Brief review of Esticom
I have had nothing but great experiences with the team at Esticom, every call and email have been answered promptly and most of my questions were easy to implement the solution for.
Esticom has saved us a tremendous amount of time in our estimating process. With having auto-count and linear average I can get most plans done in minutes instead of hours now.
It took a little bit to dial in the percentages and cost for products in our area but now that that is done I only review costs with my vendors when they tell me their is going to be a change.
Esticom allows us to do more takeoffs in less time. This is great because many programs out there are not geared to Structured Cabling and this is. It made my job and those of my estimators so much easier. Our time to push out takeoffs have been improved by 87% and counting.
I love the ease of use and how easy it is to teach team members to use the system. Anyone can get up and running in under 2 hrs at a moderate level from zero experience. They have done an excellent job with making the program user friendly.
There are features that the program lacks and it does not integrate with Autotask (our CRM). Hopefully it will in the near future.
Great takeoff software but not my first choice
My overall experience with Esticom was good but I have found better. I can't go back to using Esticom because I found a software that saves me more time and is cheaper!
What I liked the most about Esticom is how easy it is to measure blueprints and download them with legends. It works very well with the mouse, and it is web based so I could access it anywhere.
What I liked the least about Esticom is that it is missing important features and they are charging way too much for the platform. Please add templates, stages and Excel options!
Esticom review as requested
“Review of Esticom ”
ESTICOM is a really great software.
The cloud bases structure and easy to use functions made this software power full.
Some recommendations are below.
1)If we can fix a color , legend size and shape for an assembly it would be great so that we dont need to select it all time.
2)Option to select a particular area for take off would be great.
3)Option to download all take off drawings to PDF at once.
One of the best estimating softwares we have used!
This has been a great experience working with esticom, i would definitely recommend it to others.
What I like the most about the software is that it remembers the rates and descriptions we use in each of our estimates. This makes it easier to keep our quotes consistant.
We also like that we can bring in drawings and measure from there, before we had to either print them to scale and get the square footage or we had to upload them to a seperate software.
Also like that there is margin as the percentage. Not mark up. Most other softwares use mark up.
The only con we have with this software is that you cannot put different percentage margin on the labor side per line item. We can only do that on the material side.
Good bang for the buck
For now I only use as a material take off with my own list uploaded but only makes the system 40% effective to it's full potential.
Easy to use electrican friendly. Going from take off to plan to estimate is very easy.
To be able to use the system fully esticom needs to integrate a full Canadian data base with material and time with this change the system would be near perfect. Next step to integrate to a major while saler to get real life pricing.
9.5 out of 10! Esticom is big help.
With Esticom, we are definitely cranking out bids faster which is a huge plus.
Thanks Esticom...I look forward to seeing what your updates will bring.
The take-off process (auto-count) and time saving are definitely the best features of the product but there are several others that make the product worthwhile.
1. Covering additional expenditures like overhead and waste is wonderful.
2. Ability to apply difficulty levels is nice.
3. Ability to export BOM saves time.
Here are few items that take away from the software but the techies at Esticom are very responsive so perhaps some of these can be improved on future updates.
1. Within the take-off process, it would be terrific if I could copy and paste take-off items and paste them to other groups. It's nice to be able to duplicate the take-off within the group but sometimes you just need specific items within other and not the whole group duplicated.
2. Not a big deal but it would be good if any quantities applied to take-offs within the 'estimating' phase could show up on the take-off phase to avoid confusion.
3. This has been mentioned by others but, it would be great to be able to customize the export bid PDF. Simple customizations to font and letterhead would be useful.
4. It would be nice to be able to copy the selected area of a legend or symbols and copy them other drawings. I see that there is a legend feature on the right side of the options on the take-off page but it doesn't seem to do anything but show a 'legend' word.
5. It would be great to be able to create a new 'group' within the take-off page without going to the estimating page. I know you can duplicate a take-off group but again, sometimes you don't want all the same items from other take-off items.
6. It would be nice to have the ability to multi-select items that you want to delete or copy.
Great time saver!
This is a great software for anyone who wants to shorten the amount of time and money spent on estimating. It produces great print edits for workers and customers.
