You've heard me rant on about estimating in Cabinet Vision. And if you haven't heard me rant about it, that's a good thing because I'm changin' my tune.
Okay, so here's what's going on with estimating and Cabinet Vision. Craftsman Engineering just came out with a couple of new packages for Cabinet Vision that'll likely change the way you use Cabinet Vision for estimating. And I mean that in the best way possible.
I can hear most of you saying to yourself, "Don't kid yourself, Bruce. I don't use Cabinet Vision for estimating. We use a spreadsheet because...". And that sentence usually ends with "because that's the way we've always estimated". And then that's sometimes followed by, "I wish I know how to use the Bid Center in Cabinet Vision".
For all you folks who think I was just reading your mind there, I'm writing this blog post just for you.
And I also wrote this for the guy in the shop who has to listen to the boss grumble endlessly about how estimating is just a big thorn in his side. Get ready for a raise from the boss because you, my friend, can tell your boss that you read about how Craftsman Engineering is making it real easy to estimate cabinet jobs using Cabinet Vision without having to draw any walls or layout rooms or spend hours drawing up jobs.
Seriously! I am so excited about this Cost-Plus Bid Center and the Estimator's Toolbox, I can't hardly stand still.
Just to break it all down, the Cost-Plus Bid Center is a package for Cabinet Vision that essentially loads up the Bid Center in Cabinet Vision with a bunch of rate tables. And the rate tables are pre-built so you don't have to figure out how to make your own rate tables. It's called the Cost-Plus Bid Center because it uses a cost-plus approach to product costing. That's perfect for what we do in the cabinet business.
And then there's the Estimator's Toolbox. The Estimator's Toolbox is that name I've given to an object catalog. It comes included with the Cost-Plus Bid Center in addition to some other reports and things.
The thing that makes this catalog special, in my humble opinion, is that...well a couple of things. First, is that it includes all kinds of cabinet types that aren't otherwise found in "Custom Cabinets" for example. OK, I'll give you one....there's no base microwave cabinets in Custom Cabinets. But the Estimator's Toolbox has three of 'em. Speaking of bases, there's probably a hundred different variations of bases in the Estimator's Toolbox. I've never bothered to count 'em all up.
Second, everything is pretty easy to find. The categories are well defined - in plain language - so you don't need an index to find stuff quickly.
Back to the Cost-Plus Bid Center for a sec. I mentioned some reports and other things. I've also included some reports that are handy for Q/C'ing your bidding and to send out with the job later when you're ready to ship the job. I call these the "Send Loose Reports".
The "other things" are some Pseudo Material Schedules. These material schedules are handy to use for those clients who haven't made up their minds yet about which materials they want. I think that's about 90% of all customers! Think of Pseudo Material Schedules as Good, Better and Best options for estimating. You'll have to decide in your own shop how you want to set pricing for these "pseudo materials". For example you might want to include paint grade materials in the Good category and exotic hardwoods in the Best category but that's all up to you. It just makes it easy to switch between pricing options.
Ok, that's all I'm gonna say about this stuff right now. I've made a bunch of videos. Check these out!