A Good Place For Reviewers To Start Is With Answers.Com Review of Takeoff Software for Estimating Construction

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Review of Takeoff Software for Estimating Construction

So often people want to rush out and buy assessment software or take-off software without trying to define their internal assessment processes. When the evaluation process is clearly defined, then and only then can you actually try to break the process down into segments. So often the segment is really a number take off. Taking off, you might be wondering? This is like the million dollar question. This article will discuss the takeoff software process, which is commonly associated with software process evaluation. The takeoff software process can often be the takeoff of materials for some people, and for many, the takeoff process outside of scope to create estimates or proposals. This review or comparison will not attempt to explain the evaluation software process, but will offer you the right amount of takeoff thinking among evaluators to find which product thinks the same way as you. These are the opinions of the author.

I will review and compare 3 types of measuring take-off products:

It is very important to note that these are measurement take-off programs only and not evaluation programs.

1) Planswift

2) Fly to screen by On Center Software

3) Electronic flight plan software

All three products have their strengths, however Planswift and On-Screen Takeoff are separate products and Electronic Plan Takeoff is actually dynamically integrated with Microsoft Excel, meaning it starts and ends and saves in Excel. They all integrate with Excel, however, you’ll need to evaluate your own thought process and decide which of the three product workflows best reflects the way you think. For example, what is the first thing you do when you receive plans? Typically, you start by looking at the plans to see how involved the project is and what type of work you see appealing to your company. Then, when you decide you’re going to estimate that job, more often than not, like 80% of companies in the construction world, you start your estimates by opening your take-off master template Excel spreadsheet. You rename your spreadsheet to a new job or project and take off. Here are the differences:

In Planswift, you decide which drawing you are on and then measure the item you want to do on the plan. Unfortunately, the evaluator does not think so. Planswift gives you the ability to add a take-off item type on the fly by naming it and then perform the take-off; It is somewhat of a manual and slow process. They also give you the ability to use a collection type on takeoff to accumulate the number of items in that collection. Not as much as the appraiser thinks. It forces you to jump to different screens, which slows down the process. Typically, a key start to anyone’s onboarding process, or some might think of it as a checklist approach, is to start with your spreadsheet of things. This element may be material or may be an area of ​​the assembly system. In any case, starting with master spreadsheets in Excel, for example, many estimators think that this is a risk reduction, not to forget things that usually fly. Given that Planswift is a standalone takeoff program, it usually stores your takeoff images in Planswift rather than your estimate in Excel, if Excel is your estimate system. If you use Excel, you have to manually save your takeoff measurement numbers in Excel and your takeoff images in Planswift or somewhere else, just not in Excel where the takeoff counts are. Again, if you want to integrate with Excel, they force you to export or import from Excel, rather than dynamically integrating directly into Excel. However, they have the option to dump the measured quantities from Planswift into any Excel spreadsheet or Word document. The main purpose or main focus of this program is measurement, so it performs this function well. Most other features require you to jump between different screens and essentially lose track of where you are. There are several features that attempt to streamline the appraisal process, however, there are many features that Planswift lacks to be a full-fledged appraisal system; This is No one. Planswift integrates with the leading estimating system Sage Timberline, but the integration is weak. Because Timberline’s power is in assembly takeoff and where most estimators live in Timberline, Planswift does not allow the estimator to add various Timberline items or single items to be added to the assembly while they are in Planswift. While on screen and in the measurement phase of Timberline’s interview. Planswift allows you to delete generated assembly elements as well as change the number of assembly elements in another screen. Again, to do all this, you are forced to jump through different screens. No assembly is perfect in the grading system because project conditions are always uniquely different, so adding elements to the assembly is very important. that the addition of items and related quantities is an absolute requirement that any appraiser should normally make during the take-off measurement and valuation phase; Something Planswift struggles with with Timberline Estimating. Planswift allows measurements to be sent directly to Timberline Estimating units and assemblies while in Timberline Estimating, just as you would with the old digitizer measuring boards. Training, support and maintenance It’s unnecessary For Planswift. On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software and Planswift charge their annual maintenance and support fees by license (required) Which costs the end user more each year, especially if the user has more than one license.

