How Do You Evaluate Estimating Software?

ENR Top 400 Contractors PARIC Corporation has been a Beck Technology client for eight years. Deciding to switch their legacy estimating software was going to be a heavy lift, but to keep up with the rapid evolving pace of the construction industry, PARIC knew that their outdated and unsupported estimating system, MC2, needed to be replaced with one that would eliminate the data silos they were experiencing and answer their question of “how do we use past projects to guide future decisions?”  

Data-based estimating software is the most efficient way preconstruction teams can capture and leverage their construction data.  

Learn more about the role of IT during estimating software implementation.

PARIC learned many best practices of software evaluation through the process. We sat down with an Estimating Technology Manager at PARIC to discuss how they transformed their software evaluation process.  

There are three major hurdles that companies go through when evaluating software. PARIC suggests the following best practices when you are evaluating estimating software.  

Set Expectations  office space estimate

One of the biggest challenges to implementing new software is getting buy-in from those who are going to use it. Especially in the case of replacing legacy software that your precon team has been using for years. They may not understand why it’s getting replaced. If they don’t understand the why behind the change, you will be met with resistance.  

It is imperative you explain to people what the new software is solving and how it will benefit them. In the case of DESTINI Estimator, it significantly saves an estimator’s time. That’s time they get back to add value to the project and focus on additional project pursuit.  

Change management must come from the top down, so put leaders in place who understand technology and are passionate about innovation. This core group will help the team embrace the change and set realistic goals of implementation timelines and training.  

Recognize Learning Fatigue 

Technology is progressing so quickly it can be hard to keep up. Learning new processes can be overwhelming. We advocate putting an oiler or champion in charge of spearheading the software transition. PARIC assigned one point of contact for the precon team to contact when it came to learning DESTINI Estimator.  

Learn more about the oiler here.

PARIC says, “That’s the biggest thing we’ve learned is just having someone who can help users who are struggling through this and you’re going to run into that.”  

Beck Technology has multiple resources for training content which is constantly being updated and added to. 

Having someone who knows the software and can be an active resource for those on the precon team who are struggling with the new software has “really improved our attitude for technology, especially in our precon department,” points out PARIC.  

Software Vendor Responsiveness 

Vice President of Preconstruction Landon McQuestion at Balfour Beatty discussing Beck Technology's customer service with Landon's headshot.What should people be looking for when they are evaluating that is usually overlooked?  

“Hands down, the biggest thing for me is how responsive the software vendor is going to be when you run into issues,” says PARIC.  

Read more about Beck Tech's Customer Success department. 

No one likes hitting issues, but it is going to happen. But nothing is more frustrating than when you hit the same issues repeatedly with what seems like no solution. As PARIC reiterates, “it gets to a point where you don’t want to use it anymore if there isn’t going to be a solution coming very quickly.” 

Watch our entire conversation with PARIC below.  


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