GENERAL FEATURES: Explore the various important features of Benchmark Estimating Software including a central SQL database, user-based security and permissions, the Project Browser, document hyperlinks, customisable and mandatory fields, offline access. Read more...
Project Document Folders.Â Collaborate more effectively amongst your team and improve productivity by eliminating the need to set up and maintain separate folders on your server for estimate documents.
Custom Fields.Â Set up your own user defined fields (field label names and type of field) for a Project, for Items in a Project and for Clients.
Project Comparator.Â Save time comparing revisions of estimates and undertake powerful what-if analysis to help with management decision making. Project Managers can use it to review and compare estimated margin details following refinement of their budget.
Mandatory fields. Nominate mandatory fields which must be completed by your users when an estimate is completed. This ensures that your business analysis reporting is consistent and accurate.
Easy to use. A clear, intuitive and consistent interface together with professionally designed icons all help to make for a satisfying and simple end-user experience.
My Benchmark. A customisable welcome screen to help you manage your estimating more effectively, improve your overall efficiency and give you access to key market share data all from within one screen.
Project Explorer. The Project Explorer feature provides a familiar â€˜tree viewâ€™ allowing easier and quicker navigation through your BOQ. You can quickly drill down to the Resource level, within seconds, as well as expand and filter to help you find important Items easier and faster.
Localisation. Benchmark Estimating Software allows users to select their region, and have the right format displayed automatically, depending on the region and culture.
Drag/drop interface. When adding Resources from the Library, users can â€˜drag and dropâ€™ Resources into an Item or Routine which makes the use of our software even easier and faster.
Customisable system options. Configure many aspects of Benchmark Estimating Software to suit your business. This includes importing your company logo, specifying default Markup percentages and switching functionality/fields on or off.
Customisable drop down fields. Customise the options available in your drop down fields to suit your business. These fields may be for important data like Cost Codes, Units, Region and Job Category (to name a few). There is also security over who can edit these settings.
Central register of estimates. All estimates you create are listed in Benchmark Estimating Software’s Project Browser window. This makes finding and opening previous estimates easy and fast. You can quickly search or filter estimates by Client, User, Status, Due Date, Location and many other criteria.Â The use of the Project Browser leads to greater productivity and better business reporting.
Document hyperlinks. Easily create hyperlinks from your estimate to related project documents (e.g. drawings, photos, specifications etc) so that they are easy and fast for everyone to find.
Estimate Notes. Add project-specific notes/text in various areas of your estimate. This information can be printed on some of Benchmark Estimating Software’s reports and acts as an excellent reference for all users.
Reports. All reports can be viewed on screen, printed, exported to Microsoft Word, exported to Microsoft Excel, saved as a HTML document and saved as a PDF document.
User manual & online help. Get the most out of your Benchmark Estimating Software system with easy access to an extensive online help system.
ESTIMATING THE COST OF YOUR PROJECT: Power and flexibility to price any type of project: learn about all the features that make this possible including Variables, Production Rates, Routines, Power Routines, Allocate, Regionalisation, Load Spreadsheet, Quantity Takeoff Sheets, adding Items from a Library, first principles, Sub Items. Read more...
Multi – Currency Benchmark Estimating Software allows you to quickly and easily adjust an exchange rate across a bid. This helps you to produce more accurate estimates quickly and with confidence. Benefit from increased efficiency, less chance of error and greater accuracy across your business, as you now have the ability to maintain all your supplierâ€™s price lists from all countries in one single database.
Three Point Estimating (TPE).Â Designed for authorities responsible for delivering large or complex capital works projects and/or programmes. Using cutting-edge three point estimating techniques and Monte-Carlo simulation, our TPE feature provides you with a clearer and more accurate picture of the potential price variation for capital projects and/or programmes.
Regionalisation. Ideal for organisations that operate across a wide geographical area, and where costs vary across this area. Regionalisation allows you to “regionalise” the Libraries in Benchmark Estimating Software so users only see the data that is relevant to them. Download the Regionalisation flier
Inactive Items and Inactive Resources Â Quickly model different construction methods for Items in a bid. Estimators and managers can make better informed decisions about alternative methods of construction & also undertake â€œwhat-ifâ€ analysis. This helps your business to prepare more competitive, accurate estimates and to win more work.
