Enhance Business Efficiency with Electrical Estimation Services

LantroTech Estimation Team

September 14, 2022

Using software-based Electrical Estimation to deliver a construction company's electrical project.

As the construction industry becomes increasingly competitive, construction companies need to do whatever it takes to ensure the projects they undertake are efficiently delivered. One way to do that is to engage in Electrical Estimating. You might feel a bit lost if you are new to this term, and we don’t blame you.

With the plethora of information available on Electrical Estimation, it can become quite overwhelming for someone just starting out and attempting to get familiarized with it. Well, you’re in luck! The following blog post covers the fundamentals of Electrical Estimation, the projects and Electrical Estimation process we undertake at LantroTech, and how investing in software-based Electrical Estimating services can help your organization achieve efficiency.

What Exactly Is Electrical Estimation?

In simple words, Electrical Estimation is a process carried out by Engineers and Project Managers to determine the engineering materials required, the time that will be taken, and the investment involved in completing an electrical project.

Estimators have to consider a wide range of factors when estimating costs. These include overhead costs, which cover all the indirect costs of a job, e.g., accounting fees, marketing, legal fees, rent, taxes, utilities, etc. Takeoffs refer to the estimated quantities that electrical contractors require for a project. They ensure that electrical estimators are able to determine the specific items and the exact number of items they need for the job by using plans or drawings. Finally, labor costs are often determined using labor units by taking the ratio of installation time to the number of labor.

Consideration of factors like cost and material takeoffs to estimate costs.

Why Contractors Need Estimating ​

If you believe you can ensure the successful completion of a project without Electrical Estimation, think again! Since Electrical Estimation enables construction companies to forecast the overall project costs, it has become a significant and unavoidable part of the overall construction process.

A project requires a multitude of resources since many individual parts need to be ordered and installed. Moreover, fluctuation in costs of wiring, electricity, conduits, etc., over the year must be accounted for, so estimating ensures that contractors can cover all the costs and turn the project into a profit.

Electrical Estimation leads to improved project planning and management as it allows contractors to fix the budget and complete details of the required materials to carry out a project prior to execution. This makes it possible to identify the most economical procedure to execute the project. Most importantly, the calculated electrical estimates not only act as a guide for the contractor but are also good reference points for all future projects.

LantroTech’s Electrical Estimating Projects ​

If we specifically talk about LantroTech, our estimation services mainly focus on electrical work. The majority of our work centers around takeoff services of building electrical and low-voltage systems and cost estimating of the electrical system of a particular building.

Our projects are divided into four broad categories: Residential Electrical Estimating, Retail Electrical Estimating, Healthcare Electrical Estimating, and Commercial Electrical Estimating. So we calculate electrical estimates for all sorts of buildings, including but not limited to apartments, houses, restaurants, hotels, resorts, hospitals, and physiotherapy clinics. We then apply the gathered data and calculations to determine the electrical cost of power distribution within a specific building by identifying the appropriate power devices and circuit panels to use.

Electrical Estimator working on an electrical project.

LantroTech’s Electrical Estimating Process​

At LantroTech, we receive numerous projects on a daily basis. We skim through each project, run quality checks, analyse their specifications, and then calculate each project’s relevant estimates. An estimate for a project includes fixtures (lights), power devices, HVACs (heating, ventilating, air-conditioning units), fire alarms, power distribution equipment, branching, feeders, lighting controls, grounding, site work, and estimate of demolition of a building. Once the estimates have been calculated, we evaluate the project in terms of material units and labor hours. These two factors give us a clear idea of how long the project will take to complete and how much it will cost.

If our cost is competitive compared to other bidders, we win the bid, and the project is awarded to us by the general contractor. When the project is officially handed over to us, we start by developing designs on paper; this step is called submittal packages, after which we involve the contractors and work in synergy with them. Our Project Manager coordinates the construction work with the contractors based on the takeoff sheets and determines how the project will be implemented in the field.

LantroTech’s Estimating Workflow​

LantroTech's estimating workflow comprises SKIM Plans, RFQs & RFIs, Counting, Take offs, Discussion and Review.

