Lubbock Underground Utilities Leans On Estimating Tech As Driving Force For The Business

Lubbock, Texas-based Lubbock Underground Utilities is a utility construction company serving the communities of West Texas, offering utility construction, trenching, and directional boring services such as water and fire line installation, manhole installation, large and small water line installation, sanitary sewer lines, utility development in residential or commercial subdivisions, storm sewer, and excavations.

Founder Billy Copeland speaks from experience when he calls B2W Estimate the industry’s top estimating tool and a driving force for both large and small heavy civil contractors. 

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“I have used several other software platforms and always go back to B2W for its user-friendly package and customer support,” he says.

Copeland started using Estimate in 2007 when B2W was Bid2Win, and the software was helping him do just that for a large heavy highway contractor in Texas. “I picked it up fast, mainly by trial and error, because it was so easy to use,” he recalls.

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A decade later, that company was acquired by another contractor, and the new owners insisted on a switch to another heavy civil application that its estimators were using. “I found the other system very cumbersome and difficult to use compared to Estimate,” Copeland explains. “Even after using it for the next four years, I didn’t feel very proficient or that I could use all of its features.”

Copeland is a Lubbock native and earned a master’s degree in construction management at Texas Tech. He and his wife founded Lubbock Underground Utilities in 2020. Investing in B2W Estimate was one of their first moves.

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Copeland handles estimating duties himself and says the ability to track and reference historical costs is a key feature. He values having accurate, pre-populated equipment, labor and production rates at his fingertips and being able to adjust them quickly from bid to bid.

“Fuel costs, which have fluctuated a lot over the past year, are a good example,” he notes. “With a click of a button, I can update my rates in real time.”

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Annual revenue for heavy highway work topped $50 million at Copeland’s previous company, and bids typically included 80 to 100 individual pay items. “We’re a smaller contractor doing smaller jobs, but the importance and advantages of B2W Estimate are essentially the same regardless of the size of the operation,” he explains.

Lubbock Underground completes 12 to 15 bids monthly, primarily for commercial water and sewer construction projects in Lubbock and the surrounding area. The company also provides trenching, excavation and directional boring services. Demand in the region is extremely strong, and Copeland says being able to easily fine tune bids to be more or less aggressive, based on backlog and how badly the company wants to pick up more work, is another key advantage of the software.

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“B2W Estimate is a driving force for our business and plays an important role in every job we get,” Copeland concludes. “When we don’t win a job we want, it’s usually due to operator error on my part using the software,” he jokes.