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Estimating Software

For the technically savvy, project-driven businesses, the right estimating software program can help ensure timelier proposal submissions, increased bid wins, and profitable rates on executed work. This guide provides a practical how-to for selecting the right software to more accurately predict project costs and create efficiency in the estimating process.

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The companies and representatives you sent our way were prompt and thorough… I definitely would recommend your company as a means to exploring options with qualified providers. — Bruce Conley
Your service saved me some very valuable time and hooked me up with some excellent resources. Thanks for providing this top-notch service. — Linda Vittori
Thanks! Having a service like this to help navigate the ocean of accounting software and help identify potential good-fits without having to delve through numerous bad-fits is of tremendous value! — Mark Carpenter

Estimating Software for Improved Bidding and Job Cost Forecasting

Estimating software provides standard processes to build cost models for executing job-based work. It is used most commonly in the construction industry—but can also apply to other industries that conduct work on a project basis and need to determine likely costs of completing the work.

Critical benefits provided by estimating software include:

  • Reduced labor costs by saving time spent on preparing job estimates
  • Improved ability to ensure project profitability by producing more reliable estimates using automated calculations and historical performance data
  • Higher bid win rates by turning around quotes to customers more efficiently
  • Lowered job costs through identification of cost control strategies such as more selective job selection, strategic sub-contracting, and alternative material/service sourcing

Key Features of Estimating Software

Functionality Definition
Labor cost tracking Quantification for employee hours and job-specific rate management
Material estimating Calculation of material costs based on defined material base rate costs and input of quantity requirements
Subcontractor estimating Calculation of costs likely to be incurred for payment of subcontractors in the performance of job responsibilities
Equipment cost estimating Cost calculation capabilities for the purchase or rental of equipment required to complete job work
Digital takeoff Digital takeoff allows for dimensional information to be extracted from blueprints and converted into a list of required materials and the associated costs for those materials
Estimate document management Document management capabilities for the storage and retrieval of job estimates
Estimate to quote conversion Capabilities enabling the translation of job cost estimates into customer-facing quote or proposal documentation
Historical estimating Estimating which uses inputs from previously performed work to inform likely costs of job work

Advantages of Estimating Software Compared to Manual Estimating

There are many advantages to utilizing software in the estimating process. Consider some of the capabilities of estimating software to:

  • Create Takeoffs. A capable estimating program allows you to easily use blueprints to identify the scope of the project. With the scope identified, you’re able to reverse engineer back to a parts list and more reliably create data-driven price estimates. The same process works in relation to labor costs. As you break a job into smaller sub-components, you’re able to more accurately project costs.
  • Create “what if” scenarios. Imagine you’re bidding on road construction. You have the measurements of the road but maybe you want to present your customer with a choice materials. A flexible program will help you create two different scenarios showing the cost of each, not just in labor and materials, but also maintenance over the life span. Or maybe you are remodeling a kitchen for a customer. The ability to quickly swap in and out different cabinet styles, countertops, appliances, etc—without redoing the whole bid—allows you both to flexibly adapt to changing customer demands and to do so quickly.
  • Access Historical Data. The brain is an amazing thing. But it’s not going to remember every aspect of all your previous bids. A computerized database of previous estimates and bids will though. A built in historical database can allow you to reference quantities, costs, crew and machine productivity data from previous projects. An estimating software is all about saving time. You don’t need to redesign the wheel every time you want to build one, if you’ve already got the blueprint at your fingertips.

Constructing Estimating and Other Industry-Specific Options

Electricians, plumbers, many manufacturers, builders, and HVAC companies all deal with estimating on a daily basis. However, some of the elements of the estimating process can be different in each environment. A program written with your industry in mind can help shorten the learning curve for your company’s estimating software users.

Examining Estimated Job Costs in Depth

A good estimating program will give you an analytical foundation to understand your costs in different areas within the job. Breaking down estimates and costs by sub-projects, physical areas or by other organizing units provides a wealth of info for understanding which job elements are driving the profit or loss on the project overall.

Also, if you’re looking to identify payback, you may need to segment costs to track the resulting revenues. For instance, if you’re a builder looking to lease your own space, it’s typically an imperative to set up rates built on an understanding of what’s required for per unit cost recovery. So, you may want to track the cost of the overall project, by building, or by unit.

What’s Included with Estimating Software?

Very often it’s necessary to interface an estimating program with your accounting and job costing system. The ability to pass data related to the project will help you track your actuals to your estimated costs. In fact, there are major advantages to considering an estimating module as part of a full system—to ensure seamless integration. Whether you are looking for an add-on module or full ERP program, you can utilize our service to uncover the specific estimating packages best suited to your needs.

Taking the next step

If you are looking to find estimating software options to consider, we can help. Through a brief phone call, our software specialists will look to better understand your business and software needs to help you locate a handful of solutions that can address the issues you are currently experiencing. Get started today!

Popular Estimating Software Products

Looking for great estimating software options? Below you can check out a list of the products most commonly considered by others searching for estimating software. The list on this page is based on many years of real software matches. But everyone’s needs are different. Browse for fits with your specific requirements or let us help you identify your top options.

Which software is right for you? Get quick and accurate recommendations.

What if you could simply tell someone about your software needs and they’d find your best choices? Look no further. We’ll listen to your needs and find your top software matches. That’s it. There’s no pressure, no cost.

