If you’ve been researching construction estimating software, you might have noticed that many of the newer options on the market are cloud-based. You probably also know that cloud-based means that the software is accessed via the internet and that it’s stored on a third-party server somewhere.
Many contractors and tradespeople are wary of cloud-based software options for various reasons. Others are so used to their old desktop-based estimating software package that they will keep that Windows XP computer alive just to keep using it.
However, there are good reasons why so many companies are choosing cloud-based estimating software. Here’s why you might want to make the switch too.
There’s a reason being able to access your cloud-based construction estimating software is at the top of this list. Whether you do your own estimates or have a sales and estimating team that manages the quote process, being able to get quotes done from anywhere at any time is a huge plus for any construction or renovation company. Spend less time driving to and from the office to get quotes done, and give your customers faster, more efficient service.
2. No Hardware Upgrades Required
Even if you can find someone who is offering a desktop estimating software package in 2023, there’s a good chance your computers might not be up to the challenge.
New software requires huge amounts of processing power, high-tech graphics cards and all kinds of other things you might not have on your office-grade PCs or laptops.
When you use cloud-based estimating software, there’s nothing to install or run locally, so you’ll never discover that your older computers can’t get the job done.
3. You Won’t Need IT Specialists Either
Often, when you choose to deploy software on your local network or even on a per-computer basis, you need to have IT specialists on hand or on call to solve any problems that do arise.
Cloud-based estimating software is maintained and managed by the company that offers it, and they have their own IT specialists, software engineers and other technical personnel. So even if something doesn’t go according to plan, all you have to do is pick up the phone or email tech support to get it fixed.
4. No Backup or Security Headaches
You might have heard that over the past few years, cybercrime in the US alone has been measured in billions of dollars. Some experts say that by 2025, that will increase to over 10.5 trillion per year – that’s trillion with a tr.
If you think it’s only large corporations that are at risk, think again. The same research shows that it’s small and mid-sized companies that are most at risk of hacking, ransomware and other kinds of cybercrime.
Backing up and securing data has never been more critical to any business, but that takes time and money invested into hardware and cyber specialists monitoring your network 24/7.
When you use cloud-based construction estimating software, you don’t have to worry about security or backups. All your data will be completely safe, even if your office is the victim of a cyberattack.
In fact, unlike desktop-based construction estimating software, when you use cloud-based options, your office could burn down, or all your computers could crash, and you’d still have every quote and every piece of customer and project information at your fingertips.
5. Collaboration Is Easy
Most construction and trade-based companies have some sort of approval process for their quotes, and on larger projects, there might be some discussion about how to price the job and what products and options to offer.
If you’re using old-fashioned desktop-based software, you either all have to be in the same office to have this kind of collaboration, or you’re back to printouts, faxes and email attachments. It’s not convenient, it’s prone to errors, and it’sjust plain frustrating.
When your estimating and management teams have access to cloud-based estimating software, you don’t have to be in the same room (or even the same country) to work together on important quotes and bids. Simply set up your software access levels as needed, and work together from anywhere in the world.
6. Auto Updates
The final reason why you might want to consider cloud-based construction estimating software is that they offer automatic updates when you need them.
We’ve all had that automatic Windows update that crashed our software. Sometimes, you manage to track down and install a patch, but sometimes, you could be locked out of your estimating software for days or even weeks. If things are really bad, you might be forced to spend hundreds or even thousands on the latest version of the software just to access your files.
Cloud-based software is always up to date, and you’ll never have surprise costs for newer versions when things don’t work properly anymore. It’s all done by the software company, so you can just log in and get the job done.
Bolster Does It All, and More
When we built Bolster as a cloud-based construction estimating software solution, we knew we wanted it to be on the cloud for all of the reasons we mentioned above. But there’s so much more than our software can do because it is online.
One of the best features for your estimators is our automatic web crawler-based pricing system. Simply set up your suppliers, and our system will always ensure you’re using the most up-to-date pricing. With all the price volatility we’ve seen over the past few years, that’s not only a great way to ensure your prices are accurate but a huge time saver.
The other big feature our software can offer because it’s in the cloud is to give your customers a live, e-commerce-like shopping experience, choosing their material options and other specifications, and building their own quotes from your products and assemblies. Imagine never having to offer multiple versions of your quotes again!
The truth is, we built Bolster to do all the things we wished we had when we ran our own construction, renovation and trade-based businesses, and the best place to do that was in the cloud.
Don’t take our word for it, though. Contact our team for a free, no-obligation live demo. We’ll show you exactly what Bolster can do for you and why it’s time to step away from that old desktop software and into the future of construction estimating.
Click here to know more!