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Bidding and estimating software automates manual processes and eliminates paperwork in estimating offices. With automated solutions, businesses can bid more work in less time by cutting out extra steps and guesswork. If bidding for a Department of Transportation job, items from the DOT can be imported directly without rekeying information. By digitizing bids and estimates, estimators can copy from a previous estimate or pull from a list of standardized work activities, improving productivity and cutting costs. 

Utilize estimating and bidding software to maximize the efficiencies of any civil estimating department to achieve desired results from their estimating efforts. These results range from increasing the number of estimates produced without significantly increasing the cost of the estimating department to using estimating practices that put a company in the best position possible to maintain the projected profitability of the project from handoff to close out.

With a digitized estimate, contractors assess production history to compare current bids with previous bids. Items are built faster when using assemblies, which allow estimators to select items needed for an estimate while saving information in notes that the team can view. 

Market opportunity strategy refers to the decision-making process that goes into deciding what is and is not a viable opportunity for any given company and the process for successfully going after and securing those opportunities. 

Protection against profit erosion refers to those steps taken during the estimating process that minimize or reduce the risk of profit erosion during the building phases of the project lifecycle.

Estimate and Strategic Data

Emphasis needs to be placed on the two primary types of data used: estimate data and strategic data. Estimate data is the information both provided and developed that enables the capture of all necessary cost information, translating into cost data in the estimate. Illustrative of this would be all documentation and information provided by the prospective client. Developed data could be real-life production information from field operations available to estimating for comparisons. 

Strategic data is the type of information that permits a construction company to make the best possible decisions relating to what to bid and how to bid it. This data could be historical information that shows what types of jobs, which customers and what scopes of work result in the best profit results.

Protection Against Profit Erosion

Protection against profit erosion considers all processes and activities that start in the estimating department and extend through the entire operations disciplines that prevent profit erosion, resulting from performing field operations that diverges so much from what the estimate anticipated to incur costs over and above the budgeted amount. This ties back to the data conversation in the form of well-thought-out communication between estimating and the field before the commencement of construction. This continues through the day-to-day functions and activities performed by field personnel to ensure that all care is taken to adhere to the estimated costs as much as humanly possible. Field production information must be timely to be helpful. This type of data must be recorded daily and be reviewed immediately to ensure the data is accurate. If it's not accurate, it is of no use in the future.

Examine Estimating Processes and Systems

Achieving the desired results often requires a renewed dedication to examining all estimating systems and processes. Going deep into all data to verify the most significant level of detailed information that is fitting to the needs of the company is solid and meaningful. The final step is putting that information to use in ways that allow the field operations to maximize the profitability of the work they perform.

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