Why it’s time to switch to digital take-off

The take-off is a key factor when preparing a quote for a project, regardless of which trade you’re in. This stage of the process enables you to identify all the parts and materials you require to effectively complete your project.

Traditionally, take-offs are produced using manual paper-based methods. The technology to do this process digitally has now existed for years and offers many advantages, but many contractors still haven’t made the switch to software-based take-offs.

So, now for the burning question – why is now the perfect time to switch to digital take-offs?

Minimise errors

The saying “human error” doesn’t exist for no reason; it is in our nature to make mistakes from time to time. Despite this being normal, it can be both extremely frustrating and potentially even costly for your business. Errors can become expensive, for example, if you order more materials and parts than are needed for your job, which could have a negative impact on your profit margin. On the other hand, if you underestimate your material or labour costs, you will face an additional expense during the project.

Perhaps the biggest risk with over- or under-calculations is that the project will end up being delayed because your workers are slower than you anticipated or stuck waiting for more materials to arrive. This can have serious consequences for your relationship with your client.

Work up to 70% faster

In the working world, it is difficult to find anyone who wouldn’t want to complete their work tasks in less time than usual. With digital take-offs this is entirely achievable if you’re using paper-based drawings, a slide rule, and a calculator, which can understandably be quite a lengthy affair (especially when you take into consideration that it’s important to ensure accuracy and avoid errors).

Digital take-offs can enable you to work up to 70% faster as they remove the reams of printed drawings, as well as the requirement for manual measuring and counting. This significantly reduces the time spent completing a take-off, as you can use digital drawing files and add the materials you require on-screen.

How can Ensign help?

Ensign can help as we offer our very own on-screen take-off software, which enables you to complete your take-offs digitally using electronic drawings. Our software is tailored to four trades (mechanical, electrical, ductwork, and insulation), with a highly specialised version of the program for each. It enables you to add parts and materials from our frequently updated database and build an accurate list of materials required for your project. Once you’re done with your take-off, you can export your list and import it into Ensign’s estimating software to produce an estimate from your take-off.

Sound good? Find out more about our software –

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