Sage Estimating is an on-premise based construction estimating software designed specifically to serve contractors and sub-contractors in construction and real estate industries of all sizes. The solution provides interactive tools to build and share accurate bidding estimates with the bidders, contractors, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Sage Estimating software offers a variety of takeoff methods that can be used to pull individual or group item details from industry specific databases directly into the bidding sheet. Users can manually enter the dimensions of the site or use several integrated electronic takeoff solutions to pull the dimensions of the site automatically. Sage Estimating also helps in forecasting the labor, raw material and other overhead costs, which in turn helps contractors to prepare precise and accurate bids.
Sage has collaborated with Autodesk and eTakeoff solutions for adding BIM capabilities to their cost estimating solution. Sage Estimating also collaborates with other solutions from Sage family including Sage 100 Contractor and Sage 300 Contractor to take care of accounting and reporting needs.
Why choose Timberline estimating over Excel or the Big Chief notepad?
1. Integration, Integration, Integration
a. Dynamic link to Onscreen takeoff tools (I can be in the estimate quantity field and jump to the plans, measure the quantity while color coding it using the mouse, and it inserts the quantity in the estimate).
b. Quotation/Procurement - one of the most important add-ons. Allows the user to create quote sheets from takeoff items, email them to vendors, negotiate prices, then choose to use that quote in the estimate budget or push it through to a purchase order or subcontract. Remarkably powerful integration tool, plus you develop a bid history library.
c. CAD - beyond onscreen takeoff (which is only an image of the drawing where you still measure quantities). CAD integration uses CAD item libraries to electronically feed CAD driven quantities from the drawings (but you still have to "estimate" the work to be performed). CAD primarily provides the material components and quantities.
d. Scheduling Integration - the ability to generate a text file recap of the estimate sorted by a schedule activity, or export the recap to a Microsoft Project Schedule native file format, or to create a Primavera native file format. NOTE - it is not a scheduling program; it is a utility to convert the estimate to specific data file format used by specific scheduling software products.
2. Reduction in errors.
a. Database formulas work every time and warn you when something is missing. Excel can break formula links, fields, worksheet links, and references and become too complex to manage and generate a wrong calculation with no warning.
b. Database estimates can be sorted in almost unlimited ways using "WBS codes" (work breakdown structures). This is a fancy name for tagging an item with a sortable field such as material class, building number, floor number, alternate, and then sorting the estimate by those tags in a multiple level sequence - on the fly. Very important with so many cuts and adds taking place in today's estimating processes. It also quickly generates field-oriented docs (bill of materials; by floor, by area, etc.), Budgets - sort by job cost summary instantly, etc.
c. Cuts and Adds are a given in today's fast paced estimate environment, recalling a scope section and revising it repeatedly is a reality. This is the most common cause of estimating errors when bidding. Having an audit trail of changes and to quickly make a revision to all components by answering simple questions is very powerful (see smart assemblies and Modeling as well).
d. Parametric estimates - increase the production of an estimator without increased rework or errors. Answer a set of parametric scope questions and the assembly generates all detail components for the estimator. Eliminates errors, reduces rework, ends the "takeoff for a bid - then takeoff again to build it" issue.
3. Database standards
a. A standard item library for everyone in the company to use creating ease of assimilating new estimators, improving cross training of roles, having common logic that can be reviewed easily to see how the result was generated. How many times has an excel estimate template morphed into multiple complicated versions within a company? Not with a database central price book and takeoff system.
b. Flexibility - allows the estimating "artist" to be flexible with their style of results. The assemblies will allow scope questions to be used differently by each estimator (one wants unit price, another wants man-hours, another wants total Square Footage). They can get all of that with a single common system setup.
c. Pricing - many cost pricing service products integrate and can be combined with a company's own in-house price components. Run into that goofy system you have no idea what it costs - look it up in the pricing service system (and by regional pricing in the market). Have your own factors - apply them to the pricing.
There are many other reasons to consider a database driven integrated estimating system. The above are just a few that show why excel or paper are outdated for today's fast paced estimating demands. It is not just the takeoff - it is all the other integration of "clerical / admin" grunt work stuff that an integrated solution improves within an organization.
Four stars - there is no PERFECT system... but no others come close to this overall solution.
Richard M. Specializzazione: Industria edilizia Numero di dipendenti: Lavoratore autonomo
I invested into my estimating toolbox and acquired my Estimating License in 1996. I have been a Sage Estimating Customer ever since. Being a single user puts into perspective the support service experience as I always felt that my business was the only business that mattered.
Having worked with much of the competitions to Sage Estimating software while working for General Contractors it has been easy to compare features and functionality. With a solid Audit Trail it is easy to review a projects work flow. Estimate reports are virtually unlimited in terms of formatting capabilities. Attaching takeoff graphics as well enhances the deliverable documents combining the Work Breakdown Structure it is very easy to communicate the scope of work to the client especially when they are not construction conversant. Support services are top of class as the platform the software is operated on has improved support services are required less and less.
There really is nothing negative that I can consider.
Hogan H. Specializzazione: Vetro, ceramica e cemento
There are many construction estimating software packages on the market, but none is better at breaking down an estimate in all the ways that are needed. Sage Estimating can handle multi-building estimates, multiple work breakdown structures, and any other bid breakdowns that are needed. For us, most bids require some sort of cost breakdown, but rarely is it completely the same from estimate to estimate. Sage Estimating handles all these variables with ease.
Also, the ability to handle variable cost add-ons at the estimate "totals page" is a huge plus. Cost add-ons such as overtime hours or material cost escalations can be added via the database or on a estimate-by-estimate basis. When it comes to providing breakdowns to our GC clients, any cost add-ons can be spread throughout all or a few of the estimate items. This is a great feature.
Sage has been a very good vendor. The support they've provided over many years has been great and they've done a great job with software upgrades. The upgrades, adding new features and feature enhancements have kept Sage Estimating at the head of the construction estimating pack.
I've used Sage (and previously Timberline) for nearly 20 years, and the only consistent gripe I have is that installation of the program is tedious and has always required the help of an IT expert.
Sage Estimating is a fantastic estimating tool, but be prepared for an arduous installation process and be willing to do some serious customization of the database. It's difficult to find a software program that does everything exactly like your company wants. With Sage Estimating, you can get the program to estimate and price work exactly as you want to, but it will require manipulation of the very robust standard database (many trade-specific databases are available for purchase).
Clay Z. Specializzazione: Industria edilizia Numero di dipendenti: 51-200 dipendenti
This is probably the most flexible estimating software available today. Always a leader in the industry, Sage Estimating can fit the bill for entry level, single user needs and expand to an unlimited number of users. The estimating system can tie into one of the best accounting packages, as well.
Totally flexible - can be used by virtually any trade as well as GC. From basic estimating needs to a complex reporting system, this software can do it.
Takes time to set-up properly. The software is ready to go out of the box, but to fine tune to make it "hum" takes more than just starting it up.
Mark R. Specializzazione: Industria edilizia Numero di dipendenti: 501-1.000 dipendenti
Accurate estimates and diverse reports
The power of Sages' Smart Assemblies is the best feature along with the results being displayed in a full spreadsheet format that can be changed in real time. The ability to slice and dice your estimate data is extremely powerful along with their use of WBS codes.
The tech support has been a bit of a struggle but thank goodness for qualified consultants and Business Partners that can act as your first line of support.