Speeds up the estimating process. They are always expanding and improving the software.
Not a lot of extra drawing functions for customization.
Is Esticom Right For Us
Being a creator of web apps I understand the amount of work that goes into creating and maintaining those applications. Esticom has been well maintained rolling out updates and new features on a regular bases. As for the overall, experience, it has severed us well allowing us as a company to quickly create estimates for bid or general quotes.
The ability to create and manage catalogs is a big deal for us. As a company, we have a large number of products across a wide range of technologies and have the ability to separate those into individual catalogs helps to make sense of what to quote. In addition, assigning a catalog item to a takeoff makes creating a bill of materials a cinch.
While I understand that making a profit is key to a business's survival I feel that the per-user cost is quite high. Also, a bulk selection for changing the creator of an estimate would be nice. I recently had to manually go through and change the creator of about 30 individual estimates. While this was due to us sharing a login between users and then purchasing more logins I could see this being an issue, later on, should you have to replace an employee and need a have someone take over their estimates.
A Better Way to Estimate
Overall the experience has been good. We are still in the process of dialing in all our labor costs and work times, but think the system will really shine once we get everything tested and adjusted.
It would be nice to be able to estimate using more than one labor rate as well. Many times we will have 3-4 different pay rates for employees on a job and it's not always simple to average. Having those pay rates/labor costs by task might work well in those situations.
Esticom is very straightforward and intuitive. For a structured cabling business like ours, it couldn't be easier to place cable runs, supports, and mark our drops.
There are a few functions missing that would make it easier for us to use. One is the lack of a linear with drop only at the ends of the run. Instead it adds drops at every turn. Second is not being able to add temporary items on the estimating page. We have many items that we use but do not want in our catalog. Having to return to takeoff mode to add them is time consuming, especially if there are a lot of individual items we need for a project.
Lastly, I have had one issue where my drawing rotated under my takeoff. When I tried to rotate the drawing back, I was told I could not because it was being used in a takeoff. Since I was not too deep in the process I just started over. Can't imagine how bummed I'd be if this happened after spending hours or more on a takeoff.
Customer service has been great and the software has always worked as expected.
Esticom is very user friendly and easy to use.
There are not many icons for the fire protection industry I work in. This makes it difficult when creating mocked up drawings for the customer.
I can finally stop looking.
After searching for estimating software for almost 5 years, installing trial software, talking with tech support, even hiring a programmer to build our own system, the hunt ended with Esticom. Getting the system up and running was a breeze and my company now has a uniform database to build estimates from.
The ability to simply enter lines of product and adjust all elements across the board: unit costs, markup, labor hours and difficulty factors are the stand out elements! Finding software that accomplishes this simple but tedious (if using Excel) task has changed our company's workflow.
First and foremost this software is for estimating purposes. It dabbles in the process of automatically creating a quote to send to customers but lacks the customizability to make it your own. (In contrast to the many variables you can manipulate on the estimating side.) For now my team continues to use Word to provide our scopes of work with our personalized touch.
Features added regularly!
I “stomach” the price because the software is so helpful! Love the product, but would switch to anything comparable if the price was more reasonable.
It is highly functional!! If I could spend more time on customizing it, I would use it as my only tool for estimating from beginning to end.
Pricey. $99 per month is a lot considering there are critical things like Office and Adobe that cost so much less.
You get "more" than you pay for
Esticom has offered us a great option to push out more quotes. It is very cost effective for us. We did not need one of the big box sells that had ongoing costs, we needed something that would allow us to figure out "what" we needed without being locked into something. Not only did Esticom offer that, but I think it did meet our needs, and at this point in time, I am not interested in looking at any other products. I am very happy with Esticom.
The software is simple. It is a great set-up for a small business. The customer service is very hands on. You get a real person every time and they do a good job of helping explain things. There is not a charge for training. If there is something you are struggling with they seem genuinely concerned on making the software the best it can be for you.
It would be nice if we could customize some of the costs and if there were a couple more options with the quote set-up when it goes to the customer. It is time consuming for us (we are electrical contractors) to try to find "specific costs" for wire and other things. They have a lot of templates, but a lot of them are based on nationwide pricing.
