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Topic Title: Elektrika Quotation software
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Created On: 21 August 2010 10:55 PM
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 21 August 2010 10:55 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3006
Joined: 20 July 2006

Hello,

Do any of you use the Elektrika quotation software?

I've had this for a while and have kept it updated through the bumph they email and post out to us but not used it yet. I'm about to fire it up as I seem to have a few rewires to quote for and one customer asking for something detailed.

Everything I send out is actually an estimate but I thought the software might help.

Question 1....Is it any good?


Question 2...What time units do you use for putting in a double socket for example, or a single light on a single switch?


I was talking about quoting with another electrician recently and he suggested a rigid price per point of about £90 works for him. Now that sounds monster but if you think that one of them is going to take you an hour and some of them are going to take you three hours each it seems to balance out. In fact, on the quote I'm working on now (a job I don't really want to do for instinct reasons) I worked the figures out both ways and they came in about the same.

My usual method is to look at the property as a whole and just to think, how long will I be here doing this? Real Back of a fag packet kind of method but usually spot-on. That method came in at 4,800 plus supply costs. £90 per point comes in at £4,050 plus about £1,000 for pond pumps and some non-quantifiable bits, DB etc..

Customer has asked for a detailed break down.

It has encouraged me to look at the software. Looks a bit like the programme that Jewsons Quotation service use and the catalogue of items is pretty comprehensive.

What do you make of it? Worth spending some time setting it up?

Zs
 21 August 2010 11:03 PM
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kj scott

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Zs;
Like all the software;, certification; estimating and design; you have to weigh up the time expended in starting up; against the the software value.
I have also got the Electrika disk; which I use for manufacturer reference; but do not use estimating software as mostly insp/test/design and find quotes easier manually.
Once into any current software you lose flexibility and I don't think generally it is faster; but the bonus is that you will have a detailed record of your quote.

-------------------------
http://www.niceic.biz
 22 August 2010 04:23 AM
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ebee

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Zs,
probably like you I use a "per point" price plus , bonding plus CU etc etc to get a "base price" then I might tweak it a little if the installation is particularly eassy/difficult due to access/clutter etc etc. then I use that price as a final figure for the estimate.

Once work is completed I calculate back, purely for my own benefit, to see if it come "within the parish" on a time and materials basis.

It does usually work out pretty well and I always treat my estimate as a fixed price to customer unless they have exceptionally requested extras or a different way of doing things.

That does not mean however that any of my prices per point are accurate, in fact they might all be wrong but the total usually works out pretty good.

Apart from council contracts etc I have only once been asked for a breakdown of an estimate, which I refused, because I twigged that the blighter was just going to use this as a list of materials to do the job himself.

All I give is one end price all inclusive from start to finish.

I would question why your customer wants a breakdown.
If I were you I would feel uneasy.

If their reply is that for a job in future that's about half that size or twice that size then I would answer "about 50% to 60% or about 190% to 200% as a very rough guide at this stage but I'll give you a more accurate esimate when we talk specifics".

Hope that helps

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Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 22 August 2010 07:04 AM
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normcall

Posts: 8162
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Like everyone else, have it, tried to use for estimates, but not enough manufacturers and my 'usual' supplier doesn't use the discount facility.
I normally also use the price per point using similar values and generally works out a little on the high side as always invoice on T&M.
I use my accounts program as a check as it has sales order/job costing and quotation facility. As all my materials/prices etc are already there, it works well.
Only annoying thing with the job costing is that it doesn't collate, so, for example, days don't total neither do materials so you end up with pages of duplicate lines for each day.

Why isn't the world perfect and behave itself?

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Norman
 22 August 2010 08:38 AM
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deleted_2_tony30

Posts: 1680
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the problem with giving a detailed quote is that sometimes certain individuals will then use this as a spec for others and hand it out to other sparks, or their own to see that they arew not being ripped off.

swings and roundabouts i suppose, dont give enough info and if it goes pete tong your dont have enough info to cover yourself. give too much and you may be held to ransom.

good luck anyway
tony
 22 August 2010 09:00 AM
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slittle

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I use it for parts pricing as I've populated a lot of the discount information from both of our suppliers. Not an easy task as I had paper copy to work from so I've only done the stuff that matters.
I've never used the time facility as for bigger jobs I normally have a fair idea of hours needed and hopefully don't make too many mistakes.

When we do the odd bit of domestic, we "price per point" and then add some for the db, bonding etc which when you look back afterwards seems to work ok. It's also easy for breaking it down that way as I can give an itemised schedule with the quote.

I do like the software for finding things as well, when you get used to it and are looking for an obscure part number to give to a supplier it can be quicker than thumbing through the paper catalogues.

Stu
 22 August 2010 09:00 AM
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slittle

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I use it for parts pricing as I've populated a lot of the discount information from both of our suppliers. Not an easy task as I had paper copy to work from so I've only done the stuff that matters.
I've never used the time facility as for bigger jobs I normally have a fair idea of hours needed and hopefully don't make too many mistakes.

