• Challenge

    Rudolph and Sletten specializes in complex projects and requires powerful estimating software to accurately bid and manage those jobs.


    For 20 years, Rudolph and Sletten has relied on Sage Estimating to help it bid and win profitable jobs.


    Ability to bring together components of previous estimates speeds new estimate production. Safeguards in the software prevent calculation errors. Industry databases ensure current pricing is used. Familiar interface flattens new employee learning curve.

    A Tool for the long term

    “We have relied on Sage Estimating for 20 years,” says Nick Pera, preconstruction executive for Rudolph and Sletten. “Other software packages have come and gone over the years, but Sage Estimating changes with the times and, as a result, is a constant tool and at the core of our projects. The program is designed for what we do.”

    Todd Ahern, senior estimator, believes Sage Estimating helps the company better compete in a competitive marketplace: “To succeed in the current market and meet owner expectations, you need a tool that allows you to react quickly to design and scope changes. Sage Estimating offers that flexibility.”

    Power beyond spreadsheets

    While its familiar spreadsheet-style interface flattens the learning curve, Sage Estimating is a purpose-built tool with capabilities going far beyond those of spreadsheets.

    “With regular spreadsheet software, manual recalculation can lead to a catastrophic error on an estimate,” says Ahern. “Sage Estimating provides us with safeguards against these costly mistakes.”

    “We can sort by owners’ requirements, by CSI (Construction Standards Institute) category, or by our breakdown structure to ensure we have included everything,” says Kalie Ward, senior estimator. “And we don’t have to worry about hidden lines and cells like you would in a regular spreadsheet.”

    Saving time on every estimate

    With Sage Estimating, building even the most complex estimate is simplified by the software’s flexibility to draw upon previous estimates. “I can assemble components of earlier estimates to create a new estimate,” says Pera. “For example, if we have previously done a foundation or superstructure estimate that is similar to the one we working on, we can pull those parts and pieces and use them in the new estimate.”

    To further speed the process of generating an estimate, Rudolph and Sletten takes advantage of the industry-specific estimating databases available for Sage Estimating to obtain current manufacturer pricing when producing detailed takeoff quantities.

    In addition, Model Estimating helps senior cost estimator Patrick Krzyzosiak save time by capturing quantity data from a proposed building’s three-dimensional models and passing that information directly into Sage Estimating. “Grabbing that information at the beginning, from an accurate source, saves us a lot of time,” he says.

    “If I didn’t have Sage Estimating, it would be an all night activity to double check everything. It saves me a week’s time on every estimate we build,” adds Ward.

    The foundation for success

    Ultimately, Pera says, if a job is estimated well, it will likely be a success. “Our responsibility is to manage our client’s checkbook. We have to be sure that the number we tell them on day one is the number we finally bring the project in for,” says Pera. “Sage Estimating helps us do that.” Pera concludes: “There is no question that Sage Estimating is making a positive contribution to our bottom line.”

    Company: Rudolph and Sletten is ranked as one of the top three general contractors and as the number-one builder of hospitals in California. As a pacesetter in the construction industry, the company provides quality-oriented general contracting and construction management services on all types of projects with an emphasis on the healthcare, high-tech research, education, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical research and manufacturing markets. Other areas of expertise include corporate campuses and office buildings, hospitality, entertainment and gaming, and mixed-use retail facilities.

    Industry: Commercial construction

    Location: Redwood City, California

    Solution: Sage Estimating