Implementing New Construction Estimating Software Case Study
When it comes to choosing construction estimating software, whether you’re completely starting from scratch or simply looking to update your current programs, it’s easy to get caught up in the initial stages of evaluation. You invest time, energy, and human resources into coming up with the specific features that you need, scheduling and sitting through demos, narrowing the list down to one or two competitors, calling existing customers to hear their perspectives, and ultimately negotiating deals before signing on the dotted line.
It’s around this time that you often hear support being talked about. A lot of advice around selecting an excellent construction estimating software often comes back to support: that you need to have a good support team in place so that you aren’t alone when you hit any potential issues, and so that you can fully maximize your use of the software. And while we absolutely agree that post-purchase support is critical to a successful partnership with a software vendor, it’s equally as important to make sure that you have a strong implementation plan and a team that can help you execute it.
Implementation is the final step after you’ve purchased your chosen product. Ideally, this is the stage where you will work with IT to install the software, determine a schedule for training classes, start hosting the training classes, and setting up a system to monitor performance and receive user feedback. Easy enough, right? Well, not always. There often are several obstacles around implementation, both in preparing for and executing it. Let’s dive in to understand more.
Perhaps one of the most immediately obvious challenges in regards to implementation is that a vendor simply does not offer it as part of the purchasing agreement. This can appear in two different ways. First, a vendor may just have not invested in a solid implementation plan and team to offer its clients. For them, implementation might look like a PDF thrown in with the product, detailing a few tips and tricks for installation.
In other situations, a vendor may offer an implementation package, but it is either priced as an additional cost and not included in the overall fee for the product, or it is a “stock implementation” package that offers little to no customization. In both scenarios, you may find that you aren’t able to get ahold of a real person and that you end up having to do most of the heavy lifting yourself.
However, another problem that may not be as apparent occurs when implementation is offered but is not talked about in specifics prior to signing off on a deal. This isn’t necessarily the fault of contractors. For many vendors, it’s customary to only discuss implementation on a high level prior to signing the deal, then dive into specifics once all the signatures have been received. Implementation is often not considered as critical as making sure certain product features are available or access to on-demand support.
And the reality is, implementation is critical. Adopting a new software is a massive undertaking, and without a proper plan for execution in place, it’s incredibly easy for even the most cutting-edge construction estimating software to fall short. In fact, according to change management author John Gotter, 70% of change initiatives fail to achieve expected results—due in large part to not discussing what implementation of said initiatives will practically require.
Beck Technology has consistently received feedback from clients regarding the thoroughness and availability of its implementation team. Beck Technology’s implementation plans have also frequently been cited as a deciding factor when trying to choose DESTINI Estimator or a competitor. Why?
A Senior Estimator at The Korte Company, states, “We really like the lump sum approach and the fact that the Beck Technology team came to our office twice and flew me down to Dallas once for hands-on training with the software. We had a high comfort level with the fact that Beck Technology provides a collaborative approach to building our custom database, as opposed to trying to shoehorn in someone else’s. If we’d had time-and-materials support from another provider, costs could easily have gotten way out of control.”
Beck Technology has revolutionized construction estimating software implementation, as well as addressing many of the issues surrounding it by offering potential clients a hands-on experience that is uniquely tailored to their needs as a company, whether they only operate out of a few offices or out of several. Additionally, part of the negotiation includes discussing in-depth what the implementation plan will look like: how many training sessions there will need to be, what kind of reports will need to be built, and when implementation needs to be wrapped up to ensure the best results. What does this mean for the client? The moment they sign on the dotted line, they already know who their implementation specialist is and the timeline they can expect for getting the software up and running. Even better, the potential client is made aware early on that implementation and everything that falls under that wheelhouse is already included within the total cost of DESTINI Estimator.
As mentioned earlier, Beck Technology also works closely with clients to help them develop a robust database, gathering previously disconnected data and organizing them into a central location that all estimators can access and refer to on current projects. And, thanks to our experience over the years, we’ve compiled other resources to help you prepare for implementation, as well. As a result, we’ve seen improved efficiency and faster turnarounds for clients who are given a detailed implementation plan and the support from the vendor to execute it.