When we do the odd bit of domestic, we "price per point" and then add some for the db, bonding etc which when you look back afterwards seems to work ok. It's also easy for breaking it down that way as I can give an itemised schedule with the quote.

I do like the software for finding things as well, when you get used to it and are looking for an obscure part number to give to a supplier it can be quicker than thumbing through the paper catalogues.

Stu
 22 August 2010 11:47 AM
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chrishaworth

Posts: 247
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I use the Local database facility where you can put in your own parts (I get most over the web as I'm in the middle of nowhere). It took a fair while to set up, particularly the times, and I still adjust them according to my own guesstimate of how long a particular job will take. The upside is that the quote/estimate looks professional, I've had several jobs where the customer has said they gave the job to me because the quote looked businesslike.

cheers
Chris
 22 August 2010 01:01 PM
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deleted_2_tony30

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when i was self employed using the height of technology, i would fax the wholealer my list taken when i did the quote, they would sent me a price and i would add my labour.
couldnt be simpler
they then send us a gold list of stock products, all the wholesaler did the same. easy to flick thru.
kiss
tony
 22 August 2010 02:44 PM
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davyn1

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agree with tony KISS indeed (Keep It Simple Stupid)
davy

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just because i'm paranoid doesn't mean theyre not out to get me
 22 August 2010 05:57 PM
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tattyinengland

Posts: 787
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Well, I'm very interested to know how the soft ware turns out, and any other suggestions of software. I have a quantity surveyor (Or 4) on almost every job that I've been involved with this last year, some soft ware and a few tips on how best to manipulate it to your best advantage would be very helpful indeed.

I have to quantify every single little thing I use, I have to do a method statement for every job and a cost to go with it. Some software to reduce the amount of time spent doing this would be very useful.

My ignorance of estimatinng software though, knows no bounds.

Let us know how it works out please Zs.

Good luck with it too.
 22 August 2010 10:13 PM
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davyn1

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tatty the elekctrila stuff is ok but you have to be prepared to spend some time inputting your own data ,the manufacturers prices are somewhat exagerated and your wholesaler could beat most of the prices in the catalogues also once youve inputed your rates ect you ca save them so if you do afew cooker installs,showers you can just click on your saved item and add it to a quote ,save them as pdf's for printing or send via email
hope this helps
davy

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just because i'm paranoid doesn't mean theyre not out to get me
 23 August 2010 09:21 AM
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tattyinengland

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Thanks Davyn, do you or Zs or anyone else know how much this soft ware costs?

What is the most commercially recognised and accepted estimating software for electrical installations? Now the cost of that must be scary, but probably commercially justifiable.

Any help with this is very appreciated.

Tatty
 23 August 2010 09:22 AM
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tattyinengland

Posts: 787
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Thanks Davyn, do you or Zs or anyone else know how much this soft ware costs?

What is the most commercially recognised and accepted estimating software for electrical installations? Now the cost of that must be scary, but probably commercially justifiable.

Any help with this is very appreciated.

Tatty
 23 August 2010 11:07 AM
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chrishaworth

Posts: 247
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The Electrika is free from electrika.com.

Cheers
 23 August 2010 05:32 PM
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davyn1

Posts: 2852
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http://www.electrika.com/estimating.htm

free
davy

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 23 August 2010 10:03 PM
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Cremeegg

Posts: 543
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I've got the CD as well as many update emails but have yet to bother loading it.

I use my own spreadsheet and assign a time to every part of a job at whatever hourly/daily rate I think the job will stand. I add in parts costs plus whatever markup I think the job can stand.

Experience and a good site survey and then add an hour or two gets my timings pretty accurately. I keep all spreadsheets so I can see what hourly/daily rate I charged any particular customer and what mark up I charged as well.

If a customer wants a detailed breakdown I'd approach with great caution. They probably think they can get a better deal through the likes of Screwfix. Every retailer/wholesaler has loss leaders. About two years ago I went through a phase spending hours costing out various outlets to see who was cheapest - a huge waste of time.

Do I wish to spend my time runing around various wholesalers getting the cheapest prices for the sake of a few quid here or there? No.

I use predominantly one wholesaler who is very helpful but he knows I never get MK stuff from him as he is always far more expensive than another local wholesaler who only ever sees me for MK gear.

Bit long winded but I dont reckon the software would save me time over what I do already.

Just remember - treat this guy with caution - he's liable to be very picky and probably slow to pay and then probably not the full amount..
 23 August 2010 10:57 PM
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tattyinengland

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If you want to know picky, you should meet a few quantity surveyors; (They're fast becomming my least favourite people to deal with- even though I have some very good friends who are quantity surveyors)It's all about the numbers with them- they know how to argue numbers back one way and down the other and before you know it, you've been done over and feeling quite happy about it, right up until you're doing the job and and it turns out that you've been had with no chance of profit, but the quantity surveyor has made a fortune by keeping the project costs down at your expense.

Thank you, by the way, Davyn1 for that link. Cheers
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