At Beck Technology, our mission is to revolutionize the construction industry and create the future. We were founded to solve problems earlier in the life of a project. So, we aren’t just interested in selling our products. We want to make sure that we’re also a useful resource for any preconstruction professional, whether they’re a customer of ours or not. That's why we've developed multiple blog series discussing how the work we do impacts far more than just buildings, employee retention advice, and other relevant pressing issues like lean estimating and handling fluctuating material prices.
Looking back at our most-viewed blogs in 2022, estimators clearly needed answers to questions like conceptual estimating, how to be better at your job, and what kind of tech makes you more efficient, especially in building relationships with owners. The following is a list of our top 5 most-read preconstruction articles of the year.
Preconstruction Projects and Community Building with Saunders
How Takeoff and Conceptual Estimating Work in DESTINI Estimator
Grant Stucker, Preconstruction Manager at Saunders Construction, sat down with us to talk about the ways DESTINI Estimator has improved their team's estimating efficiency. He also gave us greater insight into how Saunders gives back to the communities where they work and live in. For example, as Saunders approached their 50th year anniversary in 2022, they chose to host several celebrations to honor critical partners in their journey, such as subcontractors and design teams. Saunders also developed a program called Building Confidence in Kids, a philanthropic initiative dedicated to partnering with nonprofits whose focus is on supporting the well-being and development of children in the community.
Technology was definitely at the forefront of a lot of estimators' minds this year, especially with the continuing need to deliver more in less time. It's no surprise that this blog, offering an in-depth look at DESTINI Estimator's takeoff function, was at the top of our most-viewed list.
"Additionally, estimators can also develop conceptual estimates with few (if any) drawings, and instead use DESTINI Estimator’s project tab to fill out questions that will then drive the quantities of your line items. With DESTINI Estimator’s Excel integration, you can also input any relevant Excel sheets into your estimate and automatically link them to your existing line items, which enables you to easily track historical information while retaining a user-friendly feel."
Another frequently discussed issue? Attracting and retaining talent. A huge aspect of getting your best estimators to keep working for you is ensuring that they understand the value of their role and see a clear path for continued growth and upward mobility.
So, we decided to speak to some veteran estimators to get an understanding of the qualities that truly make a great estimator, whether you're approaching it from an employee or employer standpoint. Technical skills aren't the only thing that matters - in fact, sometimes "soft" skills can be the difference between an average preconstruction professional and a stellar one. As Natalie Munoz, current Beck Technology Training Specialist and former estimator, puts it: "You need to be willing to share knowledge with peers to be a better team player."
2022 was a year of incredible innovation in both the preconstruction space and the larger construction industry as a whole. We saw the increased adoption of BIM estimating, more cloud-based connection and integration, and the rise of artificial intelligence to help automate burdensome processes, just to name a few. All of these new developments had the additional benefit of causing many companies to re-evaluate their estimating efforts, realizing that preconstruction holds a plethora of added value if approached in the correct light.
"Estimating is an art and when your precon team is spending most of their time piecing estimates together like Frankenstein’s monster, you aren’t utilizing one of their best skills—problem-solving. When estimators have the right tools to make them as efficient as possible, they have the time to value engineer a project, which is what owners want."
Last but certainly not least, we returned to that age-old question that's plagued everyone at some point: how the heck do you successfully navigate hard conversations with owners, particularly owners who may not always be inclined to take your side? We spoke to both veteran estimators as well as industry experts to find the answers.
“Try to empathize with why the owner is acting the way they are and provide solutions that help alleviate the root cause. And continuously provide options (that you can live with), so they don’t feel stuck or that you’re forcing them to go in a certain direction.” -Senior Implementation Specialist Kristin Vrana
Which Blog Did You Like Best?
If there’s something you’d like to see in our weekly posts that we haven’t covered yet, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you’d just like to let us know what resonated with you most this year, we’d love to hear that too.