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7 Ways to Connect Electrical Estimating and Takeoff and Improve Your Bidding Process

To ensure the successful completion of building projects for MEP contractors, it is imperative that electrical estimators provide precise estimates. The accuracy of these estimates plays a pivotal role, encompassing the meticulous calculation of material and labor expenses while also accounting for the margin of error to safeguard profit margins.

However, speed is equally crucial.

Traditionally, when relying on standalone software or manual methods, the electrical estimating and takeoff procedures tend to be sluggish, unwieldy, and susceptible to errors. This is prompting an increasing number of electrical contractors to consider a transformation. If your current takeoff and estimating processes are burdened by the limitations of standalone software and manual workflows, it’s worth exploring these seven compelling reasons why electrical estimators are transitioning to cloud-based, interconnected takeoff and estimating solutions.

Here are seven compelling reasons why your electrical estimator is eager to embrace connected takeoff and estimating solutions:

Enhanced Accuracy in Estimates

In the past, standalone software for graphical takeoff and estimating served its purpose, but its continued use can compromise accuracy and efficiency. Switching between multiple platforms or manually transferring critical data introduces inefficiencies and substantial risk. Even a minor oversight, unintended keystroke, or missed decimal point can significantly impact the precision of an estimate. A cloud-based solution that seamlessly integrates takeoff and estimating empowers electrical estimators to produce highly accurate estimates. This single platform offers all the necessary tools, from estimating and graphical takeoff to material lists and pricing data, streamlining the process and yielding more precise results in less time.

Synchronized Takeoff and Estimates

When takeoff and estimating processes are not synchronized, electrical estimators often spend considerable time double-checking their work. A connected takeoff and estimating solution with bi-directional data synchronization ensures that changes are tracked in real time. No longer will your electrical estimator need to worry about manually aligning changes in the takeoff with their estimates. Any modifications are automatically recalculated and seamlessly incorporated into the estimate.

Real-time Collaboration

Collaborative efforts involving multiple estimators on a single estimate are common in the industry. While this approach should expedite the process, it can introduce complexities if estimators cannot work on a shared version of the estimate simultaneously. This may lead to one estimator waiting for another to finish or result in multiple versions of the estimate circulating, causing confusion about which one is the most up-to-date.Implementing a platform that enables multiple estimators to collaborate within a single, shared file ensures that everyone works with consistent data, assemblies, items, and project details. With this database hosted in the cloud, you can rest assured that the information is continuously up-to-date, facilitating seamless collaboration.

Access to Shared Content and Real-Time Pricing Information

The absence of a centralized and constantly updated content library can hinder productivity and cast doubts on the precision of electrical estimates. When component or service prices become outdated or unverified, estimators may find themselves spending hours seeking updated pricing or unintentionally relying on inaccurate data. A single pricing error concealed within an estimate has the potential to create a domino effect throughout the entire bid, eroding already tight profit margins.

A solution that offers a repository of standardized content and provides real-time price updates grants access to the most current product and pricing details from trusted suppliers. This not only saves time but also instills confidence that your estimates remain consistent and accurate.

Streamlined Change Management and Review

The influx of change orders and an endless stream of RFIs across various projects can be a significant obstacle to efficiency. The incessant back-and-forth communication can feel like a full-time job. A connected solution can simplify matters by offering a summarized and consolidated view of all takeoffs included in the estimate. This empowers estimators to review and make adjustments more swiftly.

Automatic Updates for Software and Content Libraries

Operating with up-to-date information and seamlessly accessing the latest software updates, all without downtime, is crucial for efficient and accurate estimating and takeoff processes. A cloud-based solution ensures that electrical estimators always have access to the most recent versions of the essential tools and features they require, along with the most current material lists and pricing. All it takes is a simple login to get started.

Reduced IT Overhead and Costs

Employing multiple standalone software programs places an increased burden on IT teams already stretched for resources. This entails staying vigilant about updates across multiple systems, managing relationships with various vendors, and handling an array of support issues. Opting for a cloud-based solution alleviates the upfront expenses and ongoing maintenance associated with rigid on-premises software. Instead, it offers flexible access to all your estimating tools, anytime and anywhere.

In an environment where hours or even days are spent ensuring estimate accuracy, exploring methods to work more efficiently becomes paramount. Given the volume of work expected from estimators, time-saving measures can make the difference between securing or losing a project.

To delve deeper into how electrical estimators are delivering precise, transparent, and professional bids in less time using Trimble’s portfolio of estimating and takeoff solutions, consider downloading our customer story or reaching out to us for further information.

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