These disruptions can be devastating as many businesses struggle to compete in an already high-risk, low-margin industry, especially as many are still having difficulty finding skilled workers.
While it may not be possible to escape the realities of these disruptions, there are tools and processes that contractors can implement to better position their companies to weather the challenges and reduce the impact on their businesses.
This article will explore some areas to consider.
Utilize Estimating & BIM Software
In an industry with notoriously tight margins, contractors don’t have room for error when it comes to estimates. Price volatility for some materials is a variable that companies will need to factor into estimates to the best of their ability. While it can be difficult to know the actual cost of some items, it is crucial that all other aspects of a bid must be accurate. This is where preconstruction technology solutions can have a great impact, as they are essential to helping businesses deliver faster and more accurate estimates.
Advances in software allow estimators to perform production estimating work concurrently with both 2D and 3D content, streamlining the takeoff process and eliminating additional, error-prone work. With the right technology tools in place, construction objects in a model can also be directly linked to assemblies that contain the necessary specification variables used by estimators in a customized estimating database. Additionally, integration with accounting and project management solutions makes it possible to export helpful data such as budgets, purchase orders, and subcontracts without duplicate data entry. Not only can estimating software help produce more accurate bids in less time, but it can also help improve a company’s bid-hit ratio.
BIM creates a digital representation that communicates the physical and functional characteristics of a project. BIM tools integrated with estimating software can help teams better understand construction project plans. Using BIM to create estimates provides three distinct advantages — visualization, speed, and collaboration.
A 3D building model provides an interactive, information-rich representation that makes it easy to see individual elements and how they relate to each other. It also contextualizes the complexity of a project and helps identify potential risks.
Every object in a model can contain dimensional information, such as length and width, allowing teams to build estimates faster and more accurately. BIM tools that are integrated with estimating software accelerates the development of quantities and variances whenever changes occur on a project.