Easy Price Pro software goes under review
Easy Price Pro
John Dyer from Professional Housebuilder and Developer magazine, along with a builder he knows that tested Easy Price Pro's latest estimating software version, offers a product review.
John Dyer commented: "The fact that I was so impressed speaks volumes about the company's latest version of its New Houses and Extensions Plus programme".
"If you're completely in the dark about what this product does, it will basically price a project for you down to the last wall tie".
"The programme is broken down by build stages familiar to all housebuilders and developers and you simply have to input the right basic information regarding dimensions and specifications".
Improvements: "There are many improvements to the package but amongst the most important is the 3D graphics section.
This is accessed through a coloured question mark on each line, or thumb marks at the top of each section.
"It is a good way to cut through what can be rather baffling construction terminology by actually picturing the materials and build method you need".
"This is important as I've noticed that operatives will often use different terms for something from one end of a large development to the other, let alone regional differences around the country".
Future proofed: "New building items have been included but the company is especially keen to point out all the green products that have been added.
Just one example of this is the addition of Insulated Concrete Formwork.
"I was hoping to catch them out on that one, as it was fresh in my mind from having recently visited a development using it".
"Managing Director, Paul Betts pointed out that different forms of this method were included.
"Even products not even thought of are catered for with a custom wall section, that will allow you to enter new walling product block and joint dimensions.
"The 'method of waste from site' section has been updated and made more user-friendly which should be useful - as these kinds of costs escalate.
"Paul Betts and, Sales Rep; Paul Gosdon did a fine job in showing me around the software but just to prove I hadn't been the victim of some sort of salesman's Jedi mind trick or drugged cup of tea they allowed me to take the package out into the real world".
Real life assessment: "The housebuilder I had in mind was Justin Ramsey of Broadfields Building Services.
"Trained as a quantity surveyor and now specialising in building single-unit top end developments, he seemed an ideal candidate to assess the programme.
"Despite busy schedules we finally managed to get around to installing the software at his home office.This, he said, was easy to do; the reason being that Easy Price Pro do it remotely for you".
Demo: "The company will visit your premises and give you a free demonstration, but in the interests of testing user friendliness we decided to go on alone.
"With his background and experience there isn't much Justin doesn't know about estimating but his computer literacy is a little questionable and, as much as I would like to, I can't claim to be much better.
"In order to keep things simple we set about estimating the costs of the shell on a large extension to a two-bedroom semi (by large we mean more than doubling the floor area).
"This was chosen as it was a project already finished and still relatively fresh in his mind.
"In this way Justin wanted to compare his old way of pricing to the new".
"Anyone with a trade background or pretensions to 'real man' status has an unexplainable fear of reading instructions, be they online demonstrations or the instructions that come with flat-pack, so there was some initial confusion as he stubbornly refused to click on the question mark icon.
Having realised that it was just a graphic he was soon enjoying the process".
"Questions asked of the product such as, 'Can I customise this? Skip that? Allow for this?, always had the right answers".
"Despite our haphazard approach to trying out the New Houses and Extensions package it really was easy to use and obviously designed by those with real life experience of housebuilding".
"Justin's final comment was that, 'It wouldn't be very long before he was using the programme as a matter of course".
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