Skip to content

T.K. Rubke Cements Its Accuracy With Sage Estimating

  • 4 min read

Key Outcomes

  • Company with a renowned reputation for accurate estimating
  • Project win rate is over 90%
  • Industry-leading technology helps attract new talent to the firm

“Sage Estimating gives our work instant credibility,” says Terry Rubke, founder and president of T.K. Rubke. “It’s the gold standard of estimating software and is recognized and trusted by professionals throughout the construction industry.”

“We like to say we run to project costs, not away from them,” says Terry. “We help clients set realistic expectations for their projects and ensure that they get fair bids from the general contractors they involve. For the majority of my career, I’ve relied on Sage Estimating to help me do that.”

Spreadsheets Can Be Formulas for Disaster

Spreadsheets are commonly used for construction estimating, but Rubke rejects them because the opportunity for error is too significant. “I think every estimator has learned the hard way that all spreadsheets have errors,” he says. “There are simply too many ways to break a formula and cause costly mistakes — it’s more a matter of when than if. Once, early in my career, I missed $250,000 on an estimate due to an error in one of my formulas. Rather unfortunately, I won that job, which stung. But I learned my lesson and now rely solely on Sage Estimating. My business reputation and bottom line depend on it.”

Terry notes that Sage Estimating completely eliminates the possibility of formula errors. “Without that worry, I double my ability to focus my efforts on the project,” he says. “Sage Estimating allows me to bid for more work and win more work.”

Treasure Trove of Historical Project Data

The firm leverages the treasure trove of historical project costs within Sage Estimating to help it bid similar projects more quickly and accurately. “For example, we were recently asked to estimate a large school project,” says Terry. “We were able to look back at other schools we’d been involved with for comparison. Having that highly-relevant information easily accessible is invaluable.”

T.K. Rubke makes extensive use of the advanced assembly databases available for Sage Estimating. “The assemblies give us the cost detail behind our construction objects in a quick and elegant way,” says Terry. “We have more confidence in the accuracy of our estimates knowing that we’re performing precise calculations and costing across all aspects of the bid, including labor, subcontractor bids, materials, equipment, and overhead.”

“I give Sage Estimating a lot of credit for helping us win new business. Our conversion rate is 90-percent plus, and it’s almost entirely from referrals that have experienced our professionalism and the quality of our estimates.”

Sage Estimating Provides Competitive Edge

The fact that T.K. Rubke produces pre-construction estimates in house is one of the firm’s differentiating factors. “Our competitors hire general contractors to determine a project’s cost — they typically don’t produce their own estimates. There’s even a term for it, ‘Free-Con’.” General contractors will often provide the estimate in exchange for an assurance they’ll get the job. That’s not the way we operate and our clients appreciate the difference and ultimately benefit from our objectivity.”

T.K. Rubke’s reliance on the industry-leading estimating software also provides a competitive advantage when hiring new estimators. “We have a longer-term growth strategy that involves recruiting additional estimators,” Terry says. “The fact that we are a Sage Timberline shop will definitely help us attract and retain talent.” He concludes, “Sage Estimating is the platform I use for building and growing this business. Our clients expect great things from us, and we’re delivering.”

T.K. Rubke & Company may be a small construction management firm — but it has a big reach. Major enterprises throughout the Southeast, including Chick- Fil-A, Jacobs, and Ponce City Market turn to T.K. Rubke to keep their construction projects on time and on budget. The firm has a well-earned reputation for the accuracy and thoroughness of its project budgets, which help clients make strategic, cost-effective decisions. Sage Estimating is the tool T.K. Rubke relies on to work its magic.

Industry: Construction Management Firm

Location: Georgia, US