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Friday, December 31, 2010

The Prospect of Project Estimating in the year 2011

In anticipation of contractors’ needs in the year ahead, technology providers are continuing to offer new products and integrations for the construction industry. One key area that will likely still remain a top priority in the year ahead is estimating efficiencies.

Estimating is important right now for a number of reasons. Primarily, in today’s competitive market environment, construction companies need to come in with low bids while still maintaining good margins to remain profitable. Estimating and takeoff technology can help.

In smaller firms, the roles of estimator and field superintendent are usually both done by the owner of a company. In fact, it is the ability of the accomplished tradesman to estimate that allows him to take the step from employee to owner of his own business. His success hinges completely on how good his judgement and objectivity is in estimating.

For the large firm, the estimator may be a partner or an employee -- even, one of several, on a team of estimators. The firm relies on an estimator to provide all the information to determine if a particular project is suitable to bid on.

Apart from the personal efficiency, the construction companies are looking at technology to become more efficient, technology providers continue to release new products and integrations. For example, On Center Software,, The Woodlands, Texas, and Benchmark Estimating,, Manchester, U.K., announced a new custom integration.

This means construction companies will be able to import takeoff data from On Center’s On-Screen Takeoff into Benchmark Estimating software. The integration is currently in development, but will ultimately save a significant amount of time in the takeoff process, while also increasing accuracy.

According to Angelo Castelli, director of business development, On Center Software, the integration will provide a new level of productivity and efficiency for estimators, and the flexibility of the systems will be advantageous for project managers.

Rob MacDonald, director, Benchmark, says many of its clients have been inquiring about digital takeoff solutions, and this integration will provide them with the solution they want.

This is just one example of new estimating-technology integrations for contractors in the year ahead. Keep your eyes open for new products and partnerships, as 2011 is going to be a big year for improved efficiencies in the industry

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