Find quantity takeoff software for construction can be time consuming and confusing, with the multiple options out there. The options start with a work document and some formulas. The options then work up towards excel spreadsheets then true software programs.
When evaluating these options there are many things you should keep in mind when looking, some of the most important are:
- How well can the program grow with you? Odds are your business will not the same five years from now as it is today. You should look for an option that can grow with you; otherwise, you will be forced to buy another program along with the associated costs. It is better to find the program now that will grow with you in the future.
- What will the ROI be for the program? Instead of looking just at price, you should look closely at the return on investment from the software. See how quickly it will pay for itself, top end programs may take years before you can recoup the thousands of dollars spent, and low price options may never provide enough of an advantage to pay for themselves.
- How long will it take to learn the program? Any new way of doing things takes some time to learn so you should look at how long it will take to learn the software. Looking for programs that are designed to be user friendly can reduce the learning curve.
- What kind of support and training is available and how much does it cost? Right along the lines of #3, find out what type of training support is available and how much it costs. So cheaper programs will just sell you the software and leave it up to you to learn how to make it work. Try to find software that will provide free training, this will allow you to learn the software in the shortest period of time.
- What will the return on time be? Just like return on investment, your time is worth a lot, the longer it takes learn the program and use it in day-to-day operations the greater the ROI will need to be to justify the expense.
- How customizable is the software? Everybody does his or her work a bit differently, either by habit or out of necessity for the environment. Finding a program that can be customized to you, rather than force to do things the way the program designers want will allow for quicker learning and better results.
- Is there continuing support and enhancements of the software? Standards change as do operating systems. There is nothing worse than spending big dollars for a program only to find a couple years down the road it needs to be replaced because it does not work and the company is no longer supporting the program or had disappeared. Because of this, you want to find software from a company that will around for the long term so they can update the program as needed and add new features when they become available.
The best way to make sure you get the program that is best for your needs is to spend the time doing the research, and talking to user of the programs, not just the sales forces.
Another great way is to find programs that offer free trials with training. This will allow you to use the program with some knowledge to see if it works for you.
Investing in quantity takeoff software is a great way to save time and money for any construction operation, IF the right program is chosen.