The companies and representatives you sent our way were prompt and thorough… I definitely would recommend your company as a means to exploring options with qualified providers. — Bruce Conley
Your service saved me some very valuable time and hooked me up with some excellent resources. Thanks for providing this top-notch service. — Linda Vittori
Thanks! Having a service like this to help navigate the ocean of accounting software and help identify potential good-fits without having to delve through numerous bad-fits is of tremendous value! — Mark Carpenter
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  • ProEst Digitizer Takeoff by Construction Management Software

    The ProEst Takeoff software is the latest breakthrough in estimating takeoff technology. The takeoff software was designed to quickly calculate areas, lengths and counts from blueprints using a digitizer. These measurements can then automatically be...

  • Sage Estimating by Sage

    Sage Estimating provides you with an all-in-one estimating tool with trade specific cost databases for many construction trades. This product helps you quickly prepare takeoffs and proposals for your clients. You can either use one of the...

  • PlanSwift by Tech Unlimited

    PlanSwift is an easy construction takeoff & estimating software program that makes doing takeoffs a snap, just point-and-click! Calculate Square Footage, Just Point-and-Click! No digitizer needed! Yet, we now offer digitizer compatibility to...

  • WinEst by WinEstimator

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  • The Plus Series by Contractors Software Group

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  • ConEst Electrical Formulas by ConEst Software Systems

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  • The Chief Estimating Software by International Project Estimating

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  • eCaliper system by Marathon System Services

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  • MIE QuoteIT by MIE Solutions

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  • Orbweaver Inform by Orbweaver

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  • CoConstruct by CoConstruct

    CoConstruct is the #1 Highest Rated Custom Builder & Remodeler Software. We have the only all-in-one tool that has estimating, and allows you to enter your data once, and have that information flow through the estimate, specs, selections, bids,...

  • Contractors Office by PrioSoft

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  • ServiceSidekick by ServiceSidekick

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  • QuickDIRT by Constructive Computing

    QuickDIRT Windows is the fastest and easiest earth work estimating tool available today! Each Estimate may have multiple Drawings and graphic Views open at the same time. Each Drawing stores all of the site description and digitized takeoff...

  • RedTeam by RedTeam Software, LLC

    ##Integrated Project Management and Accounting Built by Contractors, for the way you Work. RedTeam is a true cloud application built and optimized for construction by people that know the business. From collaboration through...

  • ConTracker E Z by ConTracker EZ

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  • EstimateGenius by Creative Websoft Inc.

    What is EstimateGenius? EstimateGenius is a Estimating and Proposal Generation software specially designed for subcontractors to estimate and generate proposal for various trades like excavation, sewer & water , paving, landscaping, concrete,...

  • Taskmaster by Dedicated Software Solutions

    Taskmaster is a more complete estimating tool then Quickest, featuring full scheduling capabilities. Quickest is included in the Work In Progress software package; however, Taskmaster is not and must be purchased separately. This product only...

  • Twenty20 Construction Cloud by Hindsight Technologies

    Twenty20 is a complete construction solution designed with five (5) main objectives. - Easy enough for the most unsophisticated user - Affordable for contractors of all sizes - Complete, fully integrated solution to eliminate a...

  • ResellerPower by dSoft

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  • aPriori by aPriori, Inc.

    With aPriori, professionals in design, engineering, sourcing, manufacturing and cost engineering can analyze cost quickly and accurately in real-time for components and complete product assemblies, based on: What’s being manufactured –...

  • QuoteWerks by Aspire Technologies

    QuoteWerks allows you to initiate a quote for products and services within your existing Contact Management system. You'll eliminate costly errors and save time re-typing customer information. Used in combination with DataLink you can automatically...

  • KeyedIn Manufacturing by KeyedIn Solutions

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  • B2W Estimate by B2W Software

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  • PLUS Estimating & Bidding Software by Bid Tech

    The PLUS 2005 estimating & bidding software is a powerful estimating tool that generates accurate take-offs in less time than any other program in the market. Although manual entry is possible, we recommend using a digitizer because it is faster and...

  • Estimator Parners by Builder Partners, LLC

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  • IHMS™ by Mark Systems

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  • Estimating and Bidding by Cincom

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  • Quotation and Proposal Management by Cincom

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  • B2W Track by B2W Software

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  • IntelliBid by ConEst Software Systems

    IntelliBid™ Lite provides all the software tools you need to generate accurate, consistent estimates fast and easy. Our base package offers more features than most high-end software programs at a fraction of the cost....

  • QuickEST by Constructive Computing

    The ultimate estimating Toolbox! QuickEST has the right tool for each takeoff situation. Digitize: Quantities, Lengths, or Areas may be digitized and graphically displayed with optional Metric/English conversion. Multiple Layers (Drawings)...

  • ECi M1 by ECi Software Solutions

    ECi M1™ is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, providing total integration and automation of jobs from quoting through invoicing. M1 is a business system designed for small-to-medium manufacturers including job shops, custom,...

  • Corecon V8 by Corecon Technologies

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  • Deltek Vision by Deltek

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  • JobOps by Synergistic Software Solutions

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  • Progressus by Plumbline Consulting

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  • BuilderTREND by BuilderTREND Solutions, Inc

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  • NetSuite ERP by NetSuite

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