Many commercial and industrial contractors are using a computer for estimating. There is hardly an application more ideally suited to use of a computer than construction estimating. The first thing the estimator does is accumulate many items. A computer handles this job of counting. Next, the estimator applies labor and material factors to the items counted and performs the multiplications. The computer stores all of the factors in its memory and makes it very easy for the estimator to update them. Complicated structural formulas can also be stored in the memory, saving the estimator hours of calculator work.


First, it is faster--so much faster that an estimator familiar with a good system can produce three to four times as many bids as he can produce manually. This aids the contractor in two ways:

  1. Contractors can win only a percentage of jobs bid. To win more jobs, more must be bid. A computer systems allows this without the expense of additional estimating staff.
  2. By utilizing the computer's speed and flexibility in formatting results, the estimator can look at a bid several different ways. The result: a contractor not only prepares more bids, he prepares better bids.