of multiple estimators, spreadsheets simply slow you down and cost you money.
Managing subcontractors and vendors
Still more, we’ve had contractors tell us how they lost job awards because their spreadsheets made it practically impossible to compare vendor pricing and enter last minute subcontractor or material prices into their bids on deadline.
With SharpeSoft Estimator, material and Subcontractor comparison packages give you the power to analyze late returned vendor pricing and enter the latest prices into your bids right up to the last minute with just one click.
You will never lose an award because the best prices didn’t make it into your bid.
Reducing Costly Errors
Many contractors have told us that with spreadsheets it is easy to make little mistakes that can turn into big losses - Like overlooking cells when updating labor or equipment rates, or forgetting to include hauling costs on a bid item. Others have pointed out that accidentally using out of date calculation formulas copied from old spreadsheets have cost them job awards.
SharpeSoft Estimator pays for itself by eliminating such costly errors.
But is it really free?
Obviously, SharpeSoft Estimator isn’t free. However, the savings it brings in time, accuracy and efficiency will cover the cost of your software investment ten times over and in very short time.
That may not exactly be “free” but it’s pretty darn close!
To learn more, set up a free demonstration today.
And to learn six other reasons to make the change from spreadsheets to estimating software, see our blog: Cast Off Your Old Tired Spreadsheets