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Construction Bidding with Excel Vs Estimator Software

The construction bidding process is complex and requires a lot of effort. There are often many variables that estimators need to take into account, including labor, materials, equipment, and permits. As a result, construction firms have long used software platforms to help streamline the bidding process. However, some firms still rely on programs like Excel.

In this blog from SharpeSoft, we'll discuss the differences between construction bidding with an estimator software versus using Excel and why the former is worth considering if you're looking to streamline the efficiency and accuracy of your construction bidding process.

Construction Bidding with Excel Vs Estimator Software

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Estimator Software?

  2. What is Excel Exactly?

  3. Construction Bidding with Excel Vs. Estimator Software

  4. Estimator Software is Designed for Construction Bidding

  5. Key Accuracy

  6. Powerful Analytics and Precise Project Management

  7. Saves Time and Improves Efficiency

  8. Integration with other Tools

  9. Comprehensive Customization Options

  10. Modern Features for The Digital Age

  11. Conclusion

People Also Ask:

What are the advantages of purpose-built estimating software over Excel?

Software estimating is a time-saving and efficient approach, surpassing Excel's formula-based calculations. Nonetheless, Excel requires familiarity with syntax for accurate analysis; any syntax errors can lead to incorrect results.

Is there an alternative to Microsoft Excel?

For construction bidding and estimating, it's best to use software specifically designed for this type of work, like the SharpeSoft Estimator.

What is Estimator Software?

Estimator software used for construction bidding is digital programs that use technology and data to calculate the associated costs of specific construction projects. With estimating software, like the SharpeSoft Estimator, bidders can analyze every aspect of a project, from materials to labor costs, ensuring that every detail is considered.

What is Excel Exactly?

Excel is a powerful spreadsheet editor created by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and iPadOS. The program offers many ways to store, enter and calculate data, such as calculation tools, graphs, pivot tables, and more.

While, with Excel, users can create detailed spreadsheets to calculate costs, track expenses, and analyze data, manual data entry means limited accuracy and time-saving capabilities.

Construction Bidding with Excel Vs. Estimator Software

In the construction industry, estimating project costs correctly is paramount to success. A single mistake in calculating a construction project could lead to heavy financial loss, dissatisfaction from clients, and loss of credibility. Therefore, adopting the best tools for accurately estimating project costs is essential.

For a long time, construction industry professionals relied on manual methods such as spreadsheets in Excel to estimate project costs, but the advent of estimator software has changed everything.

Continue reading to learn more.

Estimator Software is Designed for Construction Bidding

Software, like The SharpeSoft Estimator, is designed specifically for construction companies and their projects. It includes bid tracking, quantity takeoff, and pricing databases. This technology streamlines the bidding process by providing templates and features to make the estimating procedure faster.

In contrast, Excel is more commonly used for multiple purposes, such as accounting or data analysis. Excel is not designed for estimating construction projects, making the tasks longer and more complicated for bidders.

Key Accuracy

While Excel sheets can provide a decent level of accuracy, it will never be as accurate as a comprehensive estimator software program. Estimator software includes inbuilt algorithms, formulas, and reference databases, making calculations incredibly accurate and free of human error.

With such a software tool, construction estimators are better equipped to provide a more accurate cost estimate.

Powerful Analytics and Precise Project Management

Estimator software programs are designed to provide analytics on costs, including current market pricing and expected price fluctuations. These insights can be crucial when bidding and managing a project.

Project management tools allow users to view and manage a project's completion status, subcontractor communication, and material delivery schedules by showcasing them in a dashboard. Meanwhile, Excel does not have the same project management and analytics features, making it more challenging to make informed business decisions.

Saves Time and Improves Efficiency

There is no comparing Excel sheets and an estimator software program regarding n the speed and efficiency of estimating construction project costs. An estimator software tool simplifies the estimation process by automating complex calculations that would otherwise take significant time to complete manually.

This saves estimators their time and helps them deliver work within tight deadlines.

Integration with other Tools

Estimator software can integrate with various third-party applications, such as accounting and project management systems, making it even easier for bidders to track costs and manage projects all in one place. This feature can ensure that project costs stay on track because the construction management team can evaluate the real-time progress of a project and make changes where necessary.

Excel also has the flexibility of integration but is limited compared to an estimator tool.

Comprehensive Customization Options

Construction estimator programs offer unmatched customization options for users. Depending on the specific requirements of a project, estimator software can be customized to incorporate the parameters that matter most.

This allows the estimator to generate more accurate cost estimates based on the requirements of a particular project.

Modern Features for The Digital Age

Estimator technology has come equipped with modern features that simplify the estimating process. Many software tools allow users to upload digital project plans and incorporate data from multiple sources, such as internal reference databases, supplier catalogs, and public data sources.

This helps in generating the most accurate bids. Moreover, estimator software programs have the added advantage of being cloud-based. This feature is essential in the modern business world, where remote workforces are becoming the norm.


Construction industry professionals and their teams are adopting estimator software as it is evident that technology has streamlined procurement processes and increased efficiency. While Excel is a viable option, it has limitations in planning for future projects and minimizing errors across multiple sheets.

SharpeSoft's estimator software provides a systematic approach to project management, with features such as high accuracy, automation, collaboration tools, and data security. It provides the tools required to increase the accuracy of construction bids and the bidding speed, saving significant amounts of time. Don't wait! Invest in digital technology for your construction business and win more bids today!

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