Investing in mechanical estimating software will save you hours of work. These tools optimize your workflow, reduce manual errors and improve accuracy.
Make sure your estimating system comes pre-setup with many of the common fittings and piping materials used for mechanical systems like soldered, brazed, welded, grooved or pressed joints. Also look for a large database of assemblies and items.
Easy to use
A good mechanical estimating software should be easy to use, flexible and customizable. This is especially important for mechanical contractors, who need to be able to work from different locations or at home, and must also be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously. The best mechanical estimating software should also provide invoicing functionality, so that you can create accurate and professional-looking documents within minutes.
The system should offer a large library of pre-built mechanical assemblies to allow the estimator to more quickly build their estimate without having to develop their own assembly library. Additionally, the system should have integrated labor tables from MCAA or PHCC to help determine the types of labor that are required for a particular job.
It is also necessary that the mechanical estimating software be able to import changes from the drawing to the estimate. This allows the estimator to quickly address addendums and change-orders. The software should also include a database for common mechanical items, including flanges and fittings. The database should also contain information on the different methods of joining pipe together, including soldered, brazed, welded, grooved and pressed joints.
Many mechanical estimating software vendors offer a mobile application that allows users to perform a takeoff in the field and then upload the file back into their main estimating program in the office. This is particularly helpful for mechanical contractors who are not always in the office, as it can save significant time. Some vendors also have training videos and documentation available for the mechanical estimating software.
Unlike generic estimating systems, mechanical estimating software is optimized to aid contractors in their natural workflow and eliminate as much repetitive work as possible. This allows you to increase the chances that your estimate will be both accurate and profitable. It also makes it easier to communicate with your team. Some systems also provide advanced tools like autofitting generation and value engineering to help you make more informed decisions about your estimates.
A good mechanical estimating program will have the ability to create a database of common piping materials, sizes and configurations. It will also include a variety of joining methods, including soldered, brazed, welded and grooved connections. It will also have a database of sheet metal, including light gauge and heavy gauge materials for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Another important feature to look for in a mechanical estimating system is its ability to integrate with Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools. This will allow you to bypass the manual takeoff process by using BIM models to pass detailed quantities into the estimating system. This can save you significant time, money and labour.
You should also look for the amount of documentation and training available. This will vary between vendors, and can be a significant factor in choosing the right estimating software for your business. Some vendors offer online videos and some will come to your facility for training.
The best mechanical estimating software is optimised to aid your natural workflow and remove as much repetitive work from the process as possible. It is designed to give you the confidence that your estimate will be accurate and profitable. It should be easy to use and look professional, but should also be fully customisable to meet your needs. It should also support your branding and company identity.
Some of the leading mechanical estimating software programs include a comprehensive work order management suite and efficient scheduling & dispatching system. They also allow you to access your estimates on the go using a mobile app. Some vendors offer additional features that help you improve your business performance, including a complete financial accounting package and integration with QuickBooks.
Another important feature to look for in mechanical estimating software is the ability to compare drawings and estimates with ease. This will save you time and effort, and make it easier to deal with addendums or change orders. This feature is especially useful for large projects with a high number of revisions.
In addition, a good mechanical estimating software program will have cost information for piping work and sheet metal work. The system will have pricing for different kinds of piping materials and the different methods used to join them, such as soldered, brazed, welded, grooved, or pressed.
Mechanical estimating software can save contractors a great deal of time, especially on large projects. It can perform on-screen takeoffs 3-4 times faster than traditional methods and easily incorporate labor, equipment, overage, profit margin and sales tax into detailed proposals. This allows you to submit bids more quickly and win more work. It also allows you to run a variety of reports, including historical win rates, job costing and actual costs versus estimates.
Vendors of this type of software typically offer separate solutions for piping and sheet metal work. These systems allow users to select from a database of commercial and industrial piping materials for different size breaks, from copper up to 2”, and for multiple joints, such as soldered, brazed, welded, grooved or pressed. They also include the ability to estimate light gauge, heavy gauge or industrial sheet metal work for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
These systems often provide a library of pre-built assemblies, which can help you build an estimate more quickly and reduce the amount of time spent on manual assembly. They usually also offer a large database of mechanical-specific items and parts, with more than 100,000 available. In addition, they typically offer accurate item cost data through integration with a commercial pricing service such as Ferguson, Harrison or Trade Services.
The best mechanical estimating software is designed to make the process of preparing and pricing construction projects as easy as possible. This way, you can spend more time in the field and less time in the office making estimates.