Why Ryan Companies Stopped Using Excel for Estimating—Case Study

Ryan Companies had been using Excel for their estimating efforts for over 20 years when they decided to switch to a database-driven estimating system. With the company growing and expanding in multiple offices across multiple cities, Ryan found that it was difficult to access historical cost information.  

Though Excel worked for Ryan, one of its best features, its flexibility, also became a hindrance because there was no consistency in their estimates. For example, Ryan once had a client with three identical projects in three different regions. This client said that although they loved the work Ryan was doing, it looked like it was coming from three different companies. A big reason for that was Ryan's estimating process. 

The Challenge

Ryan discovered that there was too much inconsistency because they could create estimates any way they wanted. Additionally, they found their existing estimating process inefficient and prone to mistakes. They spent time figuring out their worst pain points and found that there were three major areas that needed fixing: 

  1. Accessibility and transparency of information
  2. Consistency in the estimating process
  3. Accuracy and efficiency

One of Ryan’s greatest challenges was not knowing what was being done in Excel and not being able to access the data in those estimates. They wanted to be able to compare estimates for future projects and needed a tool that could bring in all the solutions they were looking for—accessibility, transparency, consistency, accuracy, and efficiency.  

The Solution

Ryan Companies spent years evaluating estimating software. Scott Warren, Vice President of Preconstruction-National says “Every system we looked at really satisfied those (the three major areas) in some way. So, we really had to look deep.” Ryan’s team narrowed it down to four before choosing DESTINI Estimator. Scott says, “DESTINI set itself above all of the others. Not only in those primary items, but in the more intangible areas.”  

There were four major points that made it “easy” for Ryan to choose DESTINI Estimator and Beck Technology: 

  1. User interface 
  2. Ease of transition 
  3. Partnership 
  4. Beck Tech’s future roadmap 

User Interface 

Because Ryan’s preconstruction team had been using Excel for so long, it was the only thing many of its estimators knew. Scott says the ease of use was extremely important. He also points out that DESTINI Estimator’s user interface is intuitive and was “the best one” out of all the platforms they evaluated. 

Ease of Transition 

One of the biggest selling points of DESTINI Estimator for Ryan Companies was the smooth transition to switching from Excel. They knew it was going to be a “major uphill climb,” says Scott, and DESTINI Estimator’s Excel emulator was going to ease their precon team into using the new software.  


Scott says that with most of the other estimating platforms out there, you just buy a tool and plug it in; however, Beck Technology offers its users a true partnership. It was important to Ryan to choose a provider that offered true support.  

Beck Technology has two in-house teams dedicated to supporting customers—Customer Support and Customer Success. Customer Support offers technical help and solves issues, while Customer Success provides training and best practices on using DESTINI Estimator.  

Beck Tech’s Future Roadmap 

Ryan Companies appreciates that Beck Technology has defined goals and knows where the software is going in the future, plus Ryan Companies and all Beck Tech partners get to be a part of defining what features and functionalities go into future DESTINI Estimator versions.  

The Results

Besides the accessibility and transparency of information, Ryan Companies have been able to increase the efficiency of their estimating process and workflows because of DESTINI Estimator. Jim Kurth, Director of Estimating at Ryan, points out four major areas where Ryan’s precon team has been able to decrease the time it takes to create an estimate: 

  • After switching from Excel, where they only had one expert user, they now have more internal resources to help people working in DESTINI Estimator 
  • Customized templates with pre-populated line items drive efficiency for Ryan’s industrial, senior living, and multi-family groups 
  • Quicker access to information 

Jim says, “We want to continue to build efficiencies in using assemblies.”  

Ryan is still a relatively new user of DESTINI Estimator, yet they are already reaping the benefits of switching from Excel. Scott says, “The biggest thing we see right now is accessibility and transparency of information.” The precon team is saving time because they no longer have to research information. Scott continues, “One of the biggest efficiency areas is going to be saving that time.” 

If you are ready to save time, create accurate estimates, and have all your data right at your fingertips, click the button below to schedule a demo of DESTINI Estimator today.