Over 60 functional enhancements
Version 7 of Benchmark Estimating Software contains many new enhancements that will add value to many day-to-day estimating functions.
The following is a list of the top 10 functional enhancements in Version 7:
1. New Regionalisation feature
Available in the new Version 7 Corporate edition, Regionalisation is ideal for organisations who operate over a wide geographic area. Regionalisation allows you to have different prices for the same Resource in your Resource Library.
It also allows you to “regionalise” the many other Libraries in Benchmark Estimating Software so users only see the data that is relevant to them. One of the great aspects of this feature is that your Estimators do not have to change the way they use Benchmark Estimating Software to price a Project. The power of this feature lies in its smart design and implementation. The system itself will use the correct price for a Project based on the Region in which the Project is being constructed.
Together with the power of a Microsoft SQL Server database, Regionalisation helps you to achieve a single (or reduced numbers of) estimating database(s) which offers many benefits including greater control of costs, greater consistency across a business, more efficient administration of data and better business reporting.
2. New Forecast Quantities feature
The new Forecast Quantities feature in Version 7 has been designed for larger maintenance contracts. This feature allows the estimator to enter two quantities for every Item in their Project – a Contract Quantity and a Forecast Quantity. It effectively allows the estimator to model what they think will “actually” happen on a Project and undertake powerful sensitivity analysis to optimise their competitive advantage and maximise profits on the resulting contract.
The screen shot below shows the summary cost data contained in the enhanced Spread screen when Forecast Quantities are used in a Project.
3. Improved Project Summary Report
The Version 7 Project Summary report provides you with a very professional, transparent breakdown of your estimate. This report can be used by estimators and managers as a consistent estimate review and approval form.
Page 1 of the report provides high level cost data including a graphical representation of your price and overall markup/margin percentages. Page 2 of the report breaks down the key values into more detail for more detailed analysis if required.
4. Improved Reporting features
All reports can now be exported from Version 7 to Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel formats. When reports are exported to these programs the formatting is retained.
All reports can also be exported directly to PDF format without the need for a separate PDF conversion tool.
5. Improved control and display of Profit
You can now flag an individual Resource to not attract any Profit. This gives you greater control of your profit calculation and is ideal for many scenarios, including where clients obtain lump sum quotes from internal business units in their own organisation and do not wish to add Profit to this lump sum amount.
The Extras screen in Version 7 of Benchmark Estimating Software is also more user friendly for estimators who apply markup as a percentage to each Resource Group. The image below shows the enhanced Extras screen interface when using Resource Group profit.
6. New Find features
New Find features have been incorporated into the Version 7 screen design of all the main Libraries and into the main features in a Project. This saves you many mouse clicks, streamlines the setup and maintenance of your libraries and streamlines your estimating.
7. Default Table format settings for Microsoft Word reports
The Microsoft Word Quote feature can export your Quote directly into Microsoft Word, based on a a template format that you can control.
In Version 7 you have even more control over the presentation of your Quote, with a new feature that allows you to set default table format settings for your Schedule of Items that is exported to Microsoft Word. You can control default settings for the Table Border, Section Headings, Sub-Total headings and more.
8. New Duplicate Project window
The ability to Duplicate a Project in Benchmark Estimating Software, and the options/features provided to the user during the Duplicate process, is a very powerful tool used everyday by users. In Version 7 this process is easier, faster and clearer with the new Duplicate Project window. This new window displays all of the duplicate options/features together with a concise description of what each option/feature does.
9. Improved Administration window
The improved Version 7 Administration window groups Administration settings together more logically and by system function. This makes it significantly easier for you to setup and administer your Benchmark Estimating Software system to best suit your organisation.
Other enhancements include:
- Round Up and Round Down functions in Routines.
- You can now have multiple windows open at the same time; for example the Resource Library and Item Library and a Project can all be open at the same time.
- A new graphical calendar is now available for faster entry for all Date fields
- Improved multi-user processing when multiple users work in the same Project (note this requires more than one licence)
- An improved Database Centre window helps you manage your database list easier
- The ability to Email the Benchmark Estimating Support Team directly from within the software
- A new “My Recent Projects” feature lists the recent projects for the logged in user only
- A new Project Follow Up report
- A new addition to the Microsoft Word Template feature allows a user-nominated percentage of the project submission price to be automatically calculated and entered into the system generated Word Quotation
- More flexible licencing
- Improvements to the Auto Allocate function including an option so that all “unmatched” Items in a tender can be skipped and addressed at the end of the Auto Allocate process
- Read-only access permissions allowed for various Libraries, on a user-by-user basis
- Advanced user-by-user Project Access permissions (in the Corporate version only)
- New Summary reports after you import data provide you with a consolidated overview of the data imported and any rejects/duplicates etc
- A new feature to add Text Items faster in a Project