Artificial intelligence—AI—is becoming a well-known technology even if few people understand its science. Applications that use AI and machine learning, for example, are starting to be introduced to various industries including construction. Finding the right niche is the problem.
One segment of the application universe, estimating, is a good starting point to see how AI can provide benefits to contractors. In this function, PataBid has developed an AI powered, cloud-based construction estimating software, Quantify, that is specifically designed to provide small- to medium-sized mechanical and electrical contractors with an effective cost estimating tool.
PataBid Quantify stands out from other estimating software options in several key areas:
- Quantify has an automated takeoff feature that uses AI technology to count common items on drawings. What used to take days of work, can now be accomplished in hours
- Advanced tools on Quantify allow for the creation or importing of existing items and data from other software sources, along with an internal robust item and assembly database available out of the box
- Pooled licensing enables easy license sharing with multiple users in a company
- The fully integrated labor manual includes all information about the labor units so contractors can bid confidently
Current construction trends are forcing companies to build more, with less. There are a variety of factors affecting this trend in construction such as shrinking government infrastructure budgets, fluctuating material costs, professionals retiring from the industry and a declining number of young people choosing to go into construction trades and/or pre-construction jobs. There is pressure for small construction companies right up to large general contractors to build more with less.
Given this mounting pressure that the modern estimator is under, do they choose speed or accuracy when completing estimates? According to PataBid’s internal market research, it takes approximately 40 hours (1 week) to prepare a small to medium size bid, with 90% of that time being spent performing the quantity takeoff. The remainder is spent collecting equipment quotes and consolidating the information for a final bid number.
When you consider that the average win-to-bid ratio in construction is about 1-in-6, it is easy to speculate that an estimator could often be faced with sacrificing speed or accuracy in order to complete enough estimates to win work. While the construction industry has been implementing digital technology to improve material procurement, track job progress, and generally ensure that projects are run as efficiently as possible, all these tasks take place during the construction phase of a project. PataBid Quantify provides a software solution that hopes to help identify and mitigate job risk or unpredictability in the pre-construction phase through accurate job costing and analysis.
PataBid Quantify targets small to medium contractors with a fixed price, affordable solution for mechanical and electrical contractors. The software is available now for a yearly license fee of $1,200.
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