Estimating Software Used at LantroTech

The Estimating team at LantroTech utilizes relevant, cutting-edge software for the estimation process, some of the tools we use are:

  • Intellibid ConEst
  • SureCount
  • PlanSwift
  • Bluebeam Revu
  • PlanGrid

Intellibed ConEst

ConEst is the primary software used by our estimating team. It is used for pricing the estimated material and calculating the labor hours of all the work involved in an estimate. This data is then exported in the form of takeoff sheets. ConEst contains a database of thousands of assemblies with hundreds of thousands of parts along with the associated dollar amount and labor hour units.

SureCount

SureCount is the primary material takeoffs tool. It counts individual items such as lighting and power devices and measures linear lengths such as branch and feeder circuits. The major advantage of SureCount is that it is easily connected with Intellibid ConEst, and we can access the ConEst database directly from SureCount.

Both ConEst and SureCount are cloud-based software, so everything is centered, and every team member can view all estimates on this software.

PlanSwift

PlanSwift is also a material takeoff tool used in parallel with SureCount. It is local software as opposed to cloud-based SureCount, so it offers fast transitions and better takeoff speed. As it is local software, files are not centralized, and every team member cannot view estimates done on this software, though there is an option to make central cloud storage and send the whole project as an email to other users of PlanSwift.

Bluebeam Revu

BlueBeam Revu is a powerful software used primarily to dive deep into design files. Revu allows us to highlight drawings, add markups and comments, carve out specific drawings from a whole set, take a snapshot of a small portion of the drawing, compare drawings, convert tables in the drawings to excel, and many more functionalities.

PlanGrid

PlanGrid is a cloud-based software primarily used to upload plans and project drawings. All the files on PlanGrid are central, as well as the changes made to the files so everyone can view them.

LantroTech's Estimators using PlanSwift software for material takeoff.

Advantages of Software-Based Electrical Estimation

It is essential to have the correct estimate for any kind of project, whether it is commercial or residential. Doing so not only saves time but also helps to have a rough estimate of the materials required, costs needed, and labor involved for satisfactory completion of work.

When it comes to using software-based electrical estimations, it is far ahead of the traditional estimation method in all aspects. Software-based approach helps subcontractors estimate and bid on projects faster and get more jobs in less time. Now let us walk you through some advantages of using software-based electrical Estimation for your projects.

High Efficiency

Every business wants to improve its overall efficiency, and Electrical Estimation software can help them achieve this goal. Estimates prepared by the cost estimator using the software are quick and save time. No matter which industry you belong to, this method can help you streamline and track your business processes efficiently. Once everything becomes efficient, you will see a consistent boost in your overall business growth.

Greater Accuracy

Estimation is vital from different perspectives, so its accuracy inevitably matters. Accuracy means fewer mistakes and an increase in production and productivity. The software-based method reduces the likelihood of errors and is more precise in estimating job materials, price, and labor, thus giving you and your clients more accurate estimates.

Better Project Management

We know that effective project management is required to carry out a project and bring it to completion. The Project Manager must be aware of the process and consider all possible scenarios. But with so many things to do, it becomes difficult to keep track of everything. This is where the estimating software comes into play. Estimating software helps businesses to manage projects with little hassle, ensuring no critical details are left behind.

Increased Productivity

Using Estimating software can improve your productivity in many different ways. From saving the amount of time spent in completing the bid to increasing the accuracy of the project by streamlining the entire process, it ultimately results in increased productivity.

Final Verdict

By now, you must be quite familiar with Electrical Estimation in general and the process involved in carrying it out. One thing is clear: Electrical Estimation is a mandatory prerequisite for the projects undertaken by construction companies and extremely beneficial in increasing your organization’s productivity and efficiency.

At LantroTech, we provide quality Electrical Estimating services. Our extensive knowledge and first-class resources allow us to translate a project from inception to completion by offering a multitude of solutions for today’s real-world problems with maximum efficiency.

If you would like to learn more about our Estimating services, contact us today by simply filling out form below.

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