Estimating Jobs: Harnessing the Power of Software Management

Explore how software management revolutionizes job estimates, optimizing data analysis and automation tools for increased efficiency and profitability.

One thing many restoration contractors dread is estimating a job and winning the bid only to find that the project requires much more extensive work than originally supposed. Yet these days, restoration companies have the technology to make underbidding largely a thing of the past when quoting on any restoration. Estimating software – especially when integrated into a cloud-based restoration platform – provides the means to accurately assess the time and expense it will take to complete a project successfully.

Restoration companies that haven’t already done so should move beyond paper-based manual processes for restoration estimating. Software tools not only help contractors save time, but quotes generated in this way tend to be more accurate, offering better transparency for customers and their insurance companies. Restoration estimating software is quickly becoming the future for those in the industry, and it’s important for restorers to understand how they can utilize it to optimize their operations and grow their businesses. 

How Software Can Revolutionize Restoration Estimates

The future of most industries is digital and cloud-based. This reality is no different for those in the restoration sector. Cloud-based estimating software for restoration contractors streamlines the process of writing estimates, providing greater efficiency when quoting on potential work, collaborating with other stakeholders, and calculating the costs of completing a job. Additionally, digitizing the bidding process will increase efficiency and productivity.

Ways in which restoration estimating software can revolutionize a restorer’s business include: 

  • Ability to change estimates in real-time to easily update pricing to avoid problems with overbidding or underbidding a job.
  • Allowing field teams to better share resources by purchasing more creatively to lower material costs by buying in bulk.
  • Enhancing communication to aid collaboration between stakeholders in real-time to speed calculations for quotes.
  • Freeing up time spent estimating projects to allow contractors to pursue other projects to boost profits.
  • Having access to data that assists in evaluating all variables when making pricing decisions in estimates.
  • Offering a single platform from which all estimates can be updated, tracked, and shared to increase transparency, save time, and reduce the chance of errors in the process.

A cloud-based platform enables better team collaboration, allowing others within the organization to review plans and discuss budgeting issues in real-time. This helps eliminate costly delays and downtime due to miscommunication, leading to more efficiently run projects.

How Modern Restoration Estimating Software Works

These days, most software is sold by software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies that charge a monthly or annual fee for their services. Restoration estimating software is no different in this regard. Cloud-based SaaS providers allow people to do certain aspects of their jobs at any time, from anywhere with Internet connectivity. This enables a project manager or contractor to be on-site while putting together a quote for a restoration. Estimating software contributes to more efficient project management, allowing restorers to do more work or even providing more free time.

Beyond this, cloud-based software allows companies to scale the services they need, which is particularly beneficial for restorers, who generally work on a more seasonal basis. This is true whether it’s part of a more robust restoration platform or an application integrated into a contractor’s existing systems. Regarding restoration estimating, software tools offer contractors many advantages over competitors who don’t use such technology.

Restoration estimating software should include the following capabilities to: 

  • Using historical data to determine costs allows contractors to compare past projects’ pricing to current ones.
  • Standardize how estimates are done to optimize processes.
  • Quickly import data on costs to make alterations to quotes easier.
  • Provide custom reports to ascertain how to make operations run smoothly and within budget.
  • Establish the quantity of materials needed to successfully complete a job.
  • Enable field teams and office staff to implement solutions.
  • Consolidate the software tools used for estimating all in one place.
  • Capture and store data in the cloud while making it available later from any connected location.
  • Ability to compare and even merge an unrestricted number of estimates while tailoring how they’re assessed against each other.

In addition to these features, it’s also important that any restoration estimating software has robust integration capabilities. This means looking for software with an open API (application programming interface) that allows it to be integrated seamlessly into an existing platform. An open API is like a universal translator that helps software apps communicate, increasing the accuracy of information passing between the apps. It also enables project managers to use other software tools to augment workflow, making the process more smoothly.

Another aspect of software used for bidding should involve the use of data in quoting on a restoration. Estimating software uses an analytics app – either within the program or integrated with it – to evaluate historical data from previous projects. These reporting tools allow contractors to make better decisions regarding restoration estimates. Software programs for quoting on jobs utilize big data to generate reports that then break down these project expenses, which is, in turn, enabled by the almost unlimited data storage in the cloud. 

