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Opinions on EstiMate?

Discussion in 'General Software' started by signs20, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. signs20

    signs20 Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    We are in the process of evaluating estimating and job tracking software. For users of EstiMate, how do you like it? Strengths? Weaknesses?

    Does anyone have any comparisons with other estimating/tracking software programs?

    We have been using detailed spreadsheets for pricing, but are looking for something faster that can accurately determine costs and pricing. Also, spreadsheets aren't great for tracking production progress.

    We appreciate any feedback.
  2. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    We've been using it for a while now and it's a great first estimating software. Very well worth the money. It has some minor bugs for example sometimes when you open an estimate and want to review/change details on an item on the estimate it can "revert back to defaults", a bit annoying but otherwise it's quite fast and easy to use. I like the simple pricing plan and that it isn't a fortune-great for smaller shops.

    As with all estimating software you need to spend some time to put in the background data but that goes easy with Estimate and you are up and running quite fast.
  3. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Estimate is all we use. It's quick and accuracy is good. When doing mass quantities of pieces we run different bulk rates. Estimate only allows one bulk rate so we run the estimate in regular mode then manually calculate the final price depending on quantity.
  4. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    If you have no clue as to a pricing model, Estimate is as good as anything. Once you develop your own pricing model, and you should either know or learn enough about the business you're in to do this, then Estimate isn't worth the powder to blow it across the room. It has far too many dependent and independent variables in it's rather comical effort to be all things to all people.

    Know or learn what variables are really important [there's surprisingly few of them], what's just overhead [most everthing], and develop your own model. This will allow your to achieve a level of consistency in your pricing that you'd be hard pressed to duplicate using Estimate. On your way to doing this, use Estimate merely as a sanity check on your development efforts until you have a pricing model that you fully understand. The get rid of it, you'll never use it again.
  5. Locals Find!

    Locals Find! Very Active Member

    Oct 17, 2010
    Fort Myers
    I used it as a salesperson for a shop I worked for about 5 years back or so. I thought it was awesome from my standpoint. Made pricing much easier for me. I was able to measure and quote a job in minutes. I even was able to see what my commission was going to be by seeing the shop price (what the boss got paid) and the retail price the client paid. (I got the difference)

    Previously I had some complicated spreadsheets and printed guidelines from the boss that made almost every job a mess to quote on site.
  6. Kevin-shopVOX

    Kevin-shopVOX Active Member

    Mar 29, 2009
    If you are looking at estimate then you should also include signvox as an option as it does quite a bit more with the production process and the pricing is very open. Though I agree with Bob that you need to understand your business, what's involved to get to a price etc. He is full of hot air when discussing the worth of a solution such as this to your shop. They are worth every penny. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions regarding signvox and how it compares to other solutions available. Good luck in your search
  7. bob

    bob Major Contributor

    Nov 4, 2005
    Hardly an unbiased opinion there Kevin. What with you pushing your own product and all.

    The point, which has apparently scooted right past you, is that Estimate, your kludge, and all of the other pricing packages out there are worth every penny if and only if you have yet to develop your own pricing model and an understanding of your business in general. Once this is achieved then any and all of these packages become functionally worthless.
  8. David Wright

    David Wright Very Active Member

    Nov 25, 2003
    Wyandotte, Mi
    Frankly I could not agree more. Bob is spot on here.
  9. signs20

    signs20 Member

    Dec 7, 2009
    Cloud Dangers

    We are ruling out all cloud-based estimating and management software systems. There are just too many possible problems with them:

    - The host server can go down and/or the IP address can be blacklisted by a spam checker and it can be very difficult to get un-blacklisted. This happened to us on our website and our email facility was down for 2 weeks while the host argued with the blacklister. Even the IPs of virtual servers can be blacklisted.

    - The entire host can be blacklisted for having other customers that are spamming. This happened to a major host a few years back. We had to change hosting companies with our website to get it back up. It is one thing to have a web site down, but quite another to have your whole operation down.

    - There can be transmission problems on the internet. Local ISPs can go down. This happens, too.

    - If you decide that you don't want the service any more or miss payments or whatever, you have limited choices for changing your operation. Your data is basically locked up and you have limited means for accessing it.

    If your data and software is located in your shop and you have a good backup system, you are in much better shape in case of a problem. As a worst case, you can backup to cloud storage and recover in case you had a fire or something. Multi-terrabyte disks and even cloud-based backups are not very expensive.

    We believe that local processing is the way to go.

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