How Takeoff Monkey Lets You Double Your Landscaping Bids
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could double up the number of landscaping bids you submit? It can be the easiest way to grow your business. The time it takes to translate plans into estimates and estimates into proposals can limit the number of bids you can submit. Now there’s a solution! TakeOff Monkey is offering landscapers a professional takeoff service that dramatically reduces the time it takes to prepare bids while increasing the accuracy of the estimate.
GoMaterials sat down with Takeoff Monkey CEO Tommy Lather to understand how professional takeoffs can help you improve your landscaping bid rate. Read the full interview below.
Welcome Tommy. Would you like to introduce yourself to the GoMaterials community?
Tommy: I have worked in the green industry since 2006 for various facets of the industry, including estimating, purchasing and project management. Most of my career has been in estimating for commercial construction. In the early days of my career, I worked for a landscape construction company that earned revenues of $35 million in construction annually.
“I have always been that one guy in the office who is always, always, always trying to use the latest and greatest technology.”
– Tommy Lather, CEO, Takeoff Monkey
I was always trying to explore what was out there in terms of technology that could improve my workflow. I was always going to be the first to adopt and experiment. That’s kind of how I ended up here with Takeoff Monkey.
What inspired you to launch a platform like Takeoff Monkey for landscapers?
Tommy: In my time as a Senior Estimator, I watched the whole game of construction, estimating etc. get more complex. Estimating is already a chaotic, stressful activity. Which is obviously not a very pleasant experience. I just knew that there was a better way.
So, I teamed up with my partners and we launched this service to save landscapers as much time as possible on their estimating. The idea is that with a more efficient way to estimate the client can increase their bid volume and increase their win rate.
Our goal is to make our customers’ life immensely easier. Takeoff Monkey is simply the more efficient, and cost-effective way for companies to operate. We become part of the clients’ team.
Was there an ‘Aha moment’ led to Takeoff Monkey?
Tommy: I don’t know if there was one particular moment, it just came together over time. The takeoff process is usually very mundane, repetitive, and just mind-numbing but vital at the same time. The quantities that you generate from the takeoff, are used for bidding all the way to scheduling and billing. So, if those quantities are wrong, you can be in some serious financial trouble. Naturally, the person doing it has to know what they’re doing. They need to know landscaping, construction, it’s got to be right. So, we decided to become those people who can get it right.
“Takeoffs take about 50% to 80% of the estimating time for a new project. And it has to be perfect, every time.”
How does Takeoff Monkey benefit landscape professionals with landscaping bids?
Tommy: The biggest benefit is time savings. As I mentioned, the takeoff process represents at least 50% of the total time spent estimating the project. So, if you’re spending 40 hours a week bidding, just putting estimates together, we can cut that down to 20 hours. With that time, you can then double the amount of projects that you bid, you can work on your cost, on your labor, any other aspects of the business. We cut the work in half for our customers by taking on the takeoff for them.
“At an absolute bare minimum, you can double your bidding rate with Takeoff Monkey.”
The other thing is accuracy. We have many customers who go by the quantities in the plan. But the truth is, those quantities tend to be right only about 5% of the time. Using or relying solely on the numbers given by the architect is like taking a gamble. This is where we can help – we go and do point counts. We do area measurements, linear measurements, whatever it is, we get it exactly right every time.
Last but not the least, this is a team of experts. I have been working with this team since 2008, we have bid on billions of dollars of work together. We trust each other emphatically.
And what kind of technology are you using?
Tommy: We have a diverse repertoire of solutions that we use – it’s really up to the customer and their projects to determine the best fit. Some of these solutions come with a hefty price tag for a single license. Save that cost by letting us put the right solution to work for you.
That sounds great! So what makes Takeoff Monkey unique?
Tommy: We do it in 48 hours or less. And we are deadly accurate. I would wager that we are the most accurate in the industry by a wide margin. Everyone in our team has a background or education in architecture. This ensures that our takeoffs are done by highly qualified individuals and not just fly by night operators.
“The best part about us is the quality of service. We just smother you with customer service. We are a human process, so we have human flexibility. If you can think of a format or a specific process for takeoffs, we can probably do it.”
What’s your vision for the future of Takeoffs?
Tommy: We believe that the future of takeoffs is a machine. Imagine simply feeding plans to the machine to automatically generate a final, error-free estimate. That’s what we are building.
Right now, we offer a quantity worksheet, which offers many functionalities. You can build your estimate off of it, you can purchase off of it, you can do submittals. You can even get pricing with it. But we are building a tool that’s far more robust, where we’ll calculate labor, it will collect accurate wholesale plant and other material pricing for you, and you’ll be able to build your proposal right inside our tool.
I’m hoping that our tool will be live by spring of 2022. But we don’t want to stop at landscaping, we want to cover all construction trades. Other trades experience the same pains associated with the lengthy takeoff process after all.
Thanks! What’s your sign-off message for the GoMaterials community?
Tommy: We believe this is a newer, and better way for takeoffs. I invite the GoMaterials community to try it out. Your first one is on us, free of charge! It’s the perfect way to show everyone what we can do. Visit https://www.takeoffmonkey.com/ for more information.
How long does it take you to turn takeoffs into plant estimates? Tweet to us on @gomaterials to take part in a quick survey.