Smart Solutions

Software Cuts Estimating Time in Half

Software tailored for MCAA users (such as this McCormick Systems program) can save at least half of estimating time compared with standard ways of estimating.

McCormick Systems Provides Tips on Useful Features

Because not all contractors estimate projects in the same way, software developers such as McCormick Systems have created programs tailored for electrical, plumbing, and mechanical contractors. Often, product changes and enhancements are added to meet specific requests of contractors. Here are some of the features that contractors should look for when choosing estimating software.

  • Time Savings: Estimating software tailored for MCAA users can save at least half of estimating time compared with standard ways of estimating. Estimating software should be easy to use and increase speed and accuracy during takeoff.
  • Ease of Collaboration: Estimating software can improve communication between estimators and project managers. Programs can be obtained as a single-user model or one that works on a local area network or wide area network. As you grow your business, the software should allow an upgrade path, giving you even more flexibility.
  • Meaningful Features: Software that includes MCAA labor units, for example, minimizes effort on your end. Look for additional, management-focused features, such as graphing software that helps you turn data into presentation-ready graphics, scheduling software that assists you in manpower planning, and customizable reports to help in the project planning and executing phases.
  • Automation: Estimating software should let you get pricing updates available from suppliers or pricing services. With automatic pricing updates, you can save time and produce a more accurate quote.
  • Customizability: Software should allow you to customize your estimating processes by user or company-wide. For example, estimators at the same company may be working on the same job at the same time; one estimator might prefer to have three of the system’s takeoff windows (views into the database) open at the same time, while another might opt to have 11 open and readily available. A flexible system greatly increases speed and accuracy during takeoff. Both estimators can do the work as they wish, and the end product is the same.
  • Wrapping up the Bid: At the end of the process, estimating software should assist you in generating a professional looking, accurate, instant proposal that can be e-mailed or faxed to the client.
  • Takeoff Options: Estimating software should provide an interface with other vendors’ software that allows speedy takeoff of various electronic files. A good interface will allow you to take the data you produce during takeoff and automatically feed it into your estimate.
  • Customer Service: Estimating software should come with helpful, reliable support. Ideally, customer support is bolstered by a solid background in construction contracting.

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MCAA welcomes McCormick Systems as a new member.