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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

We are a small shop, currently 6 guys. We are starting to look for an estimating program. Can anyone recommend a system that is easy to use and has good customer support?

Thanks

Kelley
 

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there are 2 caveats that come hand-in-hand with "easy to use":

1) easy to use = easy to make a huge mistake
2) easy to use = easy to not fully understand all of the numbers that go into making a total estimate

additionally, easy to use combined with good customer support = $$$.


(just something to keep in mind)
 

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There are many that we have tried, but I keep using Accubid Bidwinner Plus and Change Order Pro together. They work good, and I find it like a accounting software where you get out of it more if you put more time into it and use all the functions. The cost varies depending in users what level of estimating you require, if you require the change order as well, and you will need the support the first year at least. I bought this program thinking I was going to throw it into the computer and I would be off estimating. This is not the case at all, I taught myself a lot of it and made most of my assemblies myself but you really need to take the three two day courses offered in your area usally once or twice a year. This is probably the most expensive way to go, but if your wanting to grow into doing bigger jobs (1M +) Accubid will get you there and have all the reports the engineers request. If staying small is where your going there is many cheaper programs that will do the same. Make sure the program uses NEMA standard labour rates as you will run into an engineer that questions your man hours, most times they give up when you throw this at them. Good luck!
 

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I have used EBM by Vision infosoft for about 15 years now. I was taught to estimate by my previous employer the old school method of hand calculating material cost and labor cost for every item from my takeoff. After I had a real good grasp on the old school method of about 1 year of experience they let me start using EBM. I think for any estimating software to work good you need the basic understanding of estimating, that way you will know if something is not calculating correct in the program. I have been in business now for 13 years, and spent the money from day one to buy EBM since that was what I was used to. I upgraded about a year ago to the onscreen takeoff version of EBM and I would never look back. It was real expensive, but worth every penny. I am not a salesman for EBM but if you are looking into software you may want to choose one that has the upgrade to an on screen take off. That way when you decide to go that way you will not have to learn entirely new software, just the onscreen version. When I looked into the onscreen there were several players in that market. I was talking to my old boss that taught me to estimate years ago and the decided to change from EBM to Acubid with their version of onscreen. He said the learning curve was rough (because they used EBM for so long) but he likes it just as good now.
 

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nbjeeptj said:
I have used EBM by Vision infosoft for about 15 years now. I was taught to estimate by my previous employer the old school method of hand calculating material cost and labor cost for every item from my takeoff. After I had a real good grasp on the old school method of about 1 year of experience they let me start using EBM. I think for any estimating software to work good you need the basic understanding of estimating, that way you will know if something is not calculating correct in the program. I have been in business now for 13 years, and spent the money from day one to buy EBM since that was what I was used to. I upgraded about a year ago to the onscreen takeoff version of EBM and I would never look back. It was real expensive, but worth every penny. I am not a salesman for EBM but if you are looking into software you may want to choose one that has the upgrade to an on screen take off. That way when you decide to go that way you will not have to learn entirely new software, just the onscreen version. When I looked into the onscreen there were several players in that market. I was talking to my old boss that taught me to estimate years ago and the decided to change from EBM to Acubid with their version of onscreen. He said the learning curve was rough (because they used EBM for so long) but he likes it just as good now.
We use EBM also. I like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have had an online demo with Vision Infosoft for their electrical bid manage plus, and Conest for their Intellibid.

I was very impressed with the Conest system. It seemed put together very well and all the different sections worked and linked together great.

The Sure count system which is their onscreen takeoff worked great.

Any one have experience with either product?

I also had a demo of the Red Rhino system which i did not care for.

Thanks

Kelley
 

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I have had an online demo with Vision Infosoft for their electrical bid manage plus, and Conest for their Intellibid.

I was very impressed with the Conest system. It seemed put together very well and all the different sections worked and linked together great.

The Sure count system which is their onscreen takeoff worked great.

Any one have experience with either product?

I also had a demo of the Red Rhino system which i did not care for.

Thanks

Kelley
What type of work are you doing?
 

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I was going to recommend EBM for a first time system for a small contractor.
It's very easy to use and it's a lot cheaper than Conest or Turbo.
However, if you can justify going in on a system that will grow with you, I recommend Conest. I used for years, and it took some getting used to, but I really liked it.
It can handle really big jobs and most big jobs have a lot of repetition, such as hospitals, apartments, high rise, etc...
The cut & paste feature on the audit trail is very powerful for these situations..
 

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Hi Guys,

We are a small shop, currently 6 guys. We are starting to look for an estimating program. Can anyone recommend a system that is easy to use and has good customer support?

Thanks

Kelley
Search the internet. Compare cost of software and determine what you really need. Just do not pay out too much, you may not need a very high end program. I did see a lot of links on electrician's toolbox site. It seems that programs are offered for a low cost to very high. Hope this helps
 

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I have said it before and stand behind it. They all are great in their own ways, but different folks like different things i have noticed. The company below is an estimating company, no im not advertising there service. I have had great experience working with the owner and I do know he knows his software and is an EBM user as well. But I'm sure they would love to discuss any software they have used them all at some point.

Electrical Estimating Service | 300+ Years of Exp. | We Win Your Bids (electricalenlightenment.com)


Thank you,
Shannon Flippo
VP, Operations
O 804-589-1020
C 804-852-0584




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