3 Tips for Successful Software Evaluation

When preconstruction manager Johnny Rhea found DESTINI Estimator construction estimating software, he was working on a smaller preconstruction team focused on maximizing their resources.

Understanding lean estimating, they needed an estimating workflow that:

  • Standardized and unified their process.
  • Saved the estimators’ time.
  • Offered flexibility and structure.
  • Allowed them to capture and leverage their project data.

With the “explosion of technology in our industry,” as Johnny puts it, it can be overwhelming to start searching for a new construction estimating program. You need to be as efficient as possible when evaluating new software.

About the challenge of finding new software, Johnny says, “We’re at a new dawn so to speak. There’s a lot of options out there. Trying to stay on point to what the problem is that you’re actually trying to solve and not be distracted by the noise of these really cool features.”

How do you evaluate new software? Throughout the evaluation process, Johnny learned some techniques on how to be successful at a new software evaluation. Here is his framework of three best ways to evaluate new software:

Assess your current workflow.

Taking a step back to analyze how you do things now will help you find the holes, silos, and pain points in the process. Look at all the different software you use to complete estimates and the features that you like and dislike which led them to creating a “hit list” of features that their new estimating software would have to have.

Johnny’s team also held discussions about what different contracting and deliverables would look like in a new system.

Identify and focus on the problem you are trying to solve.

It’s easy to be distracted by cool features and things that could be “fun,” as Johnny says. Sit down with your team and list the problems in your process now and what you want to accomplish with the new software, so you have a checklist when you go into the marketplace and look at the estimating software available. This will help you not lose sight of your purpose in switching software.

Don’t underestimate the time and effort it takes.

Change isn’t easy. To pivot from an old system to a new one takes time. You will need to account for time to implement and train the team on the new estimating system. You have been using your old software for a long time so recognize that there will be a period where you will be uncomfortable. Johnny says, “Giving that process as much importance as you can…have a game plan to implement ensures that you’re not just making a ‘lame duck’ type of investment.”

Johnny says, “What we do in precon can set profitability for the company,” so you want to make sure the entire team is clear on why you are making the decisions to switch your estimating tools. Choosing DESTINI Estimator makes your process more efficient and faster. DESTINI Estimator met all of Johnny's criteria for a new estimating platform yet has the fluidity they needed to grow as a business.


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