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How to Make Accurate and Profitable Construction Job Estimates

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When it comes to accuracy in construction bids and estimates, you need to think about provisioning equipment, alongside your materials and labor calculations.  Will you rent equipment from a third party? Will you use existing equipment in your equipment facility?  Are there any special restrictions on the job site which are going to force you to use different types of equipment or more specialist equipment than you would normally?

Equipment Management software can work for you in the bid and estimation process just as effectively as it can once your project kicks off and the physical work starts on site.  Here are 4 ways construction equipment software can help:

  1. Generate internal quotes for equipment – use your equipment management software to generate quotes based on standard costs or external vendor rates (if you know you’ll have to rent from a third party).  Let your Equipment Management System provide you with accurate costings for your known project plan.
  2. Don’t forget transport – if you are using your equipment management software to generate quotes, then it can also quote your transport costs. You might base those costs on standard charges (perhaps based on mileage from equipment facility to job site), or you may actually get in bids from external companies right then and there. Your software should also be able to allow for things like fuel subsidies if you want to hedge against gas price rises.
  3. If your bid covers a multi-year project – then make sure your equipment management software uses sensible rate shifts from year to year. If the trend on equipment rates is to rise 2% a year, then estimates for work carried out in the second half of a project should be higher than those for the first half.  Your software should be able to store future rate sheets automatically and calculate based on when the work is going to be done. This is even more important if you are reliant on the equipment rental market for your equipment.
  4. Once you start using your equipment management software to control your estimates for bids, there is a longer term benefit of feeding the data from those estimates back into your equipment planning process. Estimates can be turned into actual equipment orders with a single click, so you don’t have to re-enter any data. More importantly, those estimates give your equipment managers better data to help.
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