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The estimate is arguably the most important stage in the job lifecycle. It is also the area most printers find hardest to “let go”, as methods of estimating and pricing structures have evolved and been handed down over many years. Accura standardises how estimates are produced using the BPIF recommended ‘Cost-Plus’ system - whereby all materials, labour and outwork are calculated at cost, then a markup is applied.
Accura is based around a set of costing tables which store your rates for labour, materials and outwork. These are entered at cost, and hourly rates are calculated to fully recover your business overheads (our Cost-rate Calculator will assist you in this). Using the BPIF-recommended ‘Cost-plus’ system has many advantages, not least of which is that you always know the true cost and profit in any job BEFORE you accept the order.
One of the many aids Accura provides is the Phrase Library - a set of customisable ‘text blocks’ that can save you typing by using a drag-and-drop toolbox to paste complete job descriptions into your quote letter, ensuring all quotes look and feel the same regardless of who produced them. Markup profiles are used to ensure pricing consistency, whereby estimates are assigned markups based on the client and/or job-type.
Our unique estimate library enables you to store common ‘formats’ of estimate into a archive area categorised into ‘volumes’ ( e.g. Stationery, Leaflets, NCR, Folders etc). Once saved in the library any template quote can be retrieved in seconds and converted into a new estimate for a given client. This can even be used by relatively inexperienced staff, enabling them to produce complete and accurate estimates for simple jobs with ease. This feature is also useful for generating ‘price-list’ style reports.
Accura Estimating supports up to 5 quantities per estimate, and a run-on quantity - making it easy to show your customer cost savings for ordering more. All of the standard printing methods are supported including: litho, digital, copier, screen, label, and large format.
Many calculations are automated such as: Best fit from raw material, Pre-trimming, Overs, Ink usage, Film/plates, Number-up on press, Make-readies and Washups - speeding up the estimating process dramatically. As the job quantity increases your press speeds are automatically adjusted using a speed-curve in your tables.
Labour, material & outwork items can all be stored in tables, retrieved on demand, and calculated using an almost limitless range of methods including: Fixed, Variable, Stepped, Weight, Impressions and so on. You even link together material with labour items so that when you choose (for example) one plate, the time for plate-making is automatically included also.
The powerful press optimisation feature scans your press parameters calculating the speed, cost and time for each machine, using each printing method (sheet work, work & turn etc). This allows you to see and compare each press before making your final choice. You can even compare multiple printing technologies (such as litho with digital), to see which technology works out the fastest or cheapest.
Accura Estimating uses easily configurable templates for marking up your final sell prices, completely reviewable for each estimate and customisable by client. Your profit margins, departmental breakdowns, value added, contribution, and unit costs are displayed graphically at the end of each estimate.
Your history of quotes is maintained in a quick and easy to navigate list, offering full searching and filtering facilities. Estimates are iconized to show you which ones were converted to orders, which were lost, which are outstanding etc. In a few mouse clicks, history lists can be exported or emailed in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, HTML, PDF or CSV format.
Accura Estimating will automatically distribute estimate letters according to how your clients like to receive them - printed, faxed, emailed as a PDF file or output to Microsoft Word documents. The built-in estimating reports help you to follow-up quotes, analyse profit information, view quote to order conversions and more. Reports can be broken down by sales rep, client, type of work etc for detailed analysis of estimates.
"Estimating" is part of the Accura Core Module line of products, developed by Data Design Services (DDS).