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Electrical Guy
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I'm looking for estimating software with an accurate cost book.
Recently I bought a National Estimating License but the cost book is very inaccurate. I could cope with adjusting the cost-book costs in the software however, when you change the cost of say 100' of 1/2 emt in one assembly, it does NOT adjust the cost of 1/2 emt throughout all the assemblies...It simply is not fluid enough for my needs. Any of you have alternate software recommendations?
 

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I'm looking for estimating software with an accurate cost book.
Recently I bought a National Estimating License but the cost book is very inaccurate. I could cope with adjusting the cost-book costs in the software however, when you change the cost of say 100' of 1/2 emt in one assembly, it does NOT adjust the cost of 1/2 emt throughout all the assemblies...It simply is not fluid enough for my needs. Any of you have alternate software recommendations?
You need to understand how to use this information.
Generally speaking these Man-Hours have been proven for years but you need to understand how to use them. So when you do an estimate there are a few things that you need to consider.
One is adjustments for difficulty such as working on multi story buildings or block or working from a lift etc.
The man-hours are based on working on one and two story buildings and off a ladder.
You have to uses these times to install as a whole. You may say that is too much or too little to do this task. Over an entire project they need to work out and usually do.
Understand if the man-hours include for example unpacking, layout, wasted time etc. Sometimes up to 50% is allowed for layout and supervission.
For example if you are installing lights. You may say I can install this Troffer in 10 minutes. You must look at how may will you install in a period of time such as 8 hours which should include handling, terminations, and clean up. It will usually be more time involved when you use the actually time to complete this task than you think,
In most cases you need to adjust man-hours to suit your type of work usually globally will work. I set man-hours to 80% and this works out day in and day out with adjustment for difficulty. A lot depends on where you install other cost.All electrical estimating software will provide you with these man-hours and material cost but none of them will work without some adjustments. Nothing replaces past experience.
National Estimating for the most part will provide the same info as the more robust estimating software. It is a very low end product but also is priced as such.
It is important to survive to be able to estimate. Invest in a good estimating software and learn how to use it and make it work for you. Time well spent. They want help setting on the shelf.
 

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The methodology works only for substantial jobs... the larger the better... like NECA//IBEW scale projects.

In which case, there is no economy to be had in estimating programs. You'll need all the trimmings.

The biggest killer in pulling together an estimate is adjusting for complications. These days, everyone gets the basics right. ( fixture count, the Service, etc. )

It's the complications that cause contracts to go south... and they're not in 'the book.'
 

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I'm looking for estimating software with an accurate cost book.
Recently I bought a National Estimating License but the cost book is very inaccurate. I could cope with adjusting the cost-book costs in the software however, when you change the cost of say 100' of 1/2 emt in one assembly, it does NOT adjust the cost of 1/2 emt throughout all the assemblies...It simply is not fluid enough for my needs. Any of you have alternate software recommendations?
I did a demo of turbo-bid a couple years ago, looked quite good for putting together NC or commercial bids, not great for service work though.
It has a complete inventory datatbase attached to each task so that any change to an inventory item automatically changes the prices across all assemblies using that item.
The assemblies are all pre-built for electrical, however you will still need to invest time upfront to customize it to your business.
At that time the programm was around $1400CAD which os pretty good compared to things like accu-bid.
The other option is ES2 by Contractor Sucess Systems (many guys on this forum use it or are familiar with it).
It’s a web based app and You just pay a monthly subscription of a couple hundred bucks (depending on your company size).
It has the same inventory to assembly setup, so it would also meet your needs.
ES2 is geared more towards service work, but seems pretty good.
The thing I dont like about it, is that it is 100% web based, so if you need to work offline or dont have reliable cell service (me) then its useless.
I use JOBI, its very inexpensive ($100USD?/mo), but task database for electrical is not so good and there is NO inventory database.
It works good if you already have an existing price book in an excell sheet.
You simply format your ecell sheet to their requirements, email them your database and they’ll Have it uploaded to their ssystem usually within 24hrs.
 
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