How to Upgrade Your Electrical & ICT Estimating Tools – Without the IT Hassles

July 29, 2020 Trimble Buildings

Electrical and ICT contractors have more access than ever to tools and technologies to increase their productivity and efficiency. Those who are already bought into using technology are realizing the benefits it delivers. For example, if your company is already using takeoff and estimating software, you’ve experienced firsthand the positive impacts of being able to perform takeoff digitally and produce more accurate estimates in less time. 

But traditional software doesn’t come without its own challenges. While it was once the de facto standard for increasing productivity, there are now cloud computing solutions that provide even greater efficiency. Cloud-hosted solutions for takeoff and estimating are helping  contractors alleviate the upfront cost and complexity of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure. 

“Point solutions that are on-premises require a steep investment in IT resources.” 

Source: Oracle Construction and Engineering Blog

Read on to uncover the inefficiencies and costs of continuing to use traditional software tools for takeoff and estimating when there are lower maintenance and more cost-effective options available.

Leverage these 10 tips to make
takeoff and estimating more efficient. 

The IT Challenges of Traditional Takeoff and Estimating Software

There’s no question that the benefits of using software for takeoff and estimating far outweigh the negatives. But there are some downsides that come with continuing to rely on traditional software hosted and managed locally on-premises.

Aside from the typical tech hurdles that seem to be part and parcel of the construction business as a whole, electrical and ICT contractors who are using traditional software for takeoff and estimating are experiencing these common IT challenges.

High Infrastructure Costs

Maintaining your own on-premises software is a time-consuming and costly business expense. In addition to the initial costs to purchase the software, you must also have in-house server hardware and sufficient IT resources to manage server uptime, maintain security, conduct disaster recovery planning, and more. The costs both upfront and ongoing can be significant, especially if something goes wrong. 

Updates, Upgrades, and Other Hassles

On-premises software requires a lot of maintenance. An on-premises setup requires software licenses, integration capabilities, and IT support to manage potential issues that may arise. You also need sufficient IT resources to manage ongoing upgrades and updates to keep the software performing optimally. 

Limited Accessibility

Local software doesn’t easily support remote work. Teams inevitably face communication barriers without multi-user and multi-branch support. Estimators may not be able to access the same products, assemblies, or projects when they need to. To make collaboration possible, you could enlist IT resources to create a virtual environment, but ensuring the success of this effort is a big undertaking.  

Lack of Dedicated IT Resources

The resources needed to manage your estimating software needs may be more than your current IT team can handle. Given their other responsibilities, they may lack the bandwidth to focus on your specific needs, which may not be their top priority either. And you don’t really want the added responsibility and headaches of trying to manage complex IT issues, do you?

“Moving to the cloud allows you to focus on your core business rather than dealing with IT.”

Source: The Cloud Computing Guide for Construction, Focus Research 

Minimize IT Hassles with Cloud-hosted Takeoff & Estimating

Today’s electrical and ICT contractors are alleviating IT burdens by switching to cloud-based integrated takeoff and estimating tools. Cloud-based software for takeoff and estimating doesn’t require upfront IT expenses. In fact, most companies realize significant savings by making the switch to a subscription-based solution for takeoff and estimating. Because you’re essentially paying for the software as you go, you remove the initial investment that typical software investments require. 

You can save an average of $45,700
over two years by switching to cloud-hosted
takeoff and estimating.

You’re also relieved of the burden and cost of managing and maintaining your takeoff and estimating tools. Complex technical IT requirements like server infrastructure, hardware maintenance and replacement, and operating system updates become the responsibility of the provider. Ongoing software updates happen automatically, too, so you can feel confident your tools, as well as your product libraries and pricing are always up to date—giving you the advantage over your competitors. 

In addition to reducing IT burdens, you can create greater consistency in your processes that translates to more efficiency and accuracy. Everyone will be using the same data, assemblies, items, and projects. Team members will feel confident in their bids when they know that everyone is working from the most current information available. And estimates will be easier to review because they’re being produced in a standardized and consistent way. 

With true multi-user and multi-branch support, your entire estimating team can seamlessly work on a project at the same time. This improved collaboration speeds up your overall process, giving you the time and confidence to bid on more complex jobs.

When you switch to a cloud-hosted takeoff and estimating solution, you’re able to:

  • Realize significant cost savings
  • Minimize IT resource requirements
  • Access estimates anytime, anywhere with an Internet connection
  • Ensure software, as well as pricing, is always current
  • Achieve greater efficiency and accuracy
  • Take on bigger and more complex projects

Produce Electrical & ICT Estimates Faster & More Accurately

In today’s fast-paced construction industry, continuing to use on-premises software is slowing you down by requiring too many IT resources and unnecessary costs. Electrical and ICT contractors who take advantage of cloud-hosted takeoff and estimating solutions can create a meaningful competitive advantage over those who continue to fall behind. 

A cloud-hosted solution gives estimators anywhere-access to graphical takeoff, estimating, change management, product and pricing libraries, and submittal management, all from one centralized platform. With convenient access to everything they need, your estimators can produce estimates faster and more accurately than ever before. 

To learn more ways to streamline your takeoff and estimating process, get the eBook.

 
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