Are you using the latest landscape measuring software in your estimation workflow?
If you still have to measure the property manually using a measuring wheel or on an online tool then, you’re missing out on the latest technology that can save you loads of time.
Between getting an RFQ/RFP from your prospect and closing the deal lies many sub-steps, like measuring, estimation and proposal creation. Out of these, landscape measurement is one of the very important steps, assuming you want to get to an accurate estimate. However, until now, getting to an accurate landscape measurement meant a lot of manual work.
But with new technology like AI, we can now tremendously downsize the manual intervention needed for measuring, allowing one to quickly get to an accurate estimate.
This article is intended for the landscapers who still swear by manual tools/software or rather do not measure at all and simply guesstimate quotes. You would not want all your marketing effort to go to waste especially if a prospect leaves because of inaccurate quotes or measuring discrepancies.
Table of Contents:
The Estimator’s Timeline
One way to understand what’s new in measurements is to look at history and compare all the measuring methods that have ever existed for the landscaping industry.
Let’s start by looking at this timeline:
It began with approximation, which is basically a guessing game, then came the measuring wheel, which required actual man-power on the site. We then saw a landscape measuring software being used – albeit better than going on site, this still needs a lot of on-screen time where one has to click away and draw polygons, essentially tracing out different property features.
Are you still struggling with one of these measurement methods? Well, now they belong in the stone age. It is time to look at the future.
Make way for fully automated takeoffs thanks to AI. You can rely on it without having to spend a lot of your time and sweat on measuring and redirect all your energy to your customers and business instead.
Let’s take a deeper dive into all these methods:
Manual Takeoffs- The Olden days
Your AM performs landscape measurement for commercial properties by visiting the site. He either guesses or uses measuring wheels, tapes, lasers, transit levels etc. or spends his entire day drawing polygons on, now outdated, software. He then calculates estimates and constructs bids. Not getting any returns after all the effort and money spent is depressing. Let’s weigh all their pros and cons-
- Pros: The pro of being dependent solely on your eyes is zero investment in manual labor or measuring apparatus. If you’re outdoorsy and also the one managing the account, you get to scope the field personally. This helps generate quick bids, as you are not spending hours on manual measuring.
- Cons: Since it’s an approximation, there will always be scope for human error. Guessing is seldom accurate. This technique incurs hidden costs. Inaccurate quotes can harm your business in two ways:
- Losing bids to competition due to overbidding and
- Losing out on profit margins due to under bidding.
b. Landscape measuring tools, e.g. measuring wheel:
- Pros: If you do not mind investing a huge chunk of your time and resources on dedicated AMs walking-off properties, then this is for you. This method allows your AM to spend more one-on-one time with the client and build a good relationship with him.
- Cons: Traditional measuring has a lot of potential for error and is cost and time intensive because of:
- Fuel costs for driving up to sites.
- Regular up-keep of measuring tools.
- High wages of dedicated AMs wasted on low-value add work like measuring properties
- Inaccurate, unoptimized bids due to human errors.
- Your proposal turnaround time goes for a toss, as the estimate is made manually.
- You’re wasting valuable sales hours that you should rather spend on winning the client over and growing your business.
c. Manual landscape measuring software:
- Pros: Softwares like Go iLawn and Google Maps create quick takeoffs compared to on-site tools. They are relatively less resource intensive too as there is 0 travel time and expense.
- Cons: Time-consuming as every polygon is hand drawn on aerial images of the property. It is strenuous to zoom in and out of maps. Overall, it results in lower productivity, slower turnaround time, and errors in the estimate. Besides, sometimes the map images are outdated and non-HD as well.
AI Driven Automated Takeoffs – The Golden Days
Accurate takeoffs are of utmost importance.
Now you don’t have to go through the hassle of creating one. You can fully depend on an automated takeoff software for precise takeoffs on up-to-date, high resolution imagery. This reduces estimation time by 90%.
What’s more? A takeoff request can be generated from anywhere, even on mobile devices. All you need to do is sit back and wait for the fully automated takeoff.
You can save your account manager’s time with Attentive’s automated takeoff software that allows you to set up a measurement in a jiffy and run multiple takeoffs parallelly. You can queue up to 10 takeoffs on Attentive.
It is time to adopt AI and ditch the old landscape measuring software.
The following illustration is a perfect summary of why one should pick the AI driven software :
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