Check the box! Remember these 10 requirements when choosing software

July 19, 2018

Conley Smith, Sr. Business Writer

Whether you’re an estimator for a medium-size drywall contractor or a project manager for a large GC, picking the right construction software can be a huge challenge.

Sure, everyone loves the idea of improving speed and accuracy to drive greater profitability. But will your company see ROI quickly? Pumping the brakes until you’ve checked all of the required boxes is never a bad idea. Nobody wants to have buyer’s remorse after-the-fact.

Not to worry! We’ve got some great tips to help you focus and prioritize key objectives and requirements to help with your digital takeoff and estimating software selection process.


Work Backwards


Start the process of getting everyone on the same page with a pencil and paper. (Not really—you can use a laptop!) But this exercise is truly about “writing down” system requirements and dependencies—along with all of the software functions and capabilities required.


First, start by making a list of your key objectives. Here are some questions to kick off the process from our eBook, Estimators Guide to Assessing and Picking the Right Software:

  • Do you want to decrease time to complete bids?
  • Do you need to improve your bid/win ratio?
  • Do you need more visibility into estimated and actual costs to identify profitability pitfalls?
  • Do you need software that is easy to learn for all skill levels?
  • How many people will use the software?
  • Do you have an expectation for product maintenance and/or the frequency of software updates?
  • Can all of the providers deliver the level of tech support needed?
  • How do you get your team fully trained?

After you’ve set your objectives based on these answers, you can zero-in on the right software requirements.

Rank Top 10 Requirements

Give yourself a high-five if you managed to nail down your objectives. Not every construction business makes it this far when it involves investing in and prioritizing IT. In fact, the 2017 JB Knowledge Construction Technology Report showed that only 21.8% of construction companies spend 1% of their annual sales volume on IT.


Now, it’s time to dig into the nitty-gritty of your software requirements by prioritizing these 10 requirements—rank them from most important to least important. This will help you assess your needs:
With your requirements set, you can now move forward with researching and selecting software. If you’d like to learn more great tips, download our eBook, Estimators Guide to Assessing and Picking the Right Software, now.

  1. Ease of use (to learn and understand)
  2. Wide range of training options available
  3. Ease of implementation
  4. Searchable historical data
  5. Limited downtime for product updates
  6. Easy reporting
  7. Access to live tech support
  8. Mobile/cloud capabilities
  9. Smooth integration with other systems
  10. Scalability (to expand as your business grows or changes)


Did you know the 2017 JB Knowledge report again named On-Screen Takeoff as the top takeoff tool with 41.5% of survey respondents—beating out 14 others in the takeoff software category? Start your free trial today and see for yourself how easy and fast takeoff can be.


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