estimating software
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Posted Saturday, August 16, 2008 11:00 PM
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Does anyone know of any telecom installation estimating freeware that is out there. I have just started a installation business and I am having trouble costing jobs, I NEED HELP. If anyone knows anything about this I would appreciate all of the advice I can get, I have over 16 years of Technical and telecommunications experience but have no Idea on how to bid jobs
Post #1629
Posted Saturday, August 16, 2008 11:37 PM


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AS far as I know in US there are quite few softwares that could help you; most of them are electrical ones that have been updated for SCS installations

However most of us use our own Excel tools that have been developed under the experience; I think none are alike but have several issues that you can not forget
INSURANCE
BONDS
SAFETY
TRANSPORT
SECURITY
and telecomm material, labor, supervision, engineering, and so on Ah! profit , pls do not forget.

Buena suerte in this entreprenur adventure

saludos


roberto sanchez,RCDD
Perfil Activo y Creativo, S.A. de C.V.
México
Post #1633
Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008 12:49 AM
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Software can remind you of some direct and indirect expenses, and do your calculations for you, but that's about it. The rest remains in your hands. Even a complex estimating program is going to rely on your input for a "good" bid.

If you want some help off-line, let me know.


Scott Bennett, RCDD
Network Foundation Design, LLC
Post #1832
Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:27 AM


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I have a very simple Excel sheet that I use for smaller jobs, but I would be very hesitant to use it on a job with more than a dozen drops or so.  If you think that it will help you, send me a pm with your e-mail and I will get it over to you.  It's going to require a little explanation as well. 

I came up through the field as well and the hardest thing for me to learn about estimating was labor values.  I was so used to trying to "guess" at how long a job should take, it took me some time to re-learn the "exacts" of estimating.  My advice would be to think about how long it takes to punch down 1 jack and not worry about how long it takes to punch down 100.  Then just extend out that very tangible piece of information to give you the real time for 100.  Also, remember that in your 16 years you got very efficient in your tasks.  Remember to figure your values in what it will take the tech perfoming the task to do it. 

The really good thing about the big estimating packages is that you can buy into the labor values. So that's something to consider in the long term. 

Post #1834
Posted Friday, September 26, 2008 9:16 AM


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Give some of these links a try  (some are from the old "historical" BICSI forums), which you can access if you scroll down to the bottom (footer) of this web page.

1. Here's a GREAT assortment of articles on estimating and a few on VDV specifically.

http://ecmweb.com/searchresults/?terms=estimating



2. Here's an article on ten tips for bidding software and bidding in general.

http://ecmweb.com/mag/electric_ten_tips_using_2/index.html


 


3. BICSI historical forums, using the search keyword  "estimating"  (has lots of dialog and real life suggestions).  Try this link with the keyword added for your convenience at:

http://www.bicsi.org/forums/Search.aspx?qry=estimating

4. For large jobs, RS Means COst Data is a great resource (for daily labor output, materials and labor breakdowns, caveats (working about 10' above floor loss in productivity, regional/city costs implications, etc.   If you do not want to invest in a current edition, ask you favorite electrical engineer to hand-you-down and old printed version before they through them away - to evaluate possible purchase.  The soft copy gives you periodic updates to help with commodity pricing (copper, zinc and steel).  Start with the electrical (Division 26 section).  I'm not sure if these is much in the offering in RS Means for Division 27, however.

http://www.rsmeans.com/

http://www.rsmeans.com/costdata/index.asp

http://www.rsmeans.com/bookstore/booksearch.asp?c=13

5.  NECA resources and classes

http://www.necanet.org/job/development/mei/

http://www.necanet.org/PortalTools/RegMEI/CourseInfo.cfm?PrimaryCategory=Technical%20Management&eventname=Basic%20Estimating%20of%20Electrical%20Construction&MtgType=CRS%2DTM%2DBEE

http://www.necanet.org/job/estimating/Estimating Courses

6.  ESTIMATING TEMPLATE SAMPLE (excel)

http://www.bicsi.org/bicsiforum/Topic1778-9-1.aspx

Happy surfing.

Todd Taylor, RCDD/OSP

Post #1863
Posted Friday, November 21, 2008 6:44 PM
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I would suggest you start some late night work on excel (if you don't know it, it's easy to learn), starting with some small job templates for estimating then grow as time permits or jobs get bigger. I've done plenty of estimates on the fly over the years and there is nothing wrong with that, except those small items you didn't think of (sure you know that already). If you are starting your own business, unless you have an angel you don't need to spend on a spreadsheet (estimating program) (also, this doesn't include Colorado) that may not work for you ultimately. Bite the bullet and do your own estimating. If you didn't get involved with estimating with your previous employers you were lucky, if you are experienced in estimating for other companies, now you know how it feels for your own company. The stress and strain you experience now will make you a better estimator down the road...
Good Luck!
Post #2303
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2015 9:28 PM
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Esticom is running an open beta for estimation / take-offs that looks pretty slick: http://www.esticom.com/
Post #9974
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