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  • Estimating Programs

    What's your favorite, and more importantly, WHY?

    I've worked w/ everything from Custom written Oracle Apps, to POS Winblows programs that cost a couple grand, and barely work.
    Mid-sized printing company, under $10 million in sales, but looking for a program that can scale/grow with us.
    Thanks for your input.

    - Mac

  • #2
    Re: Estimating Programs

    Ever thought about just putting together your own in Excel or FileMaker or Open Office?

    rich

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    • #3
      Re: Estimating Programs

      Oy!
      Yes, sadly, I have, but I got enough crap to do! LOL!

      - Mac

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      • #4
        Re: Estimating Programs

        for like $40,000.00 heidelberg has a nice system for you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Estimating Programs

          Ouch! Ya know, it's like that w/ everything Heidelberg. You get what you pay for, but... it ain't cheap.
          Current solution was about $5k USD I think, and it has frustrated everyone here enough.
          For much more than that, the home-brewed solution starts looking attractive!
          Thanks.

          - Mac

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Estimating Programs

            That's just not a fair statement. I've seen Heidelberg's Prinance in action, and it's worth 40k. And for the record it more like 30k, including training, set up, etc.

            The level of automation, and the linkage of the workflow including data reporting all the way through the shop is unrivaled.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Estimating Programs

              LOL! Now, I'll have to refute that - I said, you get what you pay for. Buy a Mercedes, you drive a Mercedes!
              We actually investigated a Prinergy Based estimating solution, as we just installed EVO, but... we just installed EVO, not Prinergy, so.. that was a short discussion.
              While I've enjoyed those higher end systems in a previous life, I don't think it's the kind of coin this shops looking to spend (not to say it isn't worth it over the long haul).
              Thanks.

              - Mac

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Estimating Programs

                prinance probably is worth it. and for a company that is doing 10mil in sales it would be a no brainer. the price I was given a quote on would have ended up in the $40k range. it all depends on which modules and how many work stations. and yes I did see a price under $30k, but they started talking about add ons and training and computers. and I don't begrudge them for any price they charge. that does not mean I won't whine about it. I wish I could buy a heidelberg press for abdick price, but I will still buy the heidelberg. that is one of the problems this country has. We are all cheap skates and heart and chinese products seem to be filling the order. My prism cutter is a nice cutter, but I am quite certain the polar equivalent is better.

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                • #9
                  Re: Estimating Programs

                  Hi Rob,

                  I'm not one who's afraid to invest in the right equipment for the task, I just like to make sure it's the proper investment. Our prepress is Macintosh/Creo/Kodak, and we do have Heidelberg on the pressroom floor. We also did extensive research before paying the premium price those superior products require.

                  - Mac

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                  • #10
                    Re: Estimating Programs

                    +"Yes, sadly, I have, but I got enough crap to do! "+

                    Yes, Mac, we all do. Roll your own estimating system? Why would anyone even consider such a gigantic time sink when there is a forever-free Offset/Copy/Digital program available at http://www.printfire.com? The name of the program is Morning Flight. No strings, no ads, no e-mails. See my earlier post at http://printplanet.com/discuss/threa...art=0&start=15

                    Better still, see what some of the 4,000+ Morning Flight users are saying at http://www.printfire.com/MFArchiv.pdf

                    Hal Heindel

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Estimating Programs

                      Where are the digital estimating programs?? I have worked with Covalent, PrintSmith and ePace, but I'm STILL looking for that digital estimating program that you don't have to "reinvent" to make it "fit " the necessary digital functions. Any ideas??

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                      • #12
                        Re: Estimating Programs

                        Richard,

                        What specifically do you think is lacking in existing estimating programs? Any recommendations on what to add or change to make them more suitable for Digital?

                        Hal

                        !http://www.printfire.com/Images/2006_5.jpg!

                        !http://www.printfire.com/Images/2006_4.jpg!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Estimating Programs

                          At least concerning the systems that I am familiar with, they seem to be based 80% upon offset and therefore have to be "forced" to work with digital specifications. I come from the old school of print learning(hot type to offset to flexo to digital, with an RIT thrown in there for good measure) and the systems seem to be more complicated today, then they need be. I can tell you what DO I need and that is an estimating system which can be either cost-plus OR price list based, but must be able to calculate ALL prepress; one sided and duplex imaging; single sheets and multipage books with covers; variable data; multi part projects(sometimes many parts), sheet sizes from 7" X 7" to 22.5" X 14.3" with collation and insertion capabilities; all offline bindery and finishing processes; mailing; fulfillment and outsourcing. And then show me the results in one window, from which I can generate my quote letter and pass on the estimate to sales and production. I may have missed a few items here, but that would be the basics anyway. It may sound like something "impossible" and probably is, but I am searching none the less. Right now I am trying to install ePace, but it seems like it's all +reinventing+ or like,"trying to fit a square peg in a round hole". Since digital print IS the future, someone who can come up with a truly digital estimating system will become wealthy. Even in THIS economy:-)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Estimating Programs

                            Not impossible, Richard, but a tall order, I grant you. Let's start at the beginning. Digital may some day rule the world, but that day isn't here quite yet, so any developer of estimating systems is forced to offer Offset capabilities in addition to Digital. That doesn't mean the two can't live in separate worlds, that Digital has to be shoehorned into the Offset mold.

                            Looking at the requirements you listed, here is what even the FREE Edition of Morning Flight can offer you today: One-sided and duplex imaging, variable data, sheet sizes from 7x7 to 15x23 inches. The Silver Edition (also free for at least another six months) adds unlimited, user-defined prepress and postpress, along with a single window shopping cart into which you drop individual quotes and let Morning Flight generate a written estimate for you, automatically.

                            By the end of summer, the Silver Edition will include a booklet module that can accommodate most of the remainder on your wish list, save for mailing and fulfillment. If your sales volume is less than 5 million a year, the program is worth a look. The Free Edition lets any printer justify the cost, and there isn't much of a learning curve.

                            Hal


                            !http://www.printfire.com/Images/PrintPlanet2.jpg!

                            !http://www.printfire.com/Images/PrintPlanet3.jpg!

                            !http://www.printfire.com/Images/PrintPlanet5.jpg!

                            !http://www.printfire.com/Images/PrintPlanet6.jpg!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Estimating Programs

                              OK I have to jump in on this one. I have been using Morning Flight since the Beta was released. My SMALL shop has a mix of Digital and Offset and Morning Flight has worked very well for me. Once you get your shops information plugged in (very easy) for Click charges and Hourly rate you can fine tune it to your digital needs. Same thing for the offset side (minus click charges). Your define the peramiters of your Equipment, Prepress, Postpress and Paper, it's all very straight forward. My 12 year old daughter could sit down and make a quote with 15 minutes of training, it's almost idiot proof. If for some reason you need to adjust the price on the fly from what the program is coming up with, it is as simple as moving a slider up or down based on the job. If you have customers who get a discount you can include that, or if they are a PITA you can give them a mark-up as well. If you need to find out how many 4 x 9 cards you can get out of a 23 x 35 sheet and what the grain will be, it will do that too (19 mixed, 16 short, 15 long, and the amount of waste for each cut).

                              Is it the answer for everyone... no, but for the price you can at least get behind the stick and take it for a spin before you spend 40K or 4 bucks!

                              HiHalStopTellingPeopleItsFreeIDontWantMyCompetitio nToFindOut!!!!

                              Comment

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