On Center’s On-Screen Takeoff is the granddaddy of programmatic takeoff products because it’s been around the longest. On Center acknowledges that screen takeoff is primarily a measurement program. That’s why they have a separate evaluation program called QuickBid for those who want an evaluation program. On Center isn’t trying to trick you into thinking it’s a rating system. In On-Screen Takeoff you also decide which drawing you are on and then measure the plan. But before you get started, you can load a basic set of items that you would normally grab or measure from your own library. This process appears to be less complicated than Planswift’s. Takeoff on screen gives you the option to add a type of takeoff element by naming it on the fly and then taking off; A somewhat manual and slow process as well. The program has many features that are mainly focused on simple measurement and advanced measurement issues, paying attention to every detail regarding the easy navigation of the take-off process. On Center does a very good job of this. However, there seems to be a disconnect between the elements of Excel spreadsheets that you can use for evaluation and/or suggestions. The integration with Microsoft Excel is not a dynamic live link, more of an afterthought in my opinion. Yes, you can create links with named styles to cells or ranges in Excel, somewhat rigidly. But the question you’ll have to ask yourself, and more often than not, is: What do you do when you need to add things on the fly and in Excel spreadsheets? There will still be manual associations that you have to create with Excel, which is another significant slowdown. You must manually save your takeoff measurement numbers to Excel and your takeoff images to the screen or wherever you decide, except that the takeoff images will not be saved to Excel where the takeoff counts are. This type of situation arises when the takeoff program is a stand-alone program. On Center’s On-Screen Takeoff has the best integration with the most widely used estimating system in the US: Sage Timberline Estimating. It basically mimics the same interview process you would have done with the old digitizer measurement boards. Working directly with Timberline, on-screen take-off allows the estimator to perform a take-off of a Timberline variable query and immediately returns a direct take-off count to the Timberline assembly variable query. By virtue of this process, a screen fly allows the estimator to continue the timberline interview process by reviewing/massaging the quantities generated in Sage Timberline Estimating, or by adding items to the timberline assembly as the estimator sees fit. This workflow gives full control to the appraiser, at the heart of good work. Training, support and maintenance It’s unnecessary to jump to the screen. On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software and Planswift charge their annual maintenance and support fees According to the license (required) Which costs the end user more each year, especially if the user has more than one license.

This is the next system only If your rating system or suggestion generator is Microsoft Excel. Electronic plan takeoff software is a Add-in for Excel. You start your spreadsheets, complete your takeoff measurement, you can add a few more items on the fly while you are in the measurement phase in the electronic plan takeoff program. When you’re done, even if you add items, they’ll automatically appear in your Excel spreadsheet. Excel is in control of everything. Your project is started in Excel, your take-off is saved in Excel, an estimate or proposal can/can be made there in Excel; One program, one place. Many takeoff programs interact with Excel in some way, but only Electronic Plan Takeoff communicates directly with Excel, which means that all the descriptions in your Excel spreadsheets will appear in the measurement takeoff program, so you always know where you are in Excel. This is a huge difference compared to Planswift and On-Screen Takeoff. You can change the takeoff item description in Electronic Plan Takeoff and it will automatically change live in your Excel spreadsheet. When you’re talking about the evaluation and take-off phase, you need to keep the processes clean and simple, and this program does just that. There is no loss in this program. Like the other programs discussed above, the central focus of this program is to measure takeoff, and it does big Work on it. Navigating within the program is really simple and easy. It is not designed to work with other grading systems, but there is a version that allows measurements to be sent directly to any Microsoft Windows program waiting for keyboard input, just as you would with digitizer measurement boards. There is also a version that works on digitizing boards as well. If you use Microsoft Excel for estimates, or take-offs or proposals, then this Electronic Plan Takeoff software for Excel will be your the best choice. Excel integration is perfect in Electronic Plan Takeoff compared to Planswift or On-Screen Takeoff. What is quite different about e-plan take off is that Training, support and maintenance included with purchase, and training, support and maintenance are additional for Planswift and On-Screen Takeoff. Moreover, annual support and maintenance for the second year of e-plan takeoff and beyond is a low fee per company per year, in lieu of a license. On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software and Planswift charge their annual maintenance and support fees According to the license (required) Which costs the end user more each year, especially if the user has more than one license.

Microsoft and Excel are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Planswift is a registered trademark of Tech Unlimited, Inc. On-Screen Takeoff and QuickBid are On Center Software, Inc. Sage Timberline Office, Sage Timberline Estimating are registered trademarks of Sage Software, Inc.

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