Is Construction Project Management Software the same as Construction Estimating Software

by Perry on October 25, 2010

Here is a comment from a person considering a new employment position with a construction company:

“I have 15 years experienced in the construction industry as a production manager with a leading “—-”  contractor. Once I got laid off I started online classes to get certified as a construction cost estimator through the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE). I have an opportunity with a leading builder as an estimator, I have little experience working with the software PRIMAVERA for estimating. I was hoping you could give me some information regarding this software that would help me better understand how the process works through this software that would help me on my test….”

Here is my response:
Thanks for sending in a question.  It is very important to note that Oracle Primavera is strictly a project management tool for scheduling and project documentation in their various products. To the best of my knowledge, it is NOT designed for construction estimating to produces bids or quotes.  It sounds like you are encountering a 3rd party piece of software that somewhat integrates into the scheduling portion of  Oracle’s Primavera. My suggestion is to contact the Primavera software dealer in your area to explain what they have and what 3rd party estimating software integrates with Primavera.   The main question you have to ask in preparation for your test is:  Is it an estimating test  or  is it a scheduling test on Primavera?  If it is on estimating, then you have to find out which estimating program are they going to test you on.  I’m guessing they are going to test you specifically on standard estimating concepts instead of a construction estimating program.  As you have learned in listening to our estimating videos, there is a wide range of construction estimating techniques, so you have to explore with your possible new employer what kind of estimating they perform on order for you to prepare for the test. Learning any estimating program takes months to learn not days. It is not about how to click icons or pressing buttons on-screen; moreover it is about how to approach the takeoff and how to maximize the use of the estimating program to complete an estimate.  All estimating programs are NOT the same and do not accomplish the same tasks. ASPE is a great organization to be associated with; they have superb estimating information and is a great estimator networking group.
So as you can see, it is really easy to confuse construction project management software with construction estimating software.  We will soon add a post that discusses some estimating programs that approach the construction estimating process solely by addressing resources like labor crews and equipment.  Detailed material takeoff is not usually at the forefront of those types of solutions.  The type of contractors that are attracted to those types of solutions are usually grading / sitework, heavy, highway heavy contractors.  Thanks Again for visiting AskTheEstimator.com

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