Technology Tools

A recent independent survey revealed the following information about estimating technology:

• Two thirds of the electrical contractors which are growing use electrical estimating software to increase sales and help run their company.

• More than 75% of the contractors bidding a large number of projects use estimating software.

• 55% of the contractors which are NOT growing do NOT use software at all.

See Estimating Software on YouTube

What does this mean to you?

It means you need to apply the electrical estimating concepts covered on this website by selecting the right tool.

Let me illustrate my point. I can talk to you about terminating an electrical connection or calculating the length of conduit, but unless you get out a wire cutter or use a measuring tape, you cannot apply what you learned. In the same way, we can discuss take-offs, material costs, labor rates and proposal preparation, but without the right technology tool you will not grow your business. A good electrical estimating software is just such a tool and I have worked with many. I have also done enough estimates manually throughout my career to clearly know why you should use software and which ones are good.
Some of you may already be using a program, others may not, but a good electrical estimating software will help you grow your business in several ways.

First, estimating software will make you more money. How does it do that you ask? Making more money in your business is a function of 2 numbers, the amount of money coming into your business and the amount going out. The money coming in is revenue from sales, the projects you bid, win and build. The money going out are all the expenses your business incurs, which includes direct project labor and material, job related expenses, and overhead.

But why does using an electrical estimating program result in more sales or projects? Sales are a direct result of bidding more projects. With the right estimating software you can estimate a larger number of projects in less time than you can manually. Well designed software lets you build an estimate step-by-step. It starts with the input of your take-off materials, automatically calculates your labor, allows you to review and adjust your numbers (material and labor costs, profit percentages, etc.), and will create a professional looking proposal in a fraction of the time you could do when using Excel or Word.

Now, you say: “OK, I got the part of estimating more projects, but how does it help with expenses?”. Simple, most electrical contractors don’t know their exact costs or have them at the tip of their fingers when preparing an estimate, so their estimates are guess-timates, just a ballpark idea of what they will spend in labor and materials. Good estimating software stores materials, labor rates and other project costs so you can quickly and accurately include them in your proposal. With it you can know exactly how much money you will spend to deliver the job and how much profit is left for you when done.

Get the big picture? Now, click here so you get a taste for how the best electrical estimating software I know gets the job done.


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