The Power of Estimating Software Integrations

We all know the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none,’ right? You’ve probably used it yourself a few times in your life. 

In construction, we know all too well the importance of what it means. Your trade partners are masters at what they do. You wouldn’t go with the guy who says he can do it all…half-assed…would you? 

Didn’t think so. 

That’s why it is so important to us to focus on what we do best—develop the best estimating software—and partner with the rest to make sure you have a total estimating system that works for you.  

These partnerships are called software integrations. 

What is Software Integration? 

Software integration is when two or more different software connect to make one unified system. It eliminates the need to bounce back and forth between your programs to complete your tasks.  

Integrated software essentially “talks to each other” so data is seamlessly traded back and forth.  

When your software is integrated, you create a powerful force of efficiency because it saves time, standardizes workflows, mitigates risk of missing information, and creates consistency.  

Because our solutions solve common preconstruction problems, DESTINI Estimator estimating software integrates with the other trusted essential software you need to get deliverables on time to owners.  

Our latest integration is with Togal.AI takeoff software.  

Takeoff as it Was

Johnny Maghzal, Head of Development at Togal.AI, said it best in his Precon World 2022 session: “[As an estimator], I spent too much time in On-Screen and Bluebeam clicking, clicking, clicking, and dragging – and not even thinking.” 

Spending time on burdensome tasks is one thing. Unfortunately, because takeoff has historically been so disconnected from the rest of the estimating process, it tends to be ripe for inaccuracy. And constantly going back to double-check data only adds more hours to an already arduous process. 

Takeoff as it Should BeTogal.AI takeoff

DESTINI Estimator was developed specifically to automate these types of time-consuming tasks and enable estimators to refocus their efforts on higher-value activities. In that same Precon World session, Johnny pointed out, “People fresh out of four years of school don’t want to spend their time clicking and dragging, they want to use their brain, they want to communicate with trade partners, and they want to learn from their seniors how things are built, not really coloring and tracing.” 

This approach is exactly why we decided to partner with Togal.AI to expand the capabilities of the 2D takeoff feature in DESTINI Estimator. Like Beck Technology, Togal.AI was founded by people from the construction industry who understood that the biggest challenges facing the industry could best be solved by addressing them before they ever got off the ground – in the preconstruction phase.  

Togal.AI’s founders decided to focus on one specific part of the preconstruction process, the area where they saw the greatest number of inefficiencies and lost hours: quantity takeoff. 

Johnny sat down to speak with Mike Boren, Beck Technology’s Chief Product Officer, to discuss how artificial intelligence-based automation is an enhancement, not a replacement, for estimators everywhere. 

 

What’s So Great About DESTINI Estimator’s Integration with Togal.AI? 

Togal.AI’s takeoff tool allows users to send a set of drawings that will then be analyzed and automatically interpreted by Togal.AI’s machine learning. Togal.AI then generates the resulting 2D quantity takeoff from those drawings. Of course, you want to know how you can trust the results you’re getting. While automation is a step up from having to do everything yourself, machines aren’t always perfect. 

To that, Johnny responds: “Short answer: trust will come with usage and time. That being said, even though we are sure that trust will come with time and usage, as a software vendor we make sure we’re doing a great job of building a good user interface and experience for the user, to make them feel that this tool we are building is still accommodating them. For example, we make Togal as a product so flexible that the user can do any kind of takeoff they want. We don’t give them an out of the box product they cannot manipulate or change. We’re so into this idea of augmentation rather than only automation.” 

What does building trust through that user experience look like? Johnny gives an example that at the beginning of Togal’s development, its output in terms of area was incredibly accurate, but sometimes the lines could come out a little wobbly in appearance. That one visual effect made estimators feel uncertain about Togal’s outputs. So, the wobbly lines were cleaned up, and because of that experience the developers at Togal do everything they can to ensure that both the data and its appearance bring confidence to users. 

The other question that Togal regularly gets is, “Is your takeoff tool really more efficient?” Although Togal can quickly generate multiple 2D quantity takeoff, these takeoffs still require some minimal cleanup on the user’s end. 

Johnny adds: “There is so much art in estimating, that we sometimes don’t appreciate as estimators our skills and how much knowledge there is in the human brain that is not on the drawings. A lot of assumptions are not on the drawings. We want the estimator’s knowledge; we just don’t want them to spend time click-click-clicking and dragging – they have a lot of tasks that are more valuable to them.” 

Want to Experience Integration for Yourself? 

If you’d like to see things in action yourself, schedule a demo with us today by hitting the button below. 

 

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