After saving time, the next thing that comes to mind is accuracy. Mistakes happen whether you are using a computer or doing things by hand. The computer however, does not make math errors. Consider the chaos of bid day. It is very likely that you will shift a decimal point or make a calculation error in your rush to complete the estimate and get your prices out. Inevitably, prices change, new quotes come in, or the boss wants the labor units changed. I have literally erased right thru a recap sheet because of the number of changes made on bid day. All this rush creates the perfect environment for human errors.
Assuming you have not started procrastinating after getting a computer estimating system, bid morning comes and there is nothing to do but fine tune the estimate. The computer has done all the math. Changes are instant. Better pricing? New quotes? Changes from the boss? No problem. Now you have time to make some calls. Get better prices. Find out if alternate fixture packages are out there. Sweet talk the GC’s. In summary, you have time to concentrate on winning the bid.
You can still make mistakes entering information into a computer. The saying is “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. Regarding accuracy, the point of using a computer is giving you the time to not be rushed. Remember from Part One of this post, time is saved because the computer explodes the assemblies, creates the listing, prices and labors the material, and does all the math. You are not rushed into making errors on bid day.
In Part Three, we will discuss organization.