Composite Items.Â Build up the cost and rate of an individual Item in a Project by adding other Items underneath it. This powerful feature gives you greater flexibility and allows you to include a greater amount of detail in your estimates. It also “closes the loop” on compliance with structural requirements of estimating software for BIM
Composite Totals.Â Offer more levels in an estimate meaning you can produce quotes with clearer, more logical formatting that will stand out from your competitors. Also makes estimating major projects easier and facilitate flexible integration with detailed WBS reporting and analysis.
Load Revision.Â Saves you time pricing revisions to Projects where a bill of quantities has changed. It creates and prices a revision automatically and also displays exactly what has changed in the revision to help you in your decisions making and eliminate errors.
Load New Project. Creates a Project in Benchmark Estimating Software and imports a bill of quantities in one operation. You can also elect to run Auto Allocate upon completion of this function.
Auto Allocate.Â IdealÂ for companies who price Schedules of Items where the standard schedule rarely changes. Auto Allocate, can automatically price the Items in your estimate using Items from your pre-existing Item Library.Â Read more…
Variables. Adjust key parameters and see the instant effect on your project price. Variables are ideal for parameters that regularly change on a project due to changing site conditions. They can apply to individual Items in an estimate or can have a Project-wide scope.
Sub Items. Sub Items are ideal for crews, assemblies or breaking down your items of Plant/Equipment into more detail. These are a great time saver for power-users and enable you to produce more detailed estimates.
Subcontractor Manager. Import quotations from Subcontractors or Suppliers electronically to save time and increase accuracy. Compare quotes in a comparison screen within Benchmark Estimating Software and automatically update your estimate with your selected Subcontractor/Supplier.
Resource Rate Change. View all Resources used in an estimate in one simple window, and make project specific price changes quickly and easily. Ideal for fluctuating material prices.
Power Routines. If you price large Projects where you have many sites (e.g. streets, parks, pipelines, rail lines, buildings etc) and where there is a similar operation at each site, then Power Routines will save you many, many hours. Power Routines automate these types of estimates and can build the estimate for you in seconds, not weeks!
Localised calculations. Benchmark Estimating Software caters for all countries that use a comma as decimal separator in quantity calculations, rather than a full stop. If your organisation works across countries and in a single Benchmark database, you can even customise your decimal separator setting (full stop or comma) on an estimator-per-estimator basis. Ultimate flexibility and better user experience for each user.
Add Items from a Library. Add standard Items from your Item Library to an estimate. This saves you re-inventing the wheel, saves time and ensures you don’t leave important costs out of an estimate. All of your Resource requirements are worked out for you, and you have the flexibility to tailor the Item to suit your Project if required.
Create new Items. Create brand new Items in a Project by adding Resources to them; you can create new Resources or pick Resources from your Resource Library (this is known as first-principles estimating). If the new Item you create is one you could use again, simply Duplicate it to your Item Library and you can re-use it over and over again.
Import/export a schedule of Items. Save time and eliminate typing errors by importing a schedule of items (bill of quantities) from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet directly into Benchmark Estimating Software. After you have priced your Project you can also save your submission rates directly into the same spreadsheet.
Routines. Ideal for pricing repetitive tasks with many parameters. Equally suited for day-to-day quotes through to more complicated Items in larger estimates, Routines provide you with a list of questions (like a checklist) and all you need to do is answer questions; Benchmark Estimating Software does the rest.
Allocate Resources from the Item Library. Allocate one or many Items from your Item Library to a single Item in your Project. This feature is ideal if you need the flexibility to handle different clients who specify their tenders in different ways.Â Read more…
Production Rates. Adjust production rates for Items on a job by job basis to ensure you obtain a realistic, accurate price suitable to the project site conditions.
Quantity Calculator. Perform simple or detailed quantity calculations for Items or Resources with ease. Your calculations can include text and are automatically saved with your estimate. They can be printed on estimate review reports and they eliminate the errors and wasted time associated with working out calculations by hand or on paper.
Resource Factor. This feature was originally designed to calculate total weights of Resources used in a Project. It is ideal for the scenario where you purchase Steel per Metre (for example) and you want to know the total weight in Tonnes on a Project.
