Engineering News and Record
September 26 / October 3, 2016
Estimating is Not an Isolated Activity
by Richard Humphrey
Vice President - B2W Software
Earning a profit in heavy construction begins with the estimate, but it’s important to recognize that estimating is not an isolated activity. In addition to providing accuracy, speed and standardization advantages over spreadsheets, specialized estimating software can also connect seamlessly with related steps in the workflow. A strong estimating application integrates with:
Field Tracking and Analysis—send bid data automatically to eliminate data entry and ambiguities between what was bid and what is expected in the field; a two-way flow of information also allows actual field data to inform future bids.
Project Management and Accounting systems—export estimate data automatically to increase accuracy and save hours of re-work and re-keying of data.
DOT Bidding Systems—download a DOT electronic bidding system (EBS) file, conform the estimate automatically to match the required format, and then upload it for submission; top applications also come with a built-in database of pay items for each state DOT.
Vendors and Subcontractors—send RFQs and analyze submitted quotes automatically.
Estimating Consistency and Analysis—a robust estimating system establishes consistent process across projects and estimators and enables bids to be compared with historical bids/projects.