10 Important Points You Should Know About Electrical Cost Estimating Software.
What is electrical cost estimating software?
At least 95% of all successful electrical contractors rely on electrical cost estimating software to perform their estimates. This statistic alone should tell you that if you are not using software to do your electrical bidding you should take a serious look at making the move to computer estimating.
Some contractors don’t understand the advantage that is gained by using software designed for electrical estimating. They feel that it cost more than they can afford or that it will take too long to learn.
In fairness, some estimating software can cost upwards of $10,000.00 with extra charges such as technical support, yearly fees, and extra cost per license. Some of these products are so complicated that you need to go to special classes just to learn how to use them.
This does not have to be the case. Going back to the question what is electrical estimating software? Bidding software starts with a large database of electrical items. Each item has a price and a (Time to install the item) called Man-Hours.
Once a project gets over several weeks to complete you can no longer say it will take 2 days to do this and 2 days to do that and another 5 days for the site work etc. It becomes impracticable to guess.
As you move products into the electrical estimate the software counts the material cost and the time it takes to install these items.
The Best Bid Hybrid Pro’s goal was to make moving these items into the estimate as easy as possible at a price anyone could afford. It does not need to be complicated. We are not trying to impress computer programmers with how complex we can make our screens we are trying to impress electrical contractors like yourself maybe without a lot of computer skills with how easily we can make this happen.
Being electrical contractors we have created the Best Bid Hybrid pro to be as electrical friendly as possible while providing all the information needed to bid and track your estimates.
What different types of electrical software are there?
There are several types of electrical cost estimation software and they are not all created equal.
You have cloud-based software, shopping cart software, software with and without On-Screen Takeoff abilities, expensive complex software, server software, and one that will be right for your company.
We always recommend staying away from cloud-based software. This is a marketing idea to collect money from the user for life. After you get invested you have to follow along or lose everything. The more customers the company gets the larger servers they must purchase and guess what? The price WiLL go up and never end. If your internet goes down or their server has issues you are out of the estimating business. This usually happens just before bid time.
Shopping cart software is nothing more than selecting each product and placing it on a tally sheet. It does little to speed you up or track your projects. They can be very cheap but offer little help.
We feel from years of experience that the best investment by far is stand-alone desktop software like the Best Bid Hybrid Pro. You make an initial investment and you own the software for life. You control everything. Also with Best Bid, there are no extra fees for technical support, software updates, and comes with unlimited license. Best Bid is easy to use and does not require a special school to learn.
Best Bid also comes with a built-in On-Screen Takeoff not having to use a third-party company like most software.
How can electrical cost estimating software help electrical contractors?
The right software can help more than you can imagine. It will take the guesswork out of your electrical estimates. It will eliminate math mistakes, speed up your estimating time, and keep your bids uniform. This will free up time to do other important things. Estimating software will provide reports that will allow you to track your jobs after you win them. It will help you order materials and give your Project Manager all the tools he needs to succeed.
It is not a question of:
“Can I afford to purchase estimating software? The question is can I afford not to purchase electrical estimating software?”
Who needs electrical bidding software?
All electrical contractors will need software to help them estimate electrical projects at some point. It is almost impossible to compete with electrical shops that have the advantage of good bidding software.
The one thing that you gain with software is you will know before the job is over if you are getting into trouble. If you want to fully understand what software can do for you give Best Bid a call and just talk about estimating. 800-941-7028
Are computer estimating software worth the money?
If you master the software and if you use the software no matter what you paid for the software you will be a great ROI. Electrical Estimating Software is the most important tool that you own. You will fail or succeed based on your ability to estimate. It is an investment. It is an investment of time and money.
You must be determined to learn the software. It does not happen overnight but the more you work with software the easier it becomes. Once you master the product you will receive all the advantages professional estimating has to offer.
How hard are they to learn?
Everyone learns at a different rate of time. This determines several factors.
01. How bad do you want it?
02. How important is it to you?
03. How much quality time will you invest in learning?
04. Will you watch the videos?
05. Will you follow the Quickstart guide?
06. Will you read and follow the instruction?
07. How much have you used a computer?
08. Do you already know how to estimate successfully?
09. Have you ever used computer estimating software?
10. Have you ever used On-Screen Takeoff?
All of these things determine how quickly you master software. I will say you will not open any software and do an estimate on it the first day that you get it. IT takes some time to learn any software.
The Best Bid Hybrid Pro has the shortest learning curve of any software you can purchase.
We also have the best helpline on the market. We give you all the tools you need to succeed but you must decide that failure is not an option.
How do I know which one is right for me?
We addressed this earlier but stay away from cloud-based software and shopping carts.
Choose software that has a built-in On-Screen Takeoff. Call the company and just talk about estimating and your company. You will get a feel right away if they are salespeople are electrical contractors. You will know if you can reach them. You will also know if they can help you. Just speaking to a company can help make a decision quickly. Don’t fall for quick talk sales but listen for true knowledge.
What is On-Screen Takeoff and how does it help?
On-Screen Takeoff gives you the ability to upload your PDF drawings onto your computer and do your counting and measuring right on your computer screen. This saves printing your plans and also helps eliminate mistakes. If it is colored it is counted.
Every estimate starts with a takeoff. Doing your takeoff on your computer screen speeds up the process. Once you have your takeoff these counts and measurements can easily be transferred to the estimate. If you have a product like the Best Bid Hybrid Pro the On-Screen Takeoff is built into the software, This transfer of information flows seamlessly. This can not be said for all software.
Is doing estimates with a computer faster than by hand?
This is a very easy question to answer. Just a small example would be entering 100 receptacles.
With pen and paper, you would start a list.
- 100-Receptacle Plates
- 100-Plaster rings
- 100-Grounding Stinger
Then you would need to enter a price beside each item and then install man-hours.
Then you would need to total each list. Then add labor cost, profit, and overhead.
As you can imagine this is timely.
With the Best BId Hybrid Pro electrical estimating software you would enter 100, then enter, and you are done error-free.
Multiply this time savings across all phases of the estimate. The answer is after you learn how to use estimating software YES it is much faster and easier than estimating by hand!
What is the best electrical estimating software?
For ease of use, affordability, experienced staff, and quality of the estimate, the Bets Bid Hybrid Pro will be the best electrical estimating software for most electrical contractors.