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Software for Estimating *only* ???

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by mjkjr, Oct 18, 2020.

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  1. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    I downloaded the trial version and checked it out. It remind me slightly of Microsoft Access. I will download the video you suggested and I did watch another video and created a contact list. I can see it will take a little time for me to learn, I likely won't have it the way I want it by Monday lol. In the meantime, I downloaded the Sanmar Excel file (which I didn't know existed until you found it lol) and created an estimate form in Excel with my pricing. Made that in a snap so that will work until I have the FileMaker ready!
     
  2. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    That's not the conversion/migration that I am talking about. That's relative to how backward compatible each new API is with the previous one. Not what I am getting out. My conversion/migration would be going from fileMaker to another solution. If the need arises. It would not be all that different then taking say an Ai file and going to Corel (or some other software) and how that conversion/migration goes. Which goes along with portability in my mind.

    That's the rub that I was getting at. And why I try to roll my own where I don't have to worry about if I'm permitted to have access to it or not if that solution is no longer working for me. I do not like this trend of users having less power. I just don't. Sometimes just have to grin and bare it if there isn't an alternative, but if there is that doesn't necessarily take a long time to implement, I would prefer to go that route.
     
  3. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Self hosted or hosted by someone else?

    Certainly a lot easier maintaining your own if just wanting browser based. Browsers are designed for a lot more backward compatibility then some desktop solutions are. Only thing extra would just be a specific node package depending on what database using.

    Off topic (I'm known for that):

    What flavor of Ubuntu, just Ubuntu proper or one of the others? I'm more of a KDE Neon fan myself (why I'm an advocate of Qt if going for desktop/mobile/embedded).
     
  4. mjkjr

    mjkjr Member

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    WildWestDesignsWildWestDesigns hosted elsewhere I suppose. I'd rather off-load the data backup etc to someone else. I'm not an expert there and like I said, I don't really want to be maintaining a server or software really. I just want something to help facilitate my business so I'm not doing double-entry of data and can remain organized an quote consistently.
     
  5. Geneva Olson

    Geneva Olson Expert Storyteller

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    you ask the tough questions. But I always take your advice and follow through with my own thoughts for my business.
     
  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    In this case, the questions are really aimed at making the OP or anyone else looking to do this..... think a little bit. In most cases, even though my setup doesn't sound like a good fit....... I didn't say it was a plug-n-play kinda deal. It might take a coupla days to input all the information, but once it's in...... you don't hafta teach anyone anything, other than to update your costs from time to time. That part takes minutes. The initial part of putting A L L of your information/data onto your own system might take some time, but what's it matter if a once and done thing is all ya need ?? I have literally 1,000s of items. If you keep them subtitled in the right places, this set up becomes a large nugget of gold. You can add anything you want and it can become any paperwork form you need from quotes, to statements, work orders, invoices and lotsa other things. You can literally change the fields and put in other subtitles under other subtitles, if need be.

    However, if someone wants to make it harder than needs to be...... hey, knock yourself on out. That's why they're so many of these things out there...... but none of them are really streamlined for one's needs. You'll still hafta input a buncha sh!t.
     
  7. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    You're straying from your original post. You were first just looking for a "pricer" but now what you're wanting has to be more of a centralized solution which is the only answer to help prevent double-entry. No worries. It's a growth / discovery process.
     
  8. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Notice you're building the sign from a very long list of material items and labor items. You know how to build the sign in question. Ask a different person to quote the same sign from the same list and they are likely to build it differently.

    I don't follow all the versions and features of QuickBooks but I know there is a capability to create a named "product" from the very long list of materials and labors. Again, may be QB version-dependent.

    Yes, many or most sign projects are custom, made-to-order products. However, having certain named products helps the process.
     
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Yes, I know what I'm doing, but this OP wants to do things which have long long lists of possibilities.

    Therefore, if he input each and every t-shirt, (hats, hoodies, jackets) the various sizes and colors, there's the first part of the equation.
    Next, he needs to add in if a digitizing cost needs to be put in and about how long it will take in let's say 15 minute increments. Those prices could all be inserted in the program ahead of time and the button pusher can choose any of the variations.
    Then, will it be screen printed or digitally printed. How many screens will be needed, how many cleanings needed and so on and so on. Each and every step could be put in as a separate item with an attached cost to it. Sure it's gonna be a lotta data input, but once it's in, unless the company he is buying from goes outta business, he'd just hafta do the same thing for a second, or third or however many manufacturers he wants to include.

    By having all the subtitles, he could do virtually anything, just not have pictures in it. You can make subtitles after subtitle, til your hearts content, but hey, whadda I know ?? I'm just a dumb schmuck making signs. However, when were dong flatstock screen printing, we did the same thing there and many of the old set ups translated right over to flatbed screening. No one on the outside knew the difference.
     
  10. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    All of this comes down to what you are willing to invest to get the data, control, and oversight of your business to the extent that you want it.

    Some people are happy with solutions like Gino's, some want premade industry-specific solutions, and others like myself want a custom-tailored solution that fits our company exactly. We do things differently than most and I want the actionable data to know if it is sustainable or not, along with having a guided approach to building products for my team.
     
  11. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

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    I think businesses get too caught up in software and managing the data to the point of being inefficient. The data management becomes more important than the results.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    As I mentioned in an earlier post, in the case of one t-shirt vendor, I was able to import their entire catalog of 5K styles and over 200K individual products in 1/2 hour while unfamiliar with their process. (I did not bother with importing their images because of the large file size to download.) Apparently, most all t-shirt vendors freely offer their data with pricing as does the picture framing industry. Sign supply vendors?

    To be more clear, I think the OP is looking for a possible single line item to invoke as a "product" (he might be calling "batch") which, behind the scenes, already takes into account any and all components required. For certain sign products, variables are typically just qty, size, sides, etc. The named product scenario greatly reduces the list one is required to choose from.

    I do believe QB uses the term "batch" in the same manner as the OP has mentioned.

    EDITED AND UPDATED TO SAY: I've learned QB uses the term "bundle." The OP uses the term "package" (package-pricing) in his original post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  13. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    This is true when growth isn't a mindset. Efficient growth requires data, or luck... data is actionable.
     
  14. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Very Active Member

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    So companies never grew before software replaced real management?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Not saying that but those companies had data and they utilized it. Now software makes that data easier to manage and access.
     
  16. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I think this subject is getting a little too.......... deep. :sleepin:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Why is it too Deep, to me, it's warranting the deep dive if the OP has gone through that many solutions already?
     
  18. mjkjr

    mjkjr Member

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    Looks like I'll be rolling my own as my workflow process in Trello works well for me and I can't find an estimator tool that fits well but doesn't also want me to use their workflow process as well.

    I'll likely land on some form of Trello+Zapier+Google Sheets+QuickBooks Online for the time being.

    I'd say it's a market opportunity for a piece of software but there actually is a lot of options out there, but they are either way too generalized or too narrow/inflexible where they want to force you into a specific process.

    Or maybe I'm the one who's too inflexible. Who knows. This would probably be easier for me if I only offered a single product/service. Sometimes I wish I did...
     
  19. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Care to expound here?
     
  20. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    We are in the same boat.

    If you like trello check out AirTable or Infinity for similar and better features
     
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