Feb 20, 2024

Why does preconstruction take so long — and what can you do about it?

Why does preconstruction take so long — and what can you do about it?

Why does preconstruction take so long — and what can you do about it?

Preconstruction is an area that’s ready for change. It’s disconnected and slow, thanks to current tools and processes that just aren’t efficient, scalable or repeatable. Sticking points in the estimating process are often the biggest culprits.

First, there’s poor communication. Everyone’s waiting on each other to get the information they need. No one can complete their part of the process until they get information from someone else. And when they do, it starts another round of discussions and refinement. Decisions are delayed — at everyone’s cost.

Compounding the communication issue, there are always conflicting assumptions in any major project. In the preconstruction process, owners, architects and general contractors often have vastly different ideas of what a project will cost based on their own past experience. This can lead to nearly endless cycles of comparison and disagreement, delaying preconstruction overall.

The spiraling cost of estimating

Because of these issues, the cost of not driving preconstruction forward fast enough is high for everyone involved — but especially for general contractors. General contractors spend a lot of money and time on a project that might not even break ground.

  • There’s uncertainty about when the project will begin — and when you’ll start making money — affecting your operations from finance to human resources and beyond.
  • Spending too much time on estimating for each project means you aren’t able to work on others. Slow estimating processes end up artificially limiting the work you can take on — and the revenue you can bring in.
  • You aren’t driving an optimal client experience, potentially costing yourself repeat business down the line.

Unnecessary time spent on estimating doesn’t have to be a cost of doing business — but it’s your job to take the reins and change it. When you can put together better estimates more quickly, you can get your stakeholders on the same page while also improving your client experience.

While there are tools for the estimating process available now — including the common go-to, Excel — most lack the critical features needed to skip the weeks, months or even years of waiting for information, input and decisions.

Using these dated tools, there’s no easy way to collaborate. The maze of phone calls, texts and email strings involved in communicating about estimates is messy and unproductive. The process is disconnected — consulting several different systems to put together an estimate takes too much time and leads to costly manual mistakes.

And when the data in your estimating solution isn’t easy to work with — both its input and output — neither you nor your stakeholders will get the outcomes you’re looking for. If you’re creating estimates in Excel or a desktop solution, that data isn’t easily updated or translated to the systems used in construction, potentially leading to even more errors down the line.

Making estimating more productive

Instead, the right solution will use historical data to create both conceptual and detailed cost estimates with more accuracy and more context  — building a bigger store of estimating data with every project. Using historical data allows all stakeholders to start with a reasonable set of assumptions as a gut check and work from there. You can get everyone on the same page much faster and find out if the project is feasible sooner.

An efficient estimating solution will be accessible anywhere, anytime in the cloud for faster communication with your stakeholders and quicker decisions. Negotiated work requires consistent communication with your client and your design team. With non-cloud-based tools, you’re saddled with manual processes and data silos that make giving them a holistic view nearly impossible.

A modern solution will empower you to create both conceptual estimates and detailed cost estimates more accurately, helping you get buy-in on a napkin sketch and firm up details as the project evolves. That agility will let you take projects from preconstruction to procurement with accurate cost estimates that lead to better bidding and contract processes.

Ediphi can do all this for you and more. It puts all your estimating data at your fingertips to tighten up the preconstruction process and help you close more deals. With historical data built into the estimating process, the more you use Ediphi, the better and more accurate your estimates become.

To see how Ediphi can shorten your preconstruction process, get in touch and we’ll show you what it can do.