What would you change about your business to make it more efficient? Many roofing contractors tell us they are looking to improve their estimating process. Whether it’s the pain of taking measurements of the roof, the possible errors in cost calculations, or simply managing estimates on top of the rest of your many duties, there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to estimating. It’s easy for delays, inaccuracies, or complications to make creating an estimate a chore.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are a few simple things you can do to create a better, more accurate and more efficient roofing estimate. And in the process, you can save yourself time, increase your earning potential and get a better sense of your business performance.
More Precise Roofing Measurements
The accuracy of your roofing measurements is a major factor in the precision of your estimates. Incorrectly measuring a roof can mean discrepancies in material and labor costs, delays for the customer, and other errors. It can also result in having to go back to the customer with additional charges, or less profit on the job if you decide not to pass the cost along to the customer. It’s essential to use the best measurement tools to avoid inaccuracies, delays and lost revenue.
For a long time, roofers had to climb a ladder and get up on the roof to get the measurements they needed. Many roofers still use this method on their roofing jobs. Precisely measuring a roof by hand involves taking care and caution to find the dimensions and calculating the square footage accurately. This process requires significant time and energy, slowing down the progress of your jobs and extending the time it takes to complete your estimates.
Fortunately, aerial measurement services like EagleView® and SkyMeasure™ are providing roofers with cutting-edge, precise roofing measurements. Using planes or drones, these services capture images from the sky and generate accurate reports of a roof’s area, length, pitch and more. Ordering aerial measurements can provide you with precise, reliable details about your customers’ roofs without having to climb a ladder. And software like AccuLynx allows you to order these measurements directly from the platform, saving you even more time and helping you estimate efficiently and accurately.
Keep Good Records
Every customer is unique, but your estimates likely aren’t. There are certain costs that always recur with particular roof types, trades, and materials. When you create an estimate, odds are good that it includes some of these known costs. In addition, your estimates are built on previous knowledge about what it takes to run your business. From the speed of your crews to the size of your territory, the costs associated with these factors are part of what goes into building your estimates.
However, it can be hard to keep all these considerations in your head at once. The better your records are, the easier it will be to create a good estimate. If you’re spending a lot of time hunting for the cost of materials, finding a way to reduce that effort and store information more efficiently can make a big impact on your estimates.
Roofing software like AccuLynx can improve your record-keeping. The centralized, easily accessible database puts everything at your fingertips whenever you need it, and it’s easy to add notes and photos of jobs that can be referenced later.
Acculynx also gives you easy access to real-time pricing. Are you spending a lot of time scrambling for the most up-to-date pricing? Do you have to call your supplier every time to make sure materials are available? Using our software that integrates with your material supplier can help you keep accurate, real-time pricing at your fingertips, making estimates easier than ever.
Streamline the Process
When you’ve been creating estimates the same way for years, change can be overwhelming. But error-proofing and streamlining the estimating process goes a long way towards making it more efficient.
Take a look at the steps involved in creating an estimate for your work. Where could you save time or simplify things? What tools could you employ to reduce errors? You might find several components of the process where a new method or technology could make things easier.
For instance, there may be room to optimize the way you type up your estimates. If you’re entering them manually in a spreadsheet or Word document, switching to another method could save you time. Many software programs for roofers offer the ability to create company templates that serve as the basis for future estimates. With these templates, roofers no longer have to start from scratch every time they estimate. Instead, costs, labor, and profit margin can all be adjusted with a few keystrokes, and a professional-looking estimate is ready to be sent to the customer. (Some platforms even allow roofers to send these estimates electronically, saving even more time.)
The more quickly and accurately you can estimate a job, the more quickly your crews can get started, the less you’ll waste materials, and the happier your customers will be. Taking simple steps to increasing the efficiency and precision of your roofing estimates can make the process less painful and lead to better business outcomes. And when you use software for roofing contractors like AccuLynx, creating estimates can be easier than ever before.