” We have several people in our estimating department. Some have a lot of experience in HeavyBid, some are fairly new to it. Many of us have been to User Group Meetings in the past and some have been through HeavyBid 101 and 201. We know we need to get everyone on the same page using HeavyBid consistently, but we’re not sure how to go about it. What does HCSS recommend for training?”
The Chief Says:
You are not alone. I have helped many companies in this same situation, and I have developed a 3-step method that works to get an entire department on the same page.
First, make sure your estimating system is built on good processes that are easy to teach and easy to repeat. Second, determine the level each person has attained in their knowledge of the estimating system. And finally, create a roadmap to connect the dots and fill in all the gaps between where each person is and where they need to be.
Step 1: Good Processes that are Easy to Follow
Having a solid foundation for your estimating department means you have created repeatable processes that everyone can and will follow. A system that is not natural to the way an estimator thinks and builds the estimate will be abandoned in favor of one that is. Automate as much of the estimate and quote system at the beginning of your estimate as you can, and train your people to use the right master estimates for the work they are bidding to take away a lot of the inconsistencies. Writing down a repeatable process that wins bids, and training from that process is a good start to getting everyone on the same page.
HCSS offers the Assessment Program to help our customers review and revise their estimating system from top to bottom. The Assessment Program begins with a questionnaire that tells us how well your company is using HeavyBid. After the assessment, we schedule an online meeting to discuss the results of the questionnaire, and we make recommendations for improvements, and provide you with and a roadmap to achieve those improvements. If you would like more information on the Assessment Program, please go to https://success.hcss.com/assessment/ There you’ll find a link to a brief questionnaire that will ask which HCSS product you’re inquiring about and how you’re currently using it. After that, you and a member of the Customer Engagement team will decide if moving forward with the formal Assessment Program is right for you.
Step 2: What Do Our People Know?
Next, we need to assess everyone’s level of expertise. Typically, you start with the senior estimating staff members to get the best representation of your knowledge. HCSS has a HeavyBid Certification Exam for people with a very solid knowledge of most of the features and functions of HeavyBid and a solid knowledge of civil estimating. It’s given online and is watched over by an online proctor. People who pass this exam are members of an elite group that have demonstrated they have delved into HeavyBid well beyond just cranking out estimates and have gained knowledge of the inner workings of the program. This could be a useful tool in identifying the individuals in the department that can be utilized to improve everyone’s use of HeavyBid. More information about the HeavyBid Certification Exam can be found at: https://www.hcss.com/certification-page/
The certification has a handbook that you can review before you decide to take the test, and if some of your estimators are not at the level to take the certification, we have resources to bring them up.
Step 3: Level Up
For those that are still learning, The HCSS Learning Academy is a great resource for video courses and recorded webinars on a wide range of HCSS product-related topics. Many of the learning courses include quizzes to test and reinforce the lessons. In addition to The Academy, HCSS’s Support Help Site contains volumes of searchable articles to answer support how-to, troubleshooting, and webinars on all of HCSS’s products. All members of any estimating staff should be intimately familiar with both The Learning Academy and the Help site.
And of course, there’s my preferred method, bringing in an HCSS Trainer either onsite or through virtual meetings. Depending on what needs to be addressed and the time frame it needs to be done, it could be as few as a couple of days with the whole department learning about higher-level features to multiple sessions to completely overhaul the entire estimating system including Master Estimates and Codebooks.
HCSS offers HeavyBid 101 and 201 classes throughout the year. 101 for people brand new to HeavyBid and 201 for people who have been using HeavyBid for several months to a few years but have not had the benefit of training or attending the Annual User Group Meeting.
Sounds like a lot! And it might be for some companies. But it’s doable. And no one should feel like they have to go it alone. Whether you’re the head of the department or doing entry-level estimating work, HCSS can help guide you in your quest to get better at what you do. If you’re willing to put in the work.
HCSS Customer Success Will Guide You
If you’re not sure where to begin with this process, contact HCSS Customer Success: firstname.lastname@example.org
HCSS Customer Success is your partner in maximizing your utilization of all HCSS products. We start with education. We can help you sort out which combination of all the means above is best to help you achieve your department’s goals.
Estimating Success Manager
For the past 30 years, Ray has held positions as an Estimator, Project Manager, or Chief Estimator for civil construction companies operating in Ohio, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Norwalk, Connecticut. He has a heart of a teacher, and takes pride in listening well to others before offering advice.