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Thread: Commercial Bidding Software

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Cincinnati ohio
    Posts
    10

    Commercial Bidding Software

    Does anyone have a preference when it comes to commercial bidding software? Its been difficult to find real reviews for bidding software since software developers rig search results on google etc. I am specifically looking at Trimble.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Moreno Valley, CA
    Posts
    4

    I'm a bit old school!

    I feel like I'm up with the times...but then I see a post like this an immediately feel old school.

    So I designed certain sections of my bids using Google Docs, which is free.

    Then I make it all nice and proper using Canva...which is also free.

    This is probably why it takes me so long...but it's faster than what it used to be! Best of luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Valdosta, GA
    Posts
    4,250
    Several people on here use Trimble; ONE of these days I am going to make time to demo it, because we’ve been talking about switching for awhile. I have some friends that use it and swear by it.

    We use Conest. It’s nice, it works, but there are some things about it that aggravate me. Making assemblies and looking up material is one of them. I’ve tried repeatedly to use the JobTrac software proficiently, and on large jobs it’s just a pain. The majority of the items in the assemblies don’t match up to the part numbers my suppliers use. The pricing is fairly accurate through Netpricer, but again, if it’s not the exact same part number, it won’t be the exact price. Creating purchase orders can be a hassle. If I only have 1000 connectors in my take-off, and I need 1001, it won’t let you go over the set amount on the purchase order. You have to manually enter a new line for the additional material. Just little things like that which bug me.

    But I’m solidly entrenched in it now having spent hours upon hours building custom assemblies for my specific work. Which is why it hasn’t been such a priority to demo something else.

    Another thing that bugs me; let’s say you’re bidding a large office or multi-family unit with repeated floor plans. I can’t just do a take off of a floor plan and multiply it 100 times. You have to go to Every. Single. Line. and manually do the multiples of each item. Lots of calculator work involved there.

    And it doesn’t always let me breakdown my take-off’s exactly how I want to see them, which again is really a pain on large jobs with repeated floor plans. Some contractors want to know how much you’re charging for Unit Type A or Office Type A; well idk I’ve got 9000 receptacles and 2000 switches, let me get the calculator out and break all this down. I’ve just always felt that for what it costs, it ought to be able to do those calculations for me.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1

    Estimating Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathangerke View Post
    Does anyone have a preference when it comes to commercial bidding software? It's been difficult to find real reviews for bidding software since software developers rig search results on google etc. I am specifically looking at Trimble.
    I used Mike Holt's estimating Software from 1985 to 1994, then, went to Accubid Pro. It worked for us on small projects and large over 15 million. It will do everything you need. The live count software is also a great addition to the software.

    We are now looking at Accubid Enterprise. The next step up...

    Gary

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    23
    I used McCormick Systems for over 15 years & never had any problems bidding any sized projects, did need to attend their class in AZ to be able to utilize it fully. 2 years ago, I started using Conest while estimating for another contractor & found I needed to take their class as well which got me up to speed.
    A lot of guys do use Accubid & they swear by it. I 1st found McCormick at a trade show, you might want to see if there's one coming up in your area. Usually all the software companies show up there to show off their product. Otherwise, if you contact 3 or 4 of them, they will do an online presentation with you that will give you a glimpse of their product.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Mill Hall, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2

    EBM / AccuBid Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathangerke View Post
    Does anyone have a preference when it comes to commercial bidding software? Its been difficult to find real reviews for bidding software since software developers rig search results on google etc. I am specifically looking at Trimble.
    I definitely prefer EBM from VisionInfoSoft for my estimating company. I used AccuBid Pro 13 for several years when I worked for another company, but when it came time to make a purchase Trimble was several thousand dollars more expensive. I couldn't find the value differentiation to spend the extra money. The layout for take-off is quite a bit different between the two, but essentially do exactly the same thing.

    Also, EBM's database and 'EPIC' pricing is a hundred times more user friendly and versatile. I can add a new item (or assembly) by catalog number with updated pricing in less than a few minutes. This was never my experience with AccuBid.

    If you have more questions feel free to send me a private message.
    Hope this helps.

    Eric

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1
    We use "Network Viewpoint MEP Estimating", use to be "Estimation" by logistics. We ONLY use it for estimating. Its clunky, and digital takeoff/onscreen takeoff really doesn't do you any favors (IMO). But the fact of the matter is, it does do what we need. Allot of upfront work, but you can build custom assemblies in a central database, cost updates by trade service, customize for how you like to bid....

    Something I do like is you can apply cost codes or custom codes to allow you to sort by whatever you want. And you can export all the RAW data to Excell CSV files.

    Good luck, specialty software selection is a real pain...

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