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Estimating electrical Power is a smooth process compared to other construction estimating techniques. If the task is simple, quick, and clean, estimations using square-foot unit measures could yield wildly off results. Bids for conduits, wiring, and sub-assemblies may be too high and cost the project or are too low and cost you money. This is terrible news for generalist contractors and dangerous for electricians.
Accuracy in electrical estimation is, therefore, crucial. Also, speed is essential. If your bid’s success rate is 10, then, for example, you’ll have to bid 10 times to win one. But every one of your bids needs to be accurate and delivered within the timeframe you want to send to your potential client. You may be confronted with a myriad of prices for labor and goods, so you’ll need current prices available and a reliable method of recording and calculating the quantities needed to determine the total cost.
Software that can estimate electrical Power can significantly help meet these requirements. Our list of six electrical estimating programs provides a range of options and budgets. But, the program that works for your competitor might differ from the right software for you, and the reverse is true. Spending time contemplating what you would like out of estimating software will give you an edge as you zero in on the right software.
TurboBid is an affordable estimation software that can be used for various construction tasks. Like our other picks on this listing, TurboBid has an impressive track record and received positive comments from experts and customers. It offers plumbing and electrical estimation capabilities. It’s well-suited for new housing construction, multi-family projects, renovations, and smaller industrial and commercial projects. It has tens of thousands of items and pre-defined assemblies that include prices for both the materials and labor. The program develops professional bid packages for specific projects and flat-rate price books for services.
TurboBid is known for its versatility. The advice offered by the vendor to contractors who wish to succeed is to use estimation software that can generate estimations and bills for all kinds of jobs. It also stresses how important it is to make the user experience easy by using an interface that makes understanding how to utilize this software. It also offers live instruction with its customer service, Live chat support, and online tutorial videos.
It will likely appeal to smaller to medium-sized MEPs or an electrical contractor with specialized expertise. Pricing for TurboBid is currently starting at $1,295 for a single software license for one user or a monthly subscription of $99.
Project documents and drawings are a crucial component of the majority of estimates. Viewpoint for Estimating allows users to use digital takeoff technology from paper-based slow estimating to all-electronic estimation. Profit margins and precision can be increased for contractors who work on electrical assessment mechanical, HVAC, and plumbing jobs. The takeoff module allows you to incorporate CAD files and directly utilize stylus pens and digitizer boards. Viewpoint For Estimating offers shape recognition that will enable you to flag symbols and forms in plans and automatically count the number of units.
Viewpoint also works in Microsoft Excel and provides a “What If” planning capability to rapidly assess the effect of product changes and prices on overall expenses and profits. Businesses that could benefit from the benefits of Viewpoint For Estimating are specialist MEP companies as well as other construction companies that are already using technology in other areas.
Pricing for this fairly sophisticated and highly specialized estimating program can be arranged upon request. An approach that is common for companies targeting the mid- and top-level of the electric estimation software market.
Besides providing features that can significantly reduce the time required to calculate estimates, Vision InfoSoft also targets cost reduction and improvement in profitability. It has a vast material database that includes EPIC materials pricing, allowing for the analysis of 2 million electronic components and more than 100 manufacturers’ catalogs. Value engineering is one of Vision InfoSoft’s capabilities, allowing the easy modification of materials and labor prices and the ability to customize wiring techniques such as wire and conduit styles and fittings.
Customization within Vision is also extended to design entirely new structures “on the fly” and multiple labor unit definitions for each item, allowing for quick bid modification. Takeoff modules that can be customized to facilitate the takeoff of branches wiring, lighting, and more, which includes direct launches of digital plans. It is offered in Classic, Plus, and Pro versions. It includes Classic as the entry-level version and Pro as the most potent version that provides the tremendous flexibility and editing of bids. These versions cater to the requirements of specialist electrical contracting firms that work on small, medium, or large-scale projects.
With a focus on electrical estimating, McCormick Systems offers a selection of software products specifically designed to meet different kinds of estimation needs. Each version includes databases that include over 55,000 electronic components and over 25 thousand assembled assemblies. Pricing can be changed by using a variety of top pricing sources as well as labor units. It can be bid following the national averages and every NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) level. The software can cover various electrical contracting tasks that include low voltage, distribution and transmission HVAC, surveillance, and fire alarms.
The basic WIN 1000 can be the vendor’s suggestion for the new or small contractor. The WIN 3000, suitable for minor to medium contractors, provides various labor and pricing, window takeoff options, and a sophisticated audit trail to track your estimation processes. The WIN 4000 version includes tools for managing projects and supplier comparison pricing for large and small contractors. The WIN 6000 version extends the ease of access to jobs ranging from residential minor to industrial, as well as distribution and transmission.
