Paperless Estimation in Civil Construction

Getting Bluebeam changed us day one. Our whole world as we knew it before changed in day one. [Music] We got an opportunity to bid some work for Trammell Crow. One of the largest residential owner developers in the United States. I went to their office in
downtown Denver, and I had worked on this for probably two and a half weeks. Scale rulers and digitizer scales. And their senior estimator looked up at me and he said, “You have got to be kidding me.” He said, “My contractors that don’t use an estimating software such as Bluebeam they don’t work for us because we can’t communicate with them fast enough.” I think it was within three days that we purchased the program. I’ve been estimating for over 30 years so when I look at technology like that it’s extremely scary. I’m not tech savvy. Drake Carter is very tech savvy, so I immediately got with Drake. And he’s like, “Drake is going to be an estimator. And I know Drake has all this CAD experience. This is what he’s going to school for.” Drake Carter is going to teach us all how to do it. We’re going to teach Drake how to be an estimator.” His very first project I said, “Go back to the diagonal crossing that I just did for Trammell Crow.” I ended up finishing up the takeoff that took Don two weeks in about a day. Drake had never done a takeoff. He spent actually more time
on tutorials than he did doing the takeoff. We went back to kind of compare my values to his values. On a particular item I had 15,000 lineal feet. But Don only had 13,600, which would have been a $50,000-60,000 hit to the company. Because of the way I did the takeoff on a digitizer scale, obviously I lost track. Where as me jumping on to Bluebeam and I can zoom in to such a fine detail and fine print, that I can literally pick the tiniest corner of the curb and go to the next one and it be completely accurate. First job we did, it paid for itself. [Music] I really believe it’s an easy program. That it’s actually built for guys like me. Don has years of information behind him so it’s really cool to be able to teach him something. Now we can put out a proposal package in four or five hours. Well we wouldn’t have been able to do it by scale rule and a digitizer. I want to go completely paperless. I really wish that I would have done this a long time ago.

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