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Estimating Software

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Anderson Signs, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Anderson Signs

    Anderson Signs New Member

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    Could anyone give me recommendations on an estimating software? I'm aware their is another thread on this topic; but it is dated. I would appreciate recommendations from smaller shops as mine is only two people. I also don't think I should have to go with a SaaS company that charges a monthly fee but would welcome comments on such. I would need it to be able to tabulate data that I've accumulated over about 18 years on the time it takes us to perform various tasks on different types of signs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  2. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    depends on what you are looking to do, are you strictly looking to quote jobs, or would you like some shop management features as well?
     
  3. Kevin-shopVOX

    Kevin-shopVOX Active Member

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    You don't have to go with a SaaS as it is your choice but there are a lot of benefits to our system signVOX. Check out the videos and let me know if you have any questions.
     
  4. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    We use Estimate right now. At some point, with my brothers help I will design an Excel spreadsheet for estimates/quotes.
    It is just myself and my wife so there is no need to pay for sophisticated features we will never use.

    Like Sgt. Joe Friday always said: "Just the facts ma'am".
     
  5. Anderson Signs

    Anderson Signs New Member

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    I want to be able to put in cost analysis based on time sheets I've recorded over 18 years and then do estimating based on that.
     
  6. EstiSetser

    EstiSetser New Member

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    We've been using Cyrious, but it's rather, well, big for our purposes. So we're in the process of converting to Casper now. Easier to navigate, and it's all in layman's terms. So there's no confusion there. As for running cost analysis over the past 18 years, you can generate custom reports in either program to show how costs have changed from one year, month, week, or day to the next.

    Actually analyzing it is, for the most part, going to be up to you. These reports don't correct for the economy or account for unusual circumstances.
     
  7. Anderson Signs

    Anderson Signs New Member

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    Casper Cost

    The Casper is a SaaS correct? How much does it cost per month?
     
  8. john1

    john1 Guest

    Just get SignVOX, Seriously. If i can afford it, you can afford it. If not, You must be doing something wrong.
     
  9. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    I wish SV was a stand alone product.

    I can't make the leap in my mind that SV is worth more a month than the entire Adobe premium package subscription.

    Adobe employs 1000's and 1000's of people and you have access to 15 different high end software packages, all for $50 a month. But $130 a month for a estimating database program?

    Adobe- $600 a year, SV $1,560 a year. For $1,560 a year, that's asking a serious premium for what it does.
     
  10. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    6.00 a day for something that helps you increase your margins?......
     
  11. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    You can $6 a day yourself to bankruptcy with that logic.

    I don't care what it cost a day, I'm comparing it to Adobe products. Without Adobe (or Corel), you can't make signs. Without SV, I can make signs. So which one has more value? I don't see how you can even begin to justify that SV is worth double, almost triple what the Creative Package is.

    In the end, there are many packages that manage costs that don't cost $6 a day, but more like a fraction of that, into the $1 per day range, without much problem.

    Just because it's $6 a day doesn't make it a good value.

    The entire Creative Suite is $1.56 a day.
     
  12. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    I can make signs with Inkscape and Signblazer......Both are free.......But that still does not make them a good value......It is not what something costs that matters, it is what they can do for you......
     
  13. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    Sure you can. You'd still have a lot of convincing to do to make me believe that a database program with pricing information (which could be done in 100 other programs that don't charge monthly fees) is worth more than the entire Adobe package that people scream on this forum for being overpriced.

    So Adobe is overpriced at $50 a month, but SV is a bargain at $130 a month? Sorry, I'm not drinking the kool-aid on that one.
     
  14. Kevin-shopVOX

    Kevin-shopVOX Active Member

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    We are 2 completely different offerings. We are also more than just estimating/pricing we are a business management solution or MIS.

    Secondly if we had millions (and I really do not know how many active licenses/subsriptions they have but I'd say I'm not far off) of paying customers we could also bring the price down and to be honest would be happy to.

    There are a lot of things that determine price of a product but before you determine what something is worth you should:

    a) compare apples to apples
    b) look at that market's pricing levels for all platforms
    b) understand the product and its intended use

    Though not everyone agrees, signVOX is an outstanding product, offers a low point of entry versus other like products of its caliber, scales with your company at no extra cost and doesn't tie you down with something you may not use or like. Additionally it offers you tools and resources that can help you increase efficiency, get and keep more customers/sales, eliminate redundancies and ideally find more time to use that design software, that you pay less per day for, to make and produce more signs. Sounds like added value to me.
     
  15. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    I don't doubt it's a good product and that it works well. I bet it works wonders for sign shops with many employees, but for the small, 1,2, or 3 man shop, it's expensive. If I had 10 people working here, I'd consider it, but we don't.

    There's not much you can't do with job estimating and tracking in Filemaker Pro or any other database program.

    If it were based on employees and you had a 1-5 employee for $50, then 6-10 for $80, etc, I think it would spark a lot of activity by small shops.

    By no means am I saying you have a bad product. It's just expensive for smaller shops.
     
  16. Kevin-shopVOX

    Kevin-shopVOX Active Member

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    Ok..then tell me what's its worth to you at a 1-2 user level?

    edit: actually I just read that....thanks for the info. and actually there is a lot more you can do in signVOX that you can't do with filemaker...but to each his own.
     
  17. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    I don't doubt that, but in the end, it's a tool to help estimate and track jobs. There are 100's of products that have been doing that for a lot less for a lot longer. Does SV have tools that are more geared towards to a sign shop. Sure. But people have survived and ran sign shops for a long time now using a lot of other tools, including Excel, and even a notebook.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, it this was $300 and a stand alone product, it'd probably be installed already.
     
  18. DSC

    DSC Member

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    SignVox doesn't make you signs - It makes you money, and helps you make more signs, in a more efficient way.. so you can become more profitable ..
     
  19. DSC

    DSC Member

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    We are a 3 man shop, and since I started using the Vox our in house efficiency and protocol flow has substantially been better. I coem from Cyrious, and really that is the only thing that can even try to compete..but they really can't IMO .. very user heavy ..

    With Signvox we have been able to hone in on who does what, assign different pm's to projects and I don't' have to keep reminding the guys who is supposed to do what.. Everyone has the job board on their computer, It updates automatically

    Since going to the Vox I have put all my files, and work in the cloud..

    I can literally work form anywhere .. Huge for us as only being 3 people..

    So actually in our case, it helps us because we are only 3 people .. we can communicate like 5 or more..
     
  20. Kevin-shopVOX

    Kevin-shopVOX Active Member

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    Point taken.
     
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