Why BidScreen XL Version 9 is the best takeoff solution available

Our customers know that Vertigraph’s BidScreen XL is the very best takeoff software in the industry. The release of BidScreen XL Version 9 has further increased the lead over all other solutions. There are several reasons why Vertigraph’s BidScreen XL Version 9 is so strong.

First, as an Excel add-in application, BidScreen XL performs the quantity measurement and takeoff directly in Excel, which is very important. Vertigraph invented this clever concept over 20 years ago where the digitized measurement is automatically recorded into an Excel cell and the color-coded drawing information is stored as an Excel cell comment.

The key to documenting the takeoff is organizing the measurements and applying formulas to these measurements. Using an Excel template where formulas are automatically applied to these measurement cells is what sets Vertigraph’s BidScreen XL program apart and is the reason why BidScreen XL is the best in the industry. Other programs, provide a list of measurements and some basic calculations which may be exported to Excel. But these other programs do not organize or use powerful Excel formulas that a pre-defined Excel takeoff template provides.

There is no better application for calculating and organizing numbers then Microsoft Excel. Excel takeoff templates automate the entire takeoff process. Formulas in the Excel template may include lookup tables, if/then logic and many other powerful functions. For example, an Excel takeoff template for concrete paving may require only five inputs: the paving area, depth of the concrete, depth of stone base; rebar size and the on-center spacing of the rebar mat and once this information is quickly entered into the Excel template, presto, everything you need to purchase, build and price this paving project is automatically provided. All concrete paving jobs require the same inputs. No other on-screen takeoff product can arrive at the quantities as easily and as quickly. Once takeoff professionals start working with an Excel template, they are surprised why they didn’t automate the takeoff with a template earlier.

The second reason why BidScreen XL Version 9 is the best program in the industry is because it works directly in Excel for Excel estimators. Additionally, BidScreen XL is ideal for a lot of the estimating software on the market today such as HCSS, InEight, B2W and Oman since these programs do not provide takeoff capability but are able to seamlessly import takeoff quantities from an Excel spreadsheet.

Estimating is the process of applying costs to the takeoff quantities. And Excel is not only the most used program for takeoff but is also the number one program for estimating. Currently there are only two ways to automate the estimating process: spreadsheet applications such as Excel or 2) high level assembly database driven applications like Timberline, WinEst, Mc2, ProEst, HCSS, ViewPoint, B2W, InEight and many others programs marketed to the industry. Everybody in the industry selling estimating software is selling its flavor of assembly based, database driven software. The combined market share of all the estimating software used is approximately 35% with Excel estimators capturing over 65% of the market. Database driven estimating programs may be useful for mechanical and electrical contractors since they estimate a lot of parts and pieces. But, for most contractors an Excel template for takeoff and estimating is the best and most preferred way to document the estimate. You may want to read about how best to automate a takeoff and estimating process by clicking here.

The final reason why BidScreen XL version 9 is the best takeoff solution is because of its ability to read and work with vector drawings. Most takeoff programs on the market today only read raster drawings and do not read the more advanced vector drawings. Vertigraph is the leader and the first company to perform takeoffs from vector drawings such as vector type PDFs and AutoCAD drawings. As the industry advances, distribution of vector drawings is the wave of the future. For additional information on the differences between vector and raster drawings click here.

Finally, a history of takeoff and estimating software may be helpful in your understanding of this marketplace. Click here for a history of this industry.

If you have any questions whatsoever or would like to discuss our solutions in further detail, please contact us when time permits.

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