Rate Only and Provisional Sum Items. Add Rate Only items and Provisional Sum items in your estimate at the click of a button.
Locking your estimate. Benchmark Estimating Software has a ‘Complete’ function which locks in your estimated price. Complete can also act as a management tool on larger tenders by helping you keep track of where you are up to.
Cartage calculator. Automatically calculate the cost of cartage based on the cartage distance for the Project. This Benchmark Estimating Software feature can take into account a flag fall and distance included for each cartage-based Resource.
Cost Check. This Benchmark Estimating Software feature is ideal for updating previous, completed estimates with current prices. You can see which prices are out of date and elect to update all, or just some, Resources at the click of a button.
Duplicate an estimate. If the Project scope changes or your Client asks for different options, duplicating your original Project is a powerful tool so that you can make changes quickly and retain your original estimate(s).
Estimate formatting. Utilise text and bold text lines, sub totals and group totals to present your estimate in a very clear format.
Project Variations. Easily add Variations to your Benchmark Estimating Software Project; these can then flow through to your Progress Claims.
PROFIT, OVERHEADS AND CONTINGENCIES: Add Profit and Indirect Costs (Overheads and Contingencies) to a Project and control the spread/distribution of these extra costs on an item by item basis. Read more...
Add Profit. Add Profit (Mark-up) in a variety of ways including as an overall % of the Project or as a lump sum. You can also nominate different Mark-up % to your Labour, Materials, Plant and Subcontract components.
Add Indirect Costs (Contingencies and Overheads). Add Overheads and Contingencies (Risks) on your Project by entering % or lump sum amounts. For Site Overheads you can also build these up from first-principles.
Spread. The Spread feature in Benchmark Estimating Software allows you to manipulate your submission price on an Item by Item basis. You can effectively override the Submission Rate or Amount for any Item in your estimate. This feature is great if you wish to ‘front-load’ your tender for optimum cash flow early on in your Project.
Resource Margin Feature. The customisable Resources Margin feature help you analyse summary margin data for particular Resources.
ESTIMATE AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT REPORTING: Select from over 100 reports for a project, set up your favourite reports to save time, produce reports for the entire project or portions of it. Read more...
Estimate review and project management reports. Select from over 100 reports for any estimate. Reports available range from a high level summary, a bill of quantities, detailed resource listings item by item, resource listings summarised by group, and resource usage summaries.
Partial estimate reports. Various reports can be generated by Benchmark Estimating Software on individual Sections or even Items within a Project.
My Reports. Set up your most commonly used reports in the one easy to access Benchmark Estimating Software menu. You can print all of your favourite reports to the printer (or display on screen) with the click of one button.
AUTHORISING, PRODUCING AND FOLLOWING UP QUOTATIONS: Quote Authorisation work flow, customisable and professional Quotation/Proposal formats as well as many standard Quote formats, add Standard and Special Conditions from a Library, quote Follow Up system. Read more...
Microsoft Word Quote templates. Benchmark Estimating Software can export your estimate data to Microsoft Word automatically and create a professional quote for you. This feature utilises templates which you can set up to suit your business. You can have multiple templates for different types of submissions.
Authorisation of Quotes.Â Take control of your quote authorisation processes. If a user does not have approval to authorise a quote, our system can notify their manager automatically.
Follow up. Record details of discussions with clients and enter reminders on when to follow them up. The Follow Up feature helps you track and close more opportunities as well as share information amongst your estimating team.
Quotation reports. Benchmark Estimating Software generates standard quote reports including Quotations with/without tax, Rate Only Quotations, a Schedule of Rates submission and a Tender Letter.
Quote with Options report. Depending on the project and/or client, you may want to hide certain data. This report provides you with many options so that you can quickly produce a professional quote in the format and with the data you require.
Company Logo on Quotes. Benchmark Estimating Software gives you the ability to include your company logo on your Quote reports.
Standard and Project Specific Conditions on Quotes.Â You can include your Standard Conditions and Project Specific Conditions on your quote reports.
PROGRESS CLAIMS: Incorporated Progress Claim feature, enter claim data by percentage or quantity complete, Retentions, Variations, professional summary and detailed Reports for submission to your Client. Read more...
