Last week we used print editions of the RS Means for an introductory homework exercise. I enjoyed the activity because it involved using the tables to find the prices for various parts of construction. I also found that once I understood one of the tables, all the others followed the same organization, so it became very quick near the end. I also thought the print tables were useful, because it was easy to compare similar products. For example, I could easily compare different door configurations, or types siding.
A very prevalent disadvantage of using the print resources, is that location factors are needed to get an accurate estimate for different regions. Additionally, as the economy changes, prices for bulk materials may change as well, further distorting the estimate, and putting the books out of date. An internet based platform could automatically adjust for location and current economic factors, such as the RS Means activity we did in class. This is definitely a situation where technology has benefitted the industry and increased efficiency. I do like the print document, though, because you can show a client easily the difference in price between options.