Great estimating software for small to medium-sized electrical contractors
Estimating a project longhand would take a considerable amount of time. Time is money and with Esticom I can get more estimates out the door in the same amount of time which translates to more work generated. The ability to create or import databases of labour units is also extremely useful. Esticom has aggregated my material cost and labor unit information and allowed me to efficiently manage the costs of everyday and on-off take-offs.
Cloud based - I can estimate and track projects on any computer wherever I have a good internet connection
Economical - Low monthly or annual costs allow a great ROI
Intuitive - Assemblies are easy to customize/create
Evolving - New features added monthly using real input from actual users
Personal - Customer support staff have field experience as well as excellent product knowledge which translates to excellent on-boarding sessions and quick answers to questions.
The design build section could use some updating/expanding. I realize that this is not one of the main features of Esticom, but it would be nice to see a few more items in its database as it is not yet possible to add my own.
Esticom Value and Innovation
We have worked with several staff members, all our professional. They have taken our ideas and worked hard to accommodate our reporting and functional needs. You will not see that form of out of the box thinking from many other developers.
The team and I appreciated the ease of use. It has significant power to perform all the required work of the larger more expensive packages, but still gives you the flexibility to make it a custom fit for you.
Only cloud based at this moment. I hope in future releases they will issue a server based stand alone platform for our secure projects.
Esitcom for the Daily User
Every one that I have dealt with at Esticom has been friendly, professional, and helpful. Customer service has been exemplary.
The software is easy to use. As features are added, it becomes more and more useful. The fact that your customer and existing catalog data base can be uploaded to give it a tremendous value.
There are still some issues with the way it rounds and displays some of the cost information, but customer support has been working with me on that.
EstiCom for Telecom Estimating
EstiCom has been a great add to our business. The catalog feature keeps our quotes consistent, and the efficiencies it brings to the table have allowed us to increase the number of quotes each Estimator can send in a given time frame!
This software is affordable and cloud-based, so my team can access it from anywhere they have an internet connection. It's user-friendly, comprehensive and professional. The stock catalogs are also very helpful.
While the cloud-based software offers many benefits, it can also be a drawback if you need to be able to access your quotes while you're offline (such as in-flight or in a remote area). You're also at the mercy of the development team when you see functions/formats that could use an update, and when the software is updated (since updates are not optional).
Great easy software gets the job done right
I use this for estimating big jobs. It is made very simple to add the basic information and exporting the bid sheets. It has glitches at times. I don't know if its because I use IOS products or it needs to be fixed. I do recommend this to whoever is in need for big projects. I do like the idea that you could change colors when estimating for easy understanding.
I like that the software is easy to use.
I don't like that it has glitches at times. I did request for some changes.
Easy to Use and Suprisingly Powerful
My overall experience with Esticom has been wonderful. Having a tool that is so easy to use has let us focus more on how to improve our estimating rather than on how to use our software.
The intuitive nature of the interfaces and how easy it is to tweak my estimates.
There are a few quirks that take some getting used to.
I'd say the two small things that bother me most are:
1. Not being able to add one-time-use items to the estimating section.
2. Not being able to switch between takeoff modes without deleting the entire item. (ie switching between linear and linear avg with drop)
Esticomm Saves You Time and Improves Accuracy!
I use it to prepare my larger quotes for the reasons I mentioned. I am happy with the current performance and look forward to continued improvements.
It saves me money from not having to print tons of project plans and then storing them. Esticomm saves me time by insuring I get accurate counts and distances the first time! Plus I can work from the office, at the job site or at home, which I prefer not to do, because all my files are on their site.
Esticomm does a good job of constantly upgrading the software and making improvements. There are minor improvements I would make to the functionality of the software but they usually end up doing that automatically.
Olson Electric Review
Having just gotten started with the program, I am happy with the experience. Got a great response from [SENSITIVE CONTENT HIDDEN] for adding symbols to the design function database. Very happy to see that the input from users is welcome.
Looking forward to really putting this software to use with some larger projects.
Ability to easily jump between work stations and use at home
Reports that can be issued are very professional looking
The database for devices in the design function is limited
Limited database for parts that have been pre-entered