Initial buy-in cost is a sizable hurdle for many construction companies looking to implement a technology solution. Despite success stories from other firms that claim ROI (return on investment), it can be difficult to justify an upfront expense and potential downtime during employees’ learning curve.

However, drywall contractors have the option to circumvent these barriers to entry. Plexxis Software, www.plexxis.com, Vaughan, Ont., has been providing free construction-estimating software to interior-systems contractors for the past couple of years. The solution even includes a materials database and training tools.

This summer, Plexxis released the next iteration of its WinBID Drywall Construction Estimation Software. Once again, the solution is free. The software is designed to accommodate a range of construction estimating styles while being flexible and user friendly. It is also designed to integrate with a number of existing internal systems.

Upgrades to the new version include drywall digital takeoff, project management, job costing, and accounting capabilities, along with a multiuser-estimation tool. Plexxis also offers portable time and attendance devices that automate timecards, plus construction-grade devices that collect realtime field data.

A hosted version of the WinBID solution with backup and support is available for a monthly fee. Upgrades are also available for a one-time license fee. However, the no-upfront-cost model is beneficial to contractors looking to reduce the risk associated with adopting technology and modernizing the estimating process.

By helping to eliminate some barriers to entry, Plexxis hopes to help the construction industry evolve along with an increasingly tech-savvy business world.