Automating the Steel Erection Takeoff & Estimating Process

There are several options available in applying technology to the takeoff process. With so many options it makes one wonder which is the best fit for your company?

The Steel Erection Bid Wizard currently integrates with four different takeoff software’s eTakeoff, Onscreen Takeoff, Bluebeam and Planswift. They all have their unique differences and all vary in price. (if you want to know which one may be a good fit for your company, let’s have a conversation)

Often, the quantity takeoff is the most time-consuming activity in creating the estimate and the activity that is most subject to error and mistakes. As a result, many contractors can gain competitive advantage by simply automating the quantity takeoff process.

Today, there are two ways to perform takeoffs for new construction projects: from paper blueprints or from digital files. Working off the digital file instead of the paper blueprints offers several advantages:

  • Cost savings through reductions in paper, ink and printing costs
  • Ability to work anywhere with a laptop computer. No need to tote around a large set of plans. The takeoff is now easily performed at office, your house or virtually anywhere.
  • Cleaner and more organized office. It is much easier and cheaper to store files than bulky blueprints.
  • Cost to perform the takeoff is much quicker and can add an easy 50% to 60% time savings in your takeoff.
  • Ability to import into an estimating software, which removes errors from your estimating process due to manual entries.
  • You can overlay drawings to compare between 65% drawings versus 85% drawings, with any changes being highlighted in red.

In summary, PDF files of the blueprints are usually readily available and automating the takeoff from these files by digitizing with your mouse is becoming the preferred way to operate for many Steel Erectors. A variety of cost savings and efficiencies are gained by digitizing quantities on-screen.


Transitioning From A Manual Takeoff To A Digital Takeoff

Many Steel Erectors seem to have a fear or maybe a resistance of this transition, I can tell you from those that I have helped to make the transition, I always hear from them that they wish they would have done it sooner. In today’s world it really is a no brainier as the world we work and live in has went digital.


Steel Estimating Solutions Promise

Our goal at Steel Estimating Solutions is to help Steel Erectors take there estimating process digital. The way we do this is when a Steel Erector comes on board with the Steel Erection Bid Wizard and picks the takeoff software that is the best fit for there company based on their company’s needs.

We set up an initial training session (included in the purchase) and we walk through the whole process of bringing in drawings, setting the scale, setting up the details, show best practices with tricks and tips of doing a digital takeoff. Then show how you bring the takeoff into the Steel Erection Bid Wizard to get your erection price. We record this session on video, so you will have it to fall back on until you become proficient in its use.

We typically see that it takes about 1 to 2 weeks for a company to make the transition, and we are always available for phone calls to help the estimator when needed.


Here is a video showing one of my favorite takeoff software’s doing a full takeoff on a 3 story building.

In video I will explain why its a favorite…



Steel Estimating Solutions

Vince Hughes



PS… If you are looking to take your estimating process into the 21st century, Steel Estimating Solutions can be a great resource to help you make that happen. I have been doing digital takeoffs since 2001 and have developed a pricing tool (actually, much more than that) called the Steel Erection Bid Wizard. I have helped over 260 Steel Erectors to make the transition and would love to help you as well. Give me a call anytime.


Steel Erection Bid Wizard

Join dozens of your peers that have revolutionized the way they estimate. Take your estimating department digital with Steel Erection Bid Wizard. Only software on the market made for Erectors by an Erector.

Steel Erection Bid Wizard is a fully functional Windows – based software package. Estimate your bids more quickly and easier than ever before.


Benefits of The Steel Erection Bid Wizard

  • Reduce the time it takes to estimate by 50% or more
  • Tried & true production rates for labor, crane & weld time
  • You can easily adjust production rates to fit your company
  • More than 300 built-in tasks
  • Ability to create your own tasks and add new categories
  • Generate one-touch proposals
  • Integrate with multiple takeoff software’s
  • Peace of mind
  • Smart Fuel Calculator
  • Weather Projections


Request more information here

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