What do you do when you’re confident in the new estimating system you’ve purchased, but your staff is still skeptical?
If you’re Williams Construction Vice President Ward Priestley, you go all in on a big bid.
The Colorado contractor chose to test HCSS HeavyBid live for the first time by bidding on a waterline project in El Rancho Florida in the southern part of the state. It’s a continuation of a job the company had been working for a little over a year.
“It was a $795,000 low bid, and we won by $3000,” Priestley said. “We actually mirrored it in our system that we’re used to using, and I think we would’ve been another $50,000 our old way.”
Priestly said they worked up the estimate in HeavyBid and then transferred the same numbers to the Excel spreadsheets they previously used, because his estimator was not yet comfortable using the HeavyBid system. But the result was enough to prove the software’s worth.
“I’m responsible for the margin call on our jobs, but with $3,000 there’s not a lot of second guessing,” Priestley said. “We put in the margin I was comfortable with, and the superintendent had some input on what production rates he thought he could achieve. It was a good team win.”
The team also invested much less time than they normally would in the bid. Priestley said Williams Construction put approximately 10 hours into what would have previously been a 20-hour estimate.
“With this kind of win with this product, we’ll see a lot more confidence in what we’re doing,” Priestley said.
Williams Construction almost didn’t wind up with HeavyBid. The company was at ConExpo in 2014 to finalize a deal with another product when they decided to take a look around. They stumbled across the HCSS booth, and after three days, they had changed the direction of their purchase.
“When it came down to what our purpose was for what we were doing, HCSS was so much better,” Priestley said.
“No less than four or five dozen people came up to Tom [Webb, HCSS Vice President of Strategic Products] in those three days we were sitting there,” Priestley said. “They were all saying, ‘Oh, we love HCSS. We can’t wait for the new features. We’ll see you at the Users Group Meetings.’ I think that really helped our owner get into it.”
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