Construction Tech
Feb 19, 2024

Rise of the Fake Cloud: Don’t Be Fooled by Desktop Estimating Tools Masquerading as Cloud Solutions

Rise of the Fake Cloud: Don’t Be Fooled by Desktop Estimating Tools Masquerading as Cloud Solutions

Rise of the Fake Cloud: Don’t Be Fooled by Desktop Estimating Tools Masquerading as Cloud Solutions

Estimating is no longer a standalone event, but the most commonly used tools today function as if it is. Some are even pretending to deliver the benefits of being in the cloud but fall short — very short.

Quasi-cloud providers can’t deliver

Be wary of solutions that say they’re cloud-based but actually rely on a virtual desktop that requires a Citrix login to access local software remotely. These tools can’t give you the advantages of browser accessibility and sharing data between software applications.

With local software, what happens when someone loses their laptop or something breaks and they have to get a new device? You have to deploy more software again. These companies are branding themselves as cloud providers when they just plain aren’t — and it’s costing you productivity and customer relationships.

Excel and Google sheets only work for one-and-done projects. Forget about using these tools to collaborate internally and with clients or develop scalable, repeatable processes. With these fake cloud solutions, you’re creating data silos that keep you from communicating with your clients the way they demand today.

The modern design-build process means you’re advising clients on ideas and concepts throughout the engagement, and clear, collaborative — and truly cloud-based — estimating goes a long way to helping you do it right.

What real cloud-based estimating solutions can do

Cloud-based solutions make data more accessible for collaboration and communication so you — and your clients — can benefit from a faster preconstruction process. They also:

  • Can be accessed from any browser from any device, so you can work on estimates from a job site, your office, or anywhere else.

  • Are always up to date and don’t require lengthy waits to download and install updates like desktop software — you’re always getting the best version.
  • Offer APIs to connect with other crucial systems and ensure you’re not making errors with manual entry when you integrate data.

  • Let you scale and repeat your processes easily and bring in historical data that informs better, more reliable estimates.

A better estimating process from start to finish in the cloud

What's been on the market until now just isn't cutting it. Desktop solutions can't integrate with your other solutions. Quasi-cloud providers aren't scalable and don't let you collaborate easily. Current cloud-based offerings don't address the entire process including procurement and GCs & GRs.

The best estimating solution will truly reside in the cloud so that you can make real-time adjustments that keep clients — and your own team — on the same page. It will:

  • Let you quickly respond to every “What if we…?” question through the whole process, from napkin sketch to GMP.
  • Offer multi-user collaboration, data accessibility and powerful integrations.
  • Take the project all the way to procurement with integrated data and workflows that include GCs & GRs, procurement, cost modeling, and more.

Connecting the dots between conceptual estimating and detailed cost estimates is the key. Non-cloud solutions don’t help you pinpoint where and why the cost changes are occurring — often resulting in surprises for the client. The back-and-forth that ensues when costs aren’t what the client expected is a major cause of a slow preconstruction process.

The right solution will deliver a truly collaborative estimating process that lets you advise clients about cost drivers so they can make better decisions that avoid delays. A more transparent process with stronger communication creates more clarity in budgets and start dates for all stakeholders. It establishes your team as trustworthy experts— ultimately winning you more business.

To see how Ediphi can make estimating a clearer, more collaborative process, get in touch and we’ll show you what it can do.