• Land Development Quantities in Bluebeam


    This story was originally published by  on the Bluebeam Blog.

    By now you’ve read several of my articles showcasing various disciplines within the design and construction industry and how I’ve helped them implement Bluebeam within their workflows. Like all the others you can learn more about the technical tools in my parallel blog post, “Land Development Bluebeam Tools of the Trade.” This one has a little different backstory, but it speaks to my approach to every Bluebeam implementation.

    Early last year someone reached out to me following up on a referral. He asked if Bluebeam could do estimating for erosion control work. I quickly showed him on the fly how the basic tools could easily measure what he was looking for and explained how custom tools could take things to the next level. It’s always my goal to make the workflow as easy as possible. I tell my customers I want the intern next summer to get the same results as a senior estimator. Well-thought-out, standardized tools and workflows are key to success. It turns out he wasn’t looking for tools or workflow suggestions; he was looking for an estimating service.

    My kryptonite in business is wanting to help everyone—to the point where I become part of their team. That weakness, however, is also my superpower! In this process, I truly gain an understanding of the diverse struggles, goals, processes, and challenges every company deals with every day.

    Long story short, I somehow became an erosion control estimator. I built a handful of custom markup tools and delivered a material takeoff that was more accurate than the tabulation that was prepared using their existing workflows. I guess you could say I played the role of an intern and proved my point. I still get calls from time to time to do estimates for them and enjoy the change of pace. I’ve always embraced these engagements because what I learn each time sets me apart as a trainer. I’ve been told I explain things differently than other trainers and have a deeper knowledge of what Bluebeam can do. I made a habit of always answering “Yes and” when people ask if Bluebeam can do this or that. I never allow Bluebeam to be kept in a box.

    So I guess in this case, I’m sharing how I built an estimating department that over delivered to a repeat customer. Here is how I implemented my tools of choice.