@Silverstix I’ve worked for a Top 150 General Contractor for 10+ years now as their BIM Manager and Technology Manager. We’ve worked very closely with our estimating teams throughout the years. One thing no ones asked yet is the size of your average projects. We range from $20M to $150M for at risk construction but have a couple mega projects at $2B+. On-Screen Takeoff (OST) was the market leader for digital takeoff tools until Bluebeam recently. The market is more split now as OST is just takeoffs versus Bluebeam provides more tool sets then just takeoffs. If you’re dealing with larger projects, OST handles larger data sets easier. If you’re dealing with smaller projects, then Bluebeam works great. Bluebeam is more affordable then OST as well and provides more support/training then OST, whose parent company is On Center Software.
As for estimating and pricing tools, Excel is still widely used. Timberline is one of the most powerful estimating tools on the market but requires built out databases and management of those databases to be used effectively. Our company recently (within the last couple years) had an estimating industry summit at our office to explore estimating packages for GCs of similar size from different regions. PM me if you’re interested in our final evaluation sheet rating and ranking the packages we explored.
You really can’t go wrong with either OST or Bluebeam and cost will likely swing you to one or the other. What industry leading GCs are really into now are using 3D design models to quickly capture quantities from the model and estimate off those quantities, but that’s an entirely differ4nt conversation