Over the last few months we have polled contractors, estimators, building owners and many others about their estimating processes. Our mission was to establish industry benchmarks that can be used to gauge the efficiency, effectiveness and performance of cost estimating systems.
Here, in our first Construction Estimating Benchmark Report, we share our findings. These benchmarks allow you to compare your estimating processes against industry standards.
Over 100 construction professionals took our survey. They represent a variety of trades and company sizes.
The majority of participants use spreadsheets and software for cost estimating. While the verdict is out for participants spreadsheets, the majority of estimating software users say their systems are working.
Overall, companies that participated in our survey win 33% of the projects they bid on. However, those that use estimating software produce faster and more accurate bids. They over estimate less than 35% of the time, and under estimate only 5% of the time. On average, it takes them 8.5 days to turn around a bid while it takes spreadsheet users 10.5 days.
Top Estimating Challenges
Regardless of which system is used (i.e spreadsheets, estimating software, etc), there is general agreement over the most difficult costs to estimate.
Top Estimating Challenges vs Top Estimating Priorities
We were surprised to learn that top priorities do not align with top challenges. For example, while less than 25% of companies consider bid accuracy to be a top challenge, 75% say that improving accuracy of bids and estimates is a top priority in 2012.
Top 10 Estimating Software Benefits
We asked software users to share their opinion on the top benefits and features in their system, along with the top services offered by their software vendor.
To read more important takeaways, check out this summary from Barry Cassell of Cassell Consulting.