When times are tough, competition is hard, margins are tight, and the cost of materials—especially fuel for the equipment—is in constant flux, making profitable estimates even more important. Contractors have depended on software to enhance their estimator’s work for decades but each segment of the industry has unique requirements, making a universal solution impossible. But vendors are developing solutions that address both the general estimating needs of construction and the subsets that come with individual specialties.

One of the companies providing estimating software to the construction market is ProEst,www.proest.com, San Diego, Calif. ProEst has come out with ProEst 2012 that incorporates specific features for the concrete and masonry segments, and will be unveiled at the World of Concrete tradeshow in Las Vegas at the end of January.

ProEst 2012 features several features along with performance enhancements designed to increase estimating speed. It provides a powerful and innovative estimating and digital takeoff software solution that streamlines productivity and accurately calculates the cost of any size project. It features an intuitive user interface with a Microsoft Office look-and-feel, easy-to-use item and assembly screens, and the ability to analyze estimates by square footage or yards of concrete to help estimators quickly produce competitive bids. The software even includes a newly-developed concrete materials database with everything from slabs and piers to footings.

ProEst 2012 is built using the latest Microsoft technology, including a SQL database and .NET development platform. This technology platform optimizes the interoperability between ProEst and other common business tools. ProEst 2012 is tightly integrated with Microsoft Excel and Outlook as well as many construction accounting software systems, to increase efficiencies and eliminate duplicate data entry. Direct integration with leading online plan rooms keeps projects updated with the latest specifications, plans and addendums. In addition, ProEst 2012 includes built-in digital takeoffs, which cut estimate creation time by 50% when compared to estimates prepared using manual takeoff methods or digitizers.