Microsoft Excel is an enormously powerful tool. You can use it to calculate just about anything and it has been an affordable and trustworthy business solution for many years. It’s great software for developing formulas, customizing calculations and moving data between systems. Most of us in the construction industry use Excel heavily. However, one drawback with Excel is that the variety of spreadsheets around the office can be difficult to manage. The inefficiencies of having spreadsheets scattered across departments can lead to budget and project issues.
In our recent free webinar, “Keep Your Secret Sauce,” we took a poll to see what ways our viewers were using spreadsheets. The survey said that 66% of the participants currently use spreadsheets for “All of the Above:” bidding/estimating, tracking job progress, take-off calculations and one-off calculations. It seems the construction industry remains quite dependent on Excel!
Many times here at InEight we will hear the request, “We need to make the changes that can get things standardized and our management systems updated.” Nonetheless, we know that it can be difficult to transition away from trusted processes, even if it is a step in the right direction. Finding a software solution that integrates with spreadsheets, like HD, may be the most efficient way. You can leverage the results in one standard project management tool.
Do you have any of any of these concerns about leaving Excel behind?
- You can’t give up the calculations
You want to standardize your estimating but just can’t give up your time-tested formulas, even though manually entering calculations is time-consuming and prone to errors. Luckily, HD estimating and control solutions can easily integrate with them. For example, HD Estimating lets you store custom calculations in a spreadsheet that can be linked directly to your estimate.
- You need those quick edits
We know that the abilities of many standard estimating systems can be limited compared to Excel. HD solutions allow you to still make quick revisions and provide the means to easily import and export between both systems. HD lets you have the best of both worlds by automatically updating your estimate when fields change in Excel.
- You have a solid system in place for tracking field data
Perhaps the time collection system you already have is practically flawless. With HD, the good news is that there is no need to learn a new tool. With a bi-directional link to Excel, you can leverage the timesheet collection tools you already have while taking advantage of the standardized database in HD for things such as forecasting, reporting, benchmarking and schedule integration.
Would you like to know more about how HD solutions can be integrated with Excel to ease your transition to a more accurate and efficient estimating platform?