Progress Claims. Generate Progress Claims directly from your Benchmark Estimating Software estimate. This includes the ability to do your claims by % or Quantity complete, and also handles Retentions.
Progress Claim Reports. Multiple Progress Claim reports including a one-page Summary (cover sheet), detailed reports Item by Item, a Claim Report with Options so you can customise the format of the report, and a report showing summary data for the last four claims.
Claim Variations. Claim Variation Items on your project.
INTEGRATION WITH OTHER SYSTEMS: Resource-Based Export to Microsoft Project, Export to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Excel, Job Costing Exports to Microsoft Excel, Exports to Accounting/ERP Systems. Read more...
Variation Approved button. Â For integrating with your ERP/Accounting/job costing program.
Resource-based Export to Microsoft Project.Â Automatically create a gantt chart in Microsoft Project. This powerful export automatically calculates the duration of each Item (activity) in your Project and exports the Resources and costs as well.
Export to Microsoft Outlook.Â When printing a report you can elect to email it via Microsoft Outlook. The selected report is converted to PDF and attached to the email. (If you do not use Microsoft Outlook an alternative email method does exist). All emails are also recorded in an Email Log within Benchmark Estimating Software for all users to review.
Exports to Accounting/ERP systems.Â Purpose written exports to various other systems including IPM Project Management, Projection Scenario, Workbench, Viewpoint Vista.
Export to Microsoft Word.Â Set up your own Quote Report Templates in Microsoft Word and automatically export your estimate data from Benchmark Estimating Software to these templates.
Exports to Microsoft Excel. Various purpose written exports to Excel including Resources by Cost Code for budgets, Resources by Subcontractor/Supplier for ordering, and the Project Review/Analysis for estimate review and what-if analysis by project managers.
Job Costing Export to Microsoft Excel. Exports your complete estimate breakdown into Microsoft Excel; Project Managers can then enter actual Resource usage and get comparisons of the estimate versus actual to help them run projects.
SALES AND MARKETING ANALYSIS: Won/lost/pending, reason for loss and competitor analysis reporting, graphical representation as well as detailed reports, export capability, forward order report. Read more...
Quickly update market data. View and update key Marketing data (e.g. won/lost) for all quotes quickly and easily in the one window within Benchmark Estimating Software, saving time and helping you to produce more accurate business reports.
Marketing reports and graphs. Generate powerful marketing reports and graphs (e.g. won/lost/pending, reason for loss, competitor comparison) to help you analyse and grow your business.
Revenue Driver. The Revenue Driver feature allows you to maximise your profitability by making more informed business decisions. You can analyse your performance by a specific parameter that is the KPI for your business (such as total tonnage for Asphalt companies).
Business reporting. Standard business reports including Projects by Estimator, Quote KPI per Estimator and Winner Not Registered.
LIBRARIES: Eliminate repeat work, increase control and capture knowledge; our Libraries include ones for Resources, Items, Clients, Subcontractor/Suppliers, Conditions, Quantity Takeoff Sheets, Routines, Sections. Library security to keep data secure and import and export to libraries. Read more...
Template Projects.Â The Template Project Library allows users to easily create and maintain Template Projects. This feature includes security access control over which users can create, edit and delete Template Projects. Estimating processes become more streamlined with the â€˜Add from Template Projectâ€™ feature, and business reporting more accurate. This feature even tracks which estimates are based on Template Projects, offering you powerful analysis data to help you audit and improve your estimating operations.
Three Point Estimating Libraries.Â Users with the Three Point Estimating (TPE) add-on module have Libraries for Risks, Risk Reasons, Cost Elements and Ranges.
Variable Library.Â The Variable Library within Benchmark Estimating Software is ideal for important Variables (such as Densities, Wastage % or even common production rates) that are used over and over again in many calculations. This Library captures and shares these very important values for all Estimators to use.
Quantity Takeoff Sheet Library.Â The Quantity Takeoff Sheet Library stores your standard takeoff sheets. These can be called on by users when performing detailed quantity calculations for Items in an estimate.
Resource Library.Â The Resource Library is a central list of your Labour, Plant, Material and Subcontract costs; these costs are the building blocks of your estimates with Benchmark Estimating Software.
Item Library.Â The Item Library stores the list of standard services you provide. Each Item contains a build up of Resources and can include standard production rates and notes/text. This Library is a key repository for your corporate knowledge and is the cornerstone of Benchmark Estimating Software.
Routine Library.Â The Routine Library is where you create and maintain your Routines; Routines can be used for many estimating tasks and work by presenting the user with questions about the task/project. Routines too are a key repository for your corporate knowledge.
Section Library.Â The Section Library stores the main work breakdown headings for the standard estimates that you prepare.
Estimator Library.Â The user interface of the Estimator Library contains granular security controls for Libraries, including drop down field data entry (with 5 access permissions as well as â€˜Yes/Noâ€™ selections).
Conditions Library.Â Standard Conditions and commonly used Project-Specific Conditions can be saved in a library to save re-typing, and reduce the risk of forgetting important contract conditions.
Client and Subcontractor/Supplier Libraries. Store details (i.e. address, phone, contact, mobile, email etc) and notes about your Clients and Subcontractors/Suppliers in central Libraries.
Library security.Â Access to all Libraries can be granted on a user by user level. Some Libraries can also be configured for read only access.
Library export/import. You can export your Library data and open this in Microsoft Excel. You can also import data into your Libraries electronically.
SECURITY/AUDIT FEATURES: The Security Audit feature minimizes risk, improves system governance and increases accountability in your organisation. All the logins to software and setting changes can be tracked from Administrator. Read more...
System Security Audit.Â Â The new System Security Audit feature logs all logins to the software both successful and unsuccessful, all changes to Administration settings and all changes to User Account settings.
LDAP integration.Â Â The â€˜Single sign-onâ€™ concept makes our software very user-friendly, as users donâ€™t need to remember multiple logins/passwords any longer. In addition to more efficiency, the integration with LDAP provides Benchmark Estimating Software users with increased security over their estimating data.
Role Based Access.Â The Role Based Access feature allows administrators to define roles, such as â€˜Senior Estimatorâ€™, â€˜Managerâ€™ or â€˜Administratorâ€™. It is now possible to assign default Access Levels to Roles and assign Roles to Estimators. The benefits of this new feature are obvious: rather than editing each Estimator in the estimator library, you can make changes to a Role, which will subsequently change for all Estimators. The end result is faster, more accurate user administration, and improved security of your estimating data.
Bid team. Â You can nominate a team of estimators to work on and be able to access a particular Project. This powerful feature allows greater control and security in your organisation.
Project Audit.Â Keeps track of important changes to an estimate so they can be reviewed and audited.
User based security and permissions.Â Each user can be set up with a login and password to ensure your important estimating data is secure. You can also assign many user-specific permissions/restrictions to help ensure that your data and processes are controlled.
TECHNICAL: Microsoft.NET Framework, industry leading SQL database system, excellent data extraction capabilities, multiple database support, flexible installation and compatibility with other software. Read more...
Option for Oracle database. Set up Benchmark Estimating Software to save its data in an Oracle database giving your IT Administrator more flexibility and giving your organisation optimum performance, scalability and the ability to handle large volumes of estimating data.
Microsoft .NET. The Microsoft .NET Framework is one of the industry’s leading software development platforms. Benchmark Estimating leverages the power of the .NET system and its tools to help it develop world class software and deliver a wonderful end-user experience.
Microsoft SQL Database. Benchmark Estimating Software utilises the power of Microsoft SQL Server as its primary database system so all of your estimates are stored in an SQL database to help you share data amongst you team members. This offers you superior performance, scalability, data storage/recovery and integration opportunities as well as excellent integration, data extraction and reporting opportunities.
Multiple database support. You can have multiple databases (for different business units for example) if required.
Flexible Installation. Benchmark Estimating Software can be easily installed and operated by a single user on a laptop/PC, or set up over a Local Area Network with a shared, central database. For organisations with many offices and/or remote users, you can deploy Benchmark Estimating Software via Windows Terminal Server or Citrix.
Compatibility with other software. Benchmark Estimating Software is highly compatible with other common software. The system can import and export data from/to Microsoft Excel, export a schedule to Microsoft Project and send emails via Microsoft Outlook. Benchmark utilises Crystal Reports for highly professional reporting and all reports can be also exported to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and PDF formats.