Before implementing UDA ConstructionSuite 2007 late last year, Jayson Miller, of TN Miller Remodeling, in Grapeview, Wash., was using separate pieces of software for estimating, scheduling, and accounting. “ConstructionSuite combines all three systems into one and cuts down on the double and triple entry we had previously been doing,” he says.
ConstructionSuite, the latest incarnation of what was formerly UDA ConstructionOffice, provides a centralized domain for project management, from initial project estimate to final job costing.
EXPEDITE ESTIMATING Using pre-loaded quotes — provided by Craftsman Book Co. from its residential construction costbook — for thousands of construction