For plumbers, and any trade business, where quantity and margins are critical, there is a fine line between turning a decent profit and underquoting a job – all crucial elements of successfully bidding for a project.
The secret to quoting your plumbing jobs accurately and turning a profit is to have a system that is quick, accurate, flexible and completely transparent. Thankfully, dedicated estimating software can help plumbing contractors evaluate and quote accurate prices and completion times for their projects. But which estimating software package is best in a crowded marketplace?
We have done the hard yards for you and compiled this list of the best estimating software suited to plumbing businesses.
ProContractor is a tailored estimating solution aimed at small to medium size businesses that is not limited to any trade or industry. It combines 2D takeoff, Earthwork 3D, estimating and bid management in a seamless cloud or an on-premise network solution. Standout features of the package include the ability to:
- Apply takeoff quantities directly to estimate resources.
- Links Takeff to estimate and eliminates duplication errors.
- Build composite rates.
- Use pre-developed cost catalogues or customise as needed.
- Multi-level cost structure breakup.
- Customisable reports with ability to export to Excel, Word & MS Project.
Online reviews by users of proContractor gave the thumbs up for the feature that captures historical costs, which helps to keep track for use in future jobs.
ProEst is a cloud-based construction estimating software for companies of all sizes, with the ability to centralise estimates, produce reports and contracts. The construction database provides current costing and productivity data, with visibility into the future by tracking pending projects, updating estimate pipelines and creating business forecasts. ProEst connects seamlessly with industry-specific project management and accounting applications, and is available on an annual subscription basis for an unlimited number of users, with phone and email support, as well as access to training videos.
Standard features of this estimating package include:
- Bid management
- Change order management
- Document management
- Job costing
- Project management
- Project tracking
Online reviews by users appreciated the vendor management, budgeting, cost integration, document management and submittal processes of this package.
simPRO is software for service, project and maintenance workflows with the ability to quote multi-stage projects, manage inventory, communicate with staff, or any other areas of your workflow. Small operators with a reasonably busy schedule will benefit the most from this package. Headline features of simPRO include:
- Job costing
- Materials management
- Automated data workflows to eliminate repetitive tasks
Positive online reviews of simPRO have praised it for ease of use, solid support and smooth implementation.
Like simPRO, GroundPlan is cloud based takeoff software that is most suited to smaller plumbing businesses with a reasonably busy schedule. It allows users to use basic formulas such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division on both material costs and labor to generate accurate project estimates. GroundPlan also gives you the ability to:
- Upload plans and work on any device, including plan revisions.
- Measure on-screen on any device, including linear metrage and area.
- Export your estimates with a wide range of integrations.
Positive online reviews of GroundPlan praise the software’s ease of use, flexibility, ability to integrate with other business systems and for being well priced.
Another estimating software package suitable for smaller contracting businesses like plumbers, AroFlo comes packed with powerful job management features, including field service automation and scheduling. These are all designed to streamline your business processes and operations. Some headline features of this package include:
- Simple drag and drop functionality with AroFlo calendar for assigning field staff jobs in real time, with automatic updates to crews of staff.
- Cloud-based, mobile solution that allows field technicians to create quotes for clients on the job, as well as email quotes to clients as soon as a job is completed.
- Integrations with accounting software such as Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks.
Online reviews from users found AroFlo user friendly, responsive with helpful customer service.