Benefits of Restoration Estimating Software

Almost every restorer has a story about the bid they didn’t get, and how much time was wasted in the process of estimating a restoration. Software offers restoration companies a competitive advantage when it comes to quoting on a job. It streamlines the process while making it more accurate so that a contractor’s quote is taken more seriously. Plus, most restoration estimating software tends to be easy to use. When combined with data-centric decision-making, estimators can glean insights from previous quotes to look at market trends, successful projects, and other patterns that can help a contractor win a bid over a competitor.

Increasing Accuracy

Providing a customer with an accurate quote is one of the more difficult parts of any restoration. Estimating software tracks equipment rental costs, labor, materials, subcontractors, and other aspects of a restoration. Estimating software may not be able to get the prices of everything exactly right due to issues like supply chains, materials, or inflation, but it certainly helps track how prices fluctuate. More importantly, it largely eliminates errors made by humans, which can lead to a project becoming unprofitable. Besides which, the more precise a contractor’s estimates are, the more likely a customer will be to refer a restoration company, leading to increased business.

Reducing Costs & Improving Cashflow

There are multiple ways in which restoration estimating software can reduce costs. It allows a project manager to do quick cost analyses to establish the best markup, which protects profits and keeps projects within budget. All this can be done with a few clicks, reducing the need for paperwork, site visits, and support from administrative staff. It enables all contractors’ bidding team members to collaborate in the process with tools that enable better collaboration, improving coordination between stakeholders and efficiency. By streamlining the process, contractors can even put forth multiple quotes concurrently.

Estimating software for restoration contractors can reduce costs by:

  • Automating many of the more time-consuming aspects of quoting on jobs.
  • Decreasing the need for negotiations with vendors as it helps contractors stay updated on pricing.
  • Easily accessing current prices for materials.
  • Increasing accuracy of quotes using historical data from previous projects.
  • Reducing the amount of research needed.
  • Saving time spent on researching current pricing.
  • Speeding how long it takes to create estimates through provision of quoting templates.
  • Storing historical data for use in comparisons between estimates.

By reducing the costs involved in restoration, estimating software also leads to better cash flow management by keeping estimates accurate so that jobs remain profitable and within budget. Estimating tools also help with tracking changes in pricing to keep estimates accurate.

Streamlining Collaboration

Miscommunication is a culprit in cost overruns in many projects that involve restoration. Estimating software helps eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, such costly miscommunication. Tools that aid interactions between stakeholders on restoration work are a must for any app used in bidding, as they help ensure that everyone is on the same page. Accurately estimating the costs of labor, materials, and equipment will lead to fewer cost overruns, along with better overall planning and results.

Enhancing Transparency & Contributing to Better Customer Relationships 

With any restoration, estimating software makes costs more transparent for customers and insurers, reducing the chance of corrupt or unethical business practices and benefiting the whole industry. Providing a quote that’s both detailed and easy to read also shows customers that there won’t be any hidden expenses within an estimate, leading to better customer relationships. Restoration estimating software provides a detailed list of costs in a simple format, ensuring greater transparency and helping contractors build trust with their customers. Justifying each expense quoted will also lead to more positive word-of-mouth advertising, increasing referrals. This may even result in a reputational advantage over competitors.

Using Albi for Restoration Estimating

Often, the quicker an estimate is put in front of a potential customer, the more likely it is to be accepted, as long as it’s an accurate evaluation of what the job should cost. Providing a more detailed analysis of the cost of a restoration, estimating software gives contractors a significant edge over those who guess at a figure. Through increased accuracy, these platforms reduce costs, improve cash flow, streamline collaboration, enhance transparency, and contribute to better customer relations.

As a cloud-based platform, Albi offers contractors a means to do all this and more regarding restoration estimating. Software built by restorers for restorers, Albi optimizes performance through the use of AI-enabled analytics that helps contractors evaluate historical data. Our restorer-friendly software has the communication tools to aid collaboration and increase a restoration contractor’s bottom line. We invite you to learn more about Albi by booking a free demo today.