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Advice for contractorRenovation Contractor: Choosing an Estimation Software
As a renovation contractor, being able to provide your clients with a fair cost estimate for upcoming work or projects is of great importance. You’re likely aware that various software options are appearing in the construction industry to assist you with this task.
As any change involves the upheaval of already well-established practices and habits, certain questions may arise in the process of implementing new estimation tools. So, here's everything you need to know about this subject!
The first step in successfully implementing your software is to develop an effective strategy. From the outset, it’ll be important to designate someone within your company who will be responsible for presenting and explaining the software to employees, once it’s been purchased. This person will also act as a reference if there’s a problem and should be available to help everyone familiarize themselves with the software.
Next, you’ll have to define what the needs you’re looking to fulfill are within the software framework. This step is essential because it’ll determine the criteria the software must meet. For example, are you looking to make changes to your database? Do you need to computerize collecting amounts or estimations for efficiency?
While it may seem easy to achieve, this step presents a daunting challenge: that of coming up with goals that are both realistic and clear. Keep in mind that a poorly defined goal or an achievement that cannot be measured will be of little use.
As with any project, you’ll need to establish a timeline for the steps to complete it. More specifically, consider including all the main tasks to be performed, but also sub-tasks attached to them. This will be a great help in ensuring more rigorous monitoring of the progress of your project.
Similarly, at each stage make it clear who the individuals involved are, as ambiguity in this regard is highly likely to slow the progress of your project.
What about the budget? You’ll need to establish this according to the requirements you’re pursuing as part of the implementation of this project, these being decisive on the desired level of performance.
You’ll also need to take into account the direct and indirect costs involved in this type of project. So what are the main expenses that you’ll assume? Here’s a brief overview:
the purchase of software and hardware (additional screens, workstations, computers, servers, etc.) ;
annual software update ;
training offered by the supplier ;
the salary of your employees during the training ;
the loss of productivity as a result of this training.
Now that your goals and needs are well defined, you need to consider what you expect from the software you want to purchase. What exactly should it be able to accomplish to meet your business's estimation needs? Among those often mentioned, we first think of the automatic file backup, which will be of great help to avoid an occasional loss of data!
The ideal scenario would be to find software that can meet all of your requirements. As it’s seldom possible to find the perfect software in all respects, it’s advisable to evaluate the order of priorities that each offers to decide between those which are essential and those which are considered secondary.
There are some caveats when it comes to choosing a particular supplier. First of all, not all software adapts well to being used in conjunction with software from other vendors. Make sure to do some research on this subject to avoid unpleasant surprises!
Also, it’s necessary to remember that an investment of time is essential to find software that meets both your budget and the estimation needs of your business. Do you need help to better direct your research and have the time to evaluate all the available options within a reasonable time frame?
In this case, an external consultant could be beneficial. However, resorting to this aid comes with its risks. Indeed, it’s not impossible for an external consultant with a fixed contract to stick to the main options, without investigating further and then deciding on those that may be suitable for you. As for any consultant, don't be surprised if they take their time before they complete their mandate.
If you want to make an informed decision, don't hesitate to ask friends or acquaintances for opinions and referrals. They’ll be able to share their experiences with integrating this software into their business, how it went and any potential difficulties with implementing or configuring it.
Since buying this kind of tool is no small expense, be sure to test the one you plan on implementing. Here are a few tips that apply for testing to be successful:
avoid the use of demonstration software
ask to test the full version software of the modules that interest you
If you need to purchase more than one license, start with just one before you confirm your decision
RenoQuotes.com can help you get home renovation contracts. We get requests from clients looking for trusted home renovation professionals just like you. Fill out the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive information on how to get new clients for your renovation company through our service.
Last modified 2023-11-07
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