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4 Ways Spreadsheet Estimating Could Be Holding You Back

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Excel has long been a staple of the construction estimating industry, primarily due to its accessibility, affordability, and ease of use. However, as numerous contractors have found out, Excel is far from the perfect estimating tool for the construction industry; it has a number of drawbacks that can slow your business's capacity to produce accurate and speedy reports. There are many reasons why upgrading to estimating software designed specifically for the construction industry can help your business achieve its growth.

Problem #1: Excel Calculations Can Be Errors

Construction estimators may find it difficult to perform calculations in Excel. Why? Even before the estimates are created, errors in formulas, incorrect cost estimates, and unintentional user modifications can jeopardize the accuracy of your calculations. The possibility of human error is eliminated by using software designed specifically for construction estimating to replace spreadsheet calculations with accurate values for measurements and estimates, that are generated automatically. Your estimate is always consistent, accurate, and trustworthy. There's also this additional advantage: you won't have to spend as much time looking for mistakes and figuring out which figures in different spreadsheets to believe when you have complete faith in your data.

Problem #2: Excel Doesn't Keep Your People Connected

Employees on the project must function as a cohesive unit.  This implies that teams must collaborate and connect at a level that Excel cannot support.

On the other hand, cloud-based construction estimating software provides a new degree of user connectivity and access. It assists in dismantling organizational silos and equips teams with new tools for real-time information sharing and teamwork. A cloud-based estimating platform can support an infinite number of users concurrently to accommodate all parties involved with centralized project data. An increasingly mobile workforce now has new opportunities to connect, communicate, and collaborate no matter where they are thanks to cloud estimating platforms, which provide information access 24/7 to estimators, project managers, field teams, consultants, client engineers, and more.


Limitation # 3: Excel Data is Hard to Transfer

Getting reliable, accurate information to the right people at every stage of the project lifecycle—from the initial bid to the final close out—is essential to managing a profitable construction project. However, maintaining a consistent approach to content and format with Excel can be challenging, particularly when multiple estimators are working on the same project. Ensuring accurate data transfer from estimate to other back office systems is an even more difficult task. Additionally, manual changes made to Excel, whether deliberate or not, may affect the accuracy of the estimate.

The requirement to manually enter estimate data into software on the back end is eliminated by software. Such automatic data transfer reduces time wastage and virtually eliminates inadvertent re-entry errors.

Limitation #4: Excel Won't Keep Pace with Growth

Just Excel is not enough to handle the growing volume of estimating or the intricacy of construction measurements. A better option is an online cloud platform that delivers specialized software for the construction industry.  Estimates and invoices related to construction can be handled correctly. As a project moves forward, Excel finds it nearly impossible to handle sudden changes in volume and demand, and contractors suffer as a result.

Lower productivity can also result from a reliance on Excel, which hinders the ability to expand and grow. When working with Excel, time that could be better spent on other tasks can be wasted, from setup to formula testing and verification. The bottom line? If you get to the point where you don’t have the time or manpower to maintain and verify the integrity of your data in Excel, then a more powerful construction-specific estimating solution is the answer.



As construction grows, competition becomes increasingly cutthroat and technology-driven, necessitating contractors to embrace novel instruments and procedures in order to sustain their competitive edge.  Execution performance is simply not possible with Excel's limited estimating power, customization options, and connectivity. Therefore, construction companies that continue to rely solely on Excel familiarity may be endangering their capacity to work effectively, compete successfully, and meet their growth goals. Through the implementation of an enhanced automated construction estimating platform, particularly one that operates on the cloud, contractors of all sizes can effectively handle contemporary complexities and set themselves up for future success.

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