Through Accubid Classic, vendor Trimble will aim to hit the higher ground. The Accubid software is an electrical estimation software application that helps with the entire construction process flow, from estimation to buying, managing change orders, project management, change order management, and invoicing. The seamless transfer of data from one task to the next is the goal, which means reducing or eliminating data re-entry. Automated scaling, Digitizer integration, and CAD-CAD integration with dynamic takeoff features provide Accubid BIM (building information modeling) integration options. The ability to create individual assemblies “on the fly” also helps estimate quickly and flexibly. The Accubid software then connects to other construction management software like Sage Timberline Office, Excel, and QuickBooks. The built-in features for managing projects include document control and contract management.
It was suited to estimate contractors for large to medium commercial industrial, multi-unit residential construction projects. Accubid has a database with more than 33,000 products and 9500 assemblies. Each item has labor units and labor factors, as well as labor tracking codes, as well as cost codes. It also comes with an impressive collection of NECA products that have been awarded.
While it’s a popular program, ConEst Intellibid also shows various consultants’ and experts’ lists of the top electrical estimation software. A majority, or perhaps all types of electrical project estimation can be completed, such as wiring for commercial, residential industrial low and high voltage installations, telecom and data cabling CCTV and security alarms, fire alarms, and solar energy configurations.
There are four different versions of the software: a massive database with greater than 150,000 items. Fifty thousand pre-built assemblies and 500,000 pre-built assembly options are standard in all versions. Intellibid Lite is an entire estimating tool, and Intellibid Plus includes Smart System technology for faster estimation. For example, Smart Substitution, a feature in the Smart System, manages material modifications in just a few seconds and checks to build code conformance simultaneously.
Intellibid Pro, as well as Intellibid Design Build, add yet additional features. Intellibid also evaluates weather conditions and conditions at the job site to determine labor requirements for the installation’s difficulty. Intellibid connects to another module called SureCount (available on its own) to speed up high-voltage, electrical, and data cable takeoffs. Significant to medium-sized contractors and electricians will be pleased with the intelligence “smarts” and the performance of Intellibid software, beginning with the Lite version up to the latest version.
Additional Options for Electrical Estimating Software
The list of six might be a top ten rather. Although electrical estimating is a specialized field and software options are vast. Here are four additional options that provide more choices in terms of budgets as well as user profiles and access to multiple users:
1st Choice Electrical Estimating. The solution offers customized assembly design tools for quoting and options for multi-conductor feeders and HVAC. It costs $299.95 for an individual license; it’s targeted to contractors who handle commercial and residential projects however, there is a product that is a companion to it, Estimator for Residential Estimator ($99.95), which is that is designed for single-family home projects.
ACES Pro. Software designed by electrical estimators to be used by electrical contractors. ACES Pro is subscription-based and priced at $49.99 monthly as a customer paying for ACES Pro only as needed in the subscription plan since it can be canceled at any time without penalty if you skip months.
Jaffe Power! Estimator. For small-to-mid-sized electrical professionals, Power! The estimator concentrates on convenience and user-friendliness in addition to features. For example, built-in prices can be modified individually or globally with the same amount. Prices can be adjusted at any time and changed directly through a computerized pricing system like TRA-SER. Power! The estimator costs $999.
Red Rhino. A web-based application, Red Rhino offers 24/7 user access and the option to connect from anywhere an Internet connection is accessible. The electrical estimating software is capable of managing purchases, projects, and billing. Contractors who estimate big and small residential, commercial or light industrial jobs might find themselves interested in this option that costs $75 per month. This includes the initial setup cost of $149.
Although your ideal electrical estimation software could be on the list above, remember that all these programs still depend upon the accuracy of the data entered into them. Contractors who work on more significant projects could benefit because building plans are more detailed and rigorously scrutinized at the design stage. However, residential estimators might have to work with a lack of house plans and require some research (or designing) prior to using the estimating software, even though there are fewer electrical objects to consider.
The functionality of a vendor can change between versions. There’s a certain truth in the belief of “you get what you pay for.” But for smaller contractors, it is possible that you do not need the sophisticated integrated workflow estimating software that will make more prominent players salivate. There is one element that is a concern for everyone with the software’s user interface for electrical estimation. Screenshots and product descriptions will only hint at what it is like to work with a particular product. Try the trial version (preferably free and offering full capabilities, but only for a short time) to take a spin before you decide.