This article has been reviewed by Billy Stevens for accuracy.
Cost estimating can be challenging for residential plumbing businesses. Estimators must consider multiple factors to make accurate estimates of projects, including the cost of labor, materials, equipment, supplies, and timeline to completion. Manual cost estimation is the traditional approach, but contractors can streamline efforts with plumbing estimating software. Discover the benefits of this estimating solution from Sera.
How do you prepare a plumbing estimate?
Before discussing plumbing software, it’s essential to understand what goes into creating estimates. While it may seem like a small step, providing detailed and well-organized estimates can help you secure more jobs, as it proves to homeowners your dedication to customer experience. The most precise plumbing estimates include the following elements:
- Materials and supplies
- Labor costs for plumbers
- Cost of additional labor on special projects
- Permit costs for more complex plumbing jobs
- Additional costs (remediation of code violations and debris removal at the job site)
- Operational and travel expenses
- Profit margins
Can you use software for the preparation of plumbing estimates?
Estimating software is often used by builders and contractors for construction projects. It helps these professionals develop more accurate bids (prices) and automate tedious tasks to save time and money. Construction software also ensures all relevant data is collected and analyzed to reduce errors during the estimation process.
While it’s regularly associated with construction management, estimating software delivers many of the same functions and benefits for home service businesses like plumbing contractors. Businesses may utilize individual estimating and takeoff software or choose comprehensive field service management software that includes estimating capabilities. Opting for plumbing estimating software means leaving behind the obstacles of Excel spreadsheets and other manual estimation methods.
How does plumbing estimating software work?
Plumbing estimating software provides users with cloud-based tools designed specifically for streamlining cost estimation for plumbing contractors. The overarching goal is to help estimators to more accurately and efficiently develop project bids and share them with homeowners. This software can also help with other responsibilities of project management, such as establishing the scope of a job.
Benefits of Plumbing Estimating Software
Research indicates that the global plumbing industry is on the rise. A 2023 report from ReportLinker states that the global market for plumbing, heating, and air conditioning is projected to reach $1,868.29 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 7.1%. Compare this to the $1,318.79 billion value in 2022.
As plumbing contractors face increasing competition, they need tools and techniques to help them boost productivity and efficiency and secure more jobs. A cost-estimating tool like plumbing software is up to the task. Consider the following advantages you can attain with plumbing estimating software:
Increase income with more bids
Growth is directly related to profits. Residential plumbing contractors that use estimating software often impress homeowners because it helps estimators develop more professional-looking and accurate estimates. The result is fewer misunderstandings about price, which enhances customer satisfaction and can boost your image — all of which contributes to winning more jobs.
Instantly combine with your current tech stack
Service companies like yours utilize a range of technologies to streamline operations. For instance, you may use customer relationship management (CRM) software to organize information about homeowners and deliver better customer support. Another popular tool is QuickBooks accounting software for managing business financial data.
Whichever cloud-based software you use, there’s estimating software that can integrate seamlessly with your existing tech stack. When different job management software operates independently, contractors lose much of the efficiency of integrated tools. Contractors should ensure they choose estimating software that allows for such integrations or holistic solutions, like FSM software, that include cost estimating capabilities.
Create accurate estimates instantaneously in the field
It’s not just that estimating software empowers more precise estimates, but that plumbers can generate them quickly while on the job. The software allows for real-time adjustments to estimates, which get automatically applied for quote building in the field. This means plumbers spend less time coordinating with office staff to receive the right estimates, enhancing customer service.
Just as many homeowners prefer to schedule service requests online using mobile devices, plumbers need user-friendly software to assist in providing quotes and estimates. Many software solutions for cost estimating are compatible with mobile apps for iPhone, Android, and other operating systems.
Reduce bidding errors
Cost estimation is about finding a happy medium. If estimators underbid, they risk losing the business money. However, if they overbid, contractors can lose jobs. Plumbing estimating software offers templates that make it easier to organize cost-estimating information and perform calculations, such as labor rates, which are often a source of errors if done manually. Avoid potentially costly errors by choosing a cloud-based estimating program that does the work for you.
Hone Cost Estimating with Plumbing Service Software
For residential plumbing contractors, cost estimating is more involved than simply looking at the standard rates for services and pricing accordingly. With the many factors plumbing estimators must consider when generating accurate estimates, utilizing software to assist with the task can reap more efficiency, fewer errors, less stress for employees, and a boost to the bottom line.
While estimating and takeoff software alone have their benefits, selecting a more comprehensive solution like field service management software can be the better option. This software empowers residential plumbing and HVAC contractors to do more than augment cost estimation, but also track jobs, manage cash flows, automate workflows, and much more.
For FSM software designed with your industry in mind, choose Sera. Our software solutions enable small businesses like residential plumbing contractors to enhance company-wide efficiency and save time and money to focus on meeting customers’ expectations and scaling up operations.