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How Can You Save Time with HVAC Estimating Software?

by Chris Lee | March 20th, 2018

When you're working in HVAC, time is money. You may add some amount of profit margin to the materials you use and charge labor, but when you're not working on a project, your overhead is increasing and you're losing money. Unfortunately, that includes your office time spent working on estimates.

But estimates are the life blood of your business. Without them, you're not bringing in new business and you lose the ability to pay your bills. What if you could improve the amount of business your company brings in through new customers without having to spend more time in the office? HVAC estimating software can provide some serious benefits for your company. Here's a quick look at how this type of asset can save you time and effort.

What Kind of Time Savings Can You Gain with HVAC Estimating Software?

When you use HVAC estimating software, your company can see serious gains. Generally speaking, the estimating process itself takes 33% less time with estimating software compared to using paper plans and a spreadsheet. But that's not the only place where your HVAC company can benefit. There are a wide range of other areas where your company can see gains in time and effort.

This time means you can spend more time in the field, making money and keeping the profits rolling in. It means you can determine where to focus your efforts on what you do best – run your HVAC company. It gives you the opportunity to improve areas of your company that need work or grow areas that will help keep you running well into the future.

Have you ever had to track down a miscalculation on an estimate or been caught having to honor a bad price to keep a customer happy? This type of mistake can cost your company a great deal of money and strongly impact your company's bottom line. Whether it's a mis-copied figure, a formula that has been broken or other error, it can take a lot of time to track down. Fortunately, most HVAC estimating software is designed to help avoid this type of error.

How much time do you spend switching screens or windows from plans to spreadsheets? Even if you're using digital plans, you still need to complete a takeoff to be able to estimate your material costs for each job. That involves switching back and forth between screens or windows. How often do you lose your place during that process and need to determine exactly where you were at again? HVAC estimating software can help solve that problem by giving you the plans and your count in the same window.

What will mobility bring to your process? Imagine being able to work on your latest estimate while killing time in a waiting room, on a flight or while stuck waiting to pick up your kids from a class. When you incorporate HVAC estimating software into your overall operation, you gain the opportunity to be productive and improve profitability when you'd otherwise be wasting time.

How about the option of creating notes on the plans that can be carried over into the field as soon as they're made? When there's a difficult assembly or requirement on a project, being able to notate the plans can make all the difference between finishing the project successfully and profitably or having to go back in to provide a retrofit solution after the fact at significant cost to your business. Using HVAC estimating software allows you to immediately place notes on the plans to help reduce errors in the field.

Would the ability to simply add an assembly to an estimate help you save time? With some installations, you know you'll always use the same parts together. You're always going to use a particular thermostat with a specific HVAC unit or will always need some amount of copper line to run from the heat exchanger to the condenser coils. Instead of always adding each item individually, good HVAC estimating software allows you to create your own customized assemblies, so that you can simply add that assembly to your estimate, saving significant time.

What if pricing materials was easier? Looking up prices is a very time-consuming task, but one that keeps you from losing money on a project. It involves having to contact suppliers if you haven't received an updated price list, finding the exact part that you need and then transferring that price correctly to your estimating sheet. When you incorporate HVAC estimating software into your company's takeoff and pricing process, the database that is often available in these programs have automatically-updated pricing included which is transferred to your estimate with no further work on your part.

Tired of waiting on team members to get into the office to answer questions on the project plans? Waiting for advice, answers or suggestions can take hours or days that you should be spending in the field, working with customers or completing any number of other tasks that are vital to your company's well being. Fortunately, HVAC estimating software often includes features that allow you to mark up plans with questions for other team members or delegate particular tasks to a specific team member, automating the process.

Imagine how much easier it would be to successfully complete your company's estimates and increase the rate of amount of time you have available to spend in the field by adding a quality HVAC estimating software system to your operation. Instead of wasting time in research, waiting on calls and switching screens, you could be in the field getting work done and making money. But which estimating package is the best for your situation? Esticom's comprehensive program provides you with all the tools you need to get the job done. Take advantage of our free trial of takeoff and estimating software to discover how to streamline your company's operation so that you can spend more time in the field.

Chris Lee
Chris Lee has an extensive background in preconstruction management as a former specialty contractor and business owner. As the Chief Estimator at Esticom, he’s helped thousands of specialty contractors digitize their preconstruction process to increase revenue and profitability while decreasing unnecessary overhead.

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