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With thousands of users world-wide, WinEst estimating from Trimble GC is a database-driven construction project management solutions on the market. It looks and feels just like Excel with familiar Windows navigation, including drop-down menus and ribbon bars.
Behind the covers is a database with multiple work-breakdown structures (WBS) and filters that can be customized to the user's preferences so that estimating data can be sliced and diced and presented in different ways. WinEst estimates can be standardized for multiple project types to reflect the user's corporate brand. The estimate templates extend to the item and assembly level, as well as to labor and equipment rates, including base rates and benefit rates. According to the vendor, this helps firms standardize estimating best practices for all project types and self-perform work.
1) Its stable background. No more worrying about how markups, escalation, GCs are being calculated. You also remove the common occurrence of breaking excel formulas
2) Ability for uniform reports - takes your deliverables to the next level.
3) Highly dynamic yet organized content manager.
- WinEst allows for uniformity and clarity. Having the ability to mange your views, reports, assignments etc. allows for bid teams to put together a highly detailed estimate quickly and efficiently.
- Being able to develop database items ensures that every bid you produce will have the same look and feel - important for repeat clients.
- Winest also allows for simple importing of takeoff from programs like OST. WinEst's feature that allows for multiple users to edit the estimate at the same time is unbelievably useful.
- WinEst allows for a huge amount of flexibility. The built in functionality and reporting preferences allows you to create any sort of reporting format you can imagine.
- At times, WinEst controls feel counter intuitive. Also the tools available for actually developing the database can feel clunky. This means that if you do not take the time to create a robust import file, you will spend a serious amount of time fixing your errors.
- WinEst is also an object based database which means that it is difficult to do mass dumps of information (mainly takeoff) into the program. While this is great for ensuring that everything is done purposefully, it does lead to extended hours of data entry
- It takes hours upon hours of use before you begin to realize the true potential. The sheer number of tools is overwhelming and their help resources are very basic and only explain how to correctly enter the data but not the feature's best use cases.
- It's very flexible when building an estimate and selecting items to include. You can either click your way to the datebase or quickly copy and paste similar items.
- The numerous ways to view and estimate whether it's by CSI, Uniformat, Master Format, or any view you'd like to see. One of ours is by program area, i.e. Sitework, Tower, Parking Deck, etc. After that, you can sort by Bid Package, CSI, etc. Quick buttons can be created far all the views you'd need which allows changing between views a breeze.
- The visual interface is pleasing and easy to read.
- It's easy to create your own database using Excel. Once you tag an item with unit costs, sort codes, etc., Winest will import it. You can also build it manually within the program but Excel was faster.
- As with other estimating software I've used, WinEst needs to make reports easier to do. You can make reports with your own headers and such but creating those templates is very difficult to create unless you're a programmer.
- Initially, we had some database sharing conflicts with our server that needed to be overcome. I believe Winest has since improved this though.
- Could really improve the takeoff function. It has an OST integrator but it's an afterthought at best. Using OST directly is a must.