ConEst Software Systems
592 Harvey Road,
Manchester NH 03103
www.conest.com

Ed Coffin, low-voltage product manager, senior technical advisor, ConEst Software Systems, www.conest.com, Manchester, N.H., gives his thoughts on what is driving contractors to invest.

Constructech: What factors are driving contractors to invest in new technology today?

Coffin: The primary factor that drives contractors to invest in new technology is the need and desire to improve their current business practices with tools that allow for a more efficient, productive, and profitable workflow process with lower operating costs. Understanding the differences in the technology that’s available helps contractors make the right choice as to which system or systems will best serve their technology needs. Contractors should look for technology providers who are knowledgeable about the industry their solutions are designed to support and who are willing to educate their customers on the best practices and uses of those products.

Constructech: How will investments in your technology solutions ultimately impact construction in the future?

Coffin: A comprehensive and tightly woven workflow process and internal collaboration is paramount to the overall success of any project—from preconstruction through completion. Our products address each phase of a project, beginning with direct takeoff to estimate where a comprehensive labor and material precise estimate is produced. The winning estimate is then handed off seamlessly to project management where the job is managed efficiently, from scheduling resources to tracking change orders, generating RFIs (requests for information), RFQs (requests for quotes), and purchase orders, and managing daily work reports. The process flows back to the original estimate for a complete full-cycle job costing process.

Constructech: What piece of advice would you give to contractors as they are looking to invest in technology?

Coffin: Look for the most relevant and flexible technology. Work with IT and software companies whose technology enhancements, support, and training are applicable and customizable for your specific needs and take variances from project to project into account. As a result of this flexibility, the evident time savings and efficiency will give the contractor the confidence that their tech investments are maximized.

Factor in training when budgeting for your technology purchase. Successful implementation includes practical training of office and field personnel. Training will allow the user to take advantage of the technology’s full capabilities, which is essential to making a sound investment.