Review of Takeoff Software for Estimating Construction
- January 27, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: Home Health Aide Training
So often people want to rush out in addition to buy estimating software or takeoff software without first trying to define their internal estimating processes. Once the estimating process is usually clearly defined, then in addition to only then, can you actually try to compartmentalize the process into segments. So often the segment is usually actually quantity takeoff. Takeoff of what you may wonder? which is usually like the million dollar question. This particular article will speak about the takeoff software process which usually associated with estimating software processes. The takeoff software process can often be takeoff of materials for some folks, in addition to to many others, the takeoff process of scoped systems to create estimates or proposals. This particular review or comparison will not try to explain the estimating software process nevertheless bring to you valid quantity takeoff thinking among estimators in a quest to find which product thinks the way you do. These are the opinions of the author.
I will review in addition to compare 3 types of measuring takeoff products:
This particular is usually extremely important to note which these are ONLY measuring takeoff programs, NOT estimating programs.
2) On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software
3) Electronic Plan Takeoff Software
All three products have their strengths, however, Planswift in addition to On-Screen Takeoff are stand-alone products in addition to Electronic Plan Takeoff is usually actually dynamically integrated live with Microsoft Excel which means which This particular starts in addition to finishes in addition to saves in Excel. They all integrate with Excel, however, you will have to evaluate your thought process in addition to decide which of the three products work-flow think along the lines of how you think. For instance, what is usually the first thing you do when you get a set of plans? Typically, you start flipping through the plans to see how involved the project is usually in addition to what type of work do you see which is usually attractive for your company. Then when you decide you are going to estimate This particular job, more often than not, you start like 80% of companies within the planet of construction estimating by opening your takeoff master template Excel spreadsheet. You rename your spreadsheet to the fresh job or project in addition to off you go performing takeoff. This particular is usually where the differences are:
In Planswift, you decide what drawing you are on in addition to then you perform the measuring of an item you want to perform takeoff on the plan. Unfortunately, which is usually not exactly how an estimator thinks. Planswift does give you the ability to add a type of takeoff item on the fly by naming This particular in addition to then perform takeoff of This particular; somewhat of a very manual in addition to slow process. They also provide you with the ability of applying a type of assembly to a takeoff to aggregate quantities of items in which assembly. Not quite the way an estimator thinks. This particular forces you to jump to different screens which slows down the process. Typically, the main start of anyone’s takeoff process, or some may think of This particular as a checklist approach, is usually to start with your own spreadsheet of YOUR items. Those items can be material items or can be scoped assembly system items. Either way, by starting which has a master spreadsheet say in Excel for example, many estimators think of This particular as a risk reducer, not to forget things they normally takeoff. Being which Planswift is usually a stand-alone takeoff program, This particular typically saves your takeoff images in Planswift instead of your estimate in Excel, if Excel is usually your estimating system. If you are using Excel, you have to manually save your takeoff measurement numbers in Excel in addition to your takeoff images in Planswift or elsewhere, just not in Excel where the takeoff quantity resides. Again, if you want to integrate with Excel, they force you to either export or import takeoff items through Excel rather than being dynamically integrated live to Excel. They do however possess the ability to dump the measured quantity through Planswift into any Excel spreadsheet or Word document. The main purpose or the primary focus of This particular program is usually measuring, therefore This particular does a Great job at which function. Most of the different functions require you to jump around different screens, in addition to essentially, you loose your thought of where you are. There are some features which attempt to address the estimating process, however, there are many features which are missing for Planswift to be a full fledged estimating system; This particular is usually NOT one. Planswift does integrate with the leading estimating system Sage Timberline, nevertheless the integration is usually weak. Since Timberline’s power is usually in assembly takeoff in addition to where most estimators reside in Timberline, Planswift does not give the estimator the ability to add quantities of miscellaneous Timberline items or one-time items which need to added on the fly to an assembly while they are in Planswift at the Timberline interview screen, in addition to while being within the measuring phase. Planswift does allow the deleting of assembly generated items as well adjusting assembly item quantities in a different screen. Again, to perform all which, you are forced to jump around to different screens. No assembly is usually ever perfect in any estimating system since project conditions are always uniquely different, therefore, having to add items to an assembly is usually extremely important. which adding of items in addition to associated quantities is usually an absolute requirement any estimator typically has to do during the takeoff measuring in addition to estimating phase; something which Planswift struggles with as related to Timberline Estimating. Planswift does allow the direct send of measurements to Timberline Estimating items in addition to assemblies while in Timberline Estimating, just as you might do with the old digitizer measuring boards. Training, support in addition to maintenance are extra for Planswift. On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software, in addition to Planswift charge their annual maintenance in addition to support fees per license (mandatory) which costs the end user more expense annually especially if a customer has more than one license.
On Center’s On-Screen Takeoff is usually the Grand Daddy of software takeoff products due to the fact which This particular has been around the longest. On Center recognizes which On-Screen Takeoff is usually primarily a measuring program. which is usually why they have a separate estimating program named QuickBid for those who want an estimating program. On Center does not try to trick you into thinking This particular is usually an estimating system. In On-Screen Takeoff, you also decide what drawing you are on in addition to then you perform the measuring of the plan. nevertheless, before you start, you can load a master set styles of things you typically takeoff or measure through your own library. which process seems to be less complicated than which of Planswift. On-Screen Takeoff does give you the ability to add a type of takeoff item on the fly by naming This particular in addition to then performing takeoff of This particular; somewhat of a manual in addition to slow process as well. The program does come with many features which are primarily focused on simple measuring to advanced measuring issues all with attention to detail regarding easy navigation for the takeoff process. On Center does a very Great job at which. However, there seems to be a disconnect of thought through an Excel spreadsheet items you may use for estimating in addition to/or proposals. The integration to Microsoft Excel is usually not a dynamic live link, more like an after thought in my opinion. Yes, you can establish links to named styles to cells or ranges in Excel, somewhat rigid. nevertheless the question you will have to ask yourself, which will happen more often than not is usually: What do you do when you need to add things on the fly during takeoff in addition to in an Excel spreadsheet? Again there will be manual associations you will have to establish with Excel which is usually another major slowdown. You have to manually save your takeoff measurement numbers in Excel in addition to your takeoff images in On-Screen or anywhere you decide, except the takeoff images will not be saved in Excel where the takeoff quantity resides. This particular type of situation arises when a takeoff program is usually a stand-alone program. On Center’s On-Screen Takeoff has the best integration with the most widely used estimating system within the USA: Sage Timberline Estimating. This particular basically mimics the same interview process as you might do with the old digitizer measuring boards. By working directly with Timberline, On-Screen Takeoff allows the estimator to perform takeoff of a Timberline variable question in addition to immediately returns back directly with the takeoff quantity in a Timberline assembly at the variable question. By virtue of This particular process, On-Screen Takeoff allows the estimator to continue his/her Timberline interview process in Sage Timberline Estimating by reviewing/massaging generated quantities, or adding items in a Timberline assembly as the estimator see fit. which workflow process gives full control to the estimator, Great job On Center. Training, support in addition to maintenance are extra for On-Screen Takeoff. On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software, in addition to Planswift charge their annual maintenance in addition to support fees per license (mandatory) which costs the end user more expense annually especially if a customer has more than one license.
This particular next system is usually ONLY if your estimating system or proposal generator is usually Microsoft Excel. Electronic Plan Takeoff Software is usually a plug-in for Excel. You start your spreadsheet, you perform the measuring takeoff, you may even add some more items on the fly all the while you are within the measuring phase within the Electronic Plan Takeoff program. When you are done, even if you added items on the fly, they automatically appear in your Excel spreadsheet. Excel is usually the control of everything. Your project is usually started off in Excel, your takeoff is usually saved in Excel, the estimate or proposal is usually/can be produced there in Excel; one program, one place. Many takeoff programs interface with Excel somehow, nevertheless only Electronic Plan Takeoff is usually live linked with Excel, meaning all your Excel spreadsheet descriptions appear within the measuring takeoff program so you always know where you are in Excel. which is usually a huge difference in comparison to Planswift in addition to On-Screen Takeoff. You can even change a description of a takeoff item in Electronic Plan Takeoff in addition to This particular is usually automatically changed live, in your Excel spreadsheet. When you talk about the estimating in addition to takeoff phase you must keep processes cleans in addition to easy in addition to This particular program does just which. There is usually no getting lost in This particular program. Just like the different reviewed programs above, the central focus of This particular program is usually takeoff measuring, in addition to This particular does a GREAT job at which. The navigation within the program is usually actually simple in addition to easy. This particular is usually not made to work with different estimating systems, nevertheless there is usually a edition which allows the direct send of measurements to any Microsoft Windows program awaiting a keyboard entry, just as you might do with digitizer measuring boards. There is usually also a edition which works with digitizer boards as well. If you use Microsoft Excel for estimating, or takeoffs, or proposals, then This particular Electronic Plan Takeoff program for Excel might be your best choice. The integration to Excel is usually unmatched in Electronic Plan Takeoff compared to Planswift or On-Screen Takeoff. What is usually quite different in Electronic Plan Takeoff is usually which training, support, in addition to maintenance are INCLUDED which has a purchase, whereas training, support in addition to maintenance are extra for Planswift in addition to On-Screen Takeoff. Moreover, annual support in addition to maintenance for Electronic Plan Takeoff year two in addition to beyond is usually a low fee per company per year, instead of per license. On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software, in addition to Planswift charge their annual maintenance in addition to support fees per license (mandatory) which costs the end user more expense annually especially if a customer has more than one license.
Microsoft in addition to Excel are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Planswift is usually the registered trademark of Tech Unlimited, Inc. On-Screen Takeoff in addition to QuickBid are registered trademarks of On Center Software, Inc. Sage Timberline Office, Sage Timberline Estimating are registered trademarks of Sage Software, Inc.