Boost Takeoff and Estimating With Construction Tech

Digitization and software solutions ensure faster and more accurate takeoffs and estimates, boost productivity and help keep projects under budget and ahead of schedule.
By Phillip Ogilby
February 18, 2020

The construction industry is booming. Demand is high, but simultaneously, it seems harder than ever for construction businesses to succeed.

Go digital

It’s a high-risk marketplace out there. Contractors are battling against strong economic headwinds that affect their viability. Someone starting a new construction company today has a one-in-four chance of being completely out of business within 12 months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This grows to a more than a 6-in-10 chance of being out of business within five years.

These are certainly not the best odds for construction businesses but, even under these conditions, the pool of potential competitors isn’t shrinking. The barriers to entry are so low that as soon as one company goes out of business, two or three more will take its place. The constant competitive pressure affects the ability of contractors to generate significant profits for projects and constantly depresses margins.

With these factors in mind, what can commercial construction businesses do to boost their chances of success? The short answer is, “Go digital.” Full-scale digitization—simply moving all pen-and-paper-based administrative tasks onto a computer—can generate an estimated cost saving of 12% to 20% for construction businesses, according to World Economic Forum.

For construction worldwide, full-scale digitization represents $1.2 trillion dollars in cost savings for the industry as a whole, compounding the positive impact that adopting construction technology can have on top-line revenue.

Improving Takeoff

So, how can contractors turn things around? What kind of tech would most benefit a small contracting business? Look for technological solutions that can help boost top-line revenue, which can help shield businesses from financial mistakes made along the way.

Construction businesses need to look for solutions that can help them grow their topline revenue faster than their competition. A perfect example is a software solution that will allow them to bid more work, more quickly and with less of their time invested.

Software can help automate the time-consuming takeoff and estimating processes traditionally done by hand, and at the same time significantly increase accuracy. This reduces the likelihood of mistakes and missing items when putting together estimates. The more accurate an estimate, the more securely the profit can be baked in.

Contractors don't make money on the jobsite; they make money when combining the takeoff and estimate. Once they begin executing the job, it’s all about trying to protect the profit built into the project.

Digitization is the first step to protecting margins for construction businesses. Along with software solutions to ensure faster and more accurate takeoffs and estimates, construction companies can benefit from a whole range of solutions designed to boost productivity and help keep costs under budget and the project ahead of schedule.

The single biggest reason people fail when trying to adopt new technology is based on an unwillingness to change. Once a construction business owner makes the decision to adopt new technology in their business, it is important to stay committed. There will be challenges in the early learning stages, but stick with it. Don’t give up, and see it through to success.

by Phillip Ogilby
Phillip Ogilby is founder and CEO of STACK Construction Technologies, a cloud-based preconstruction software platform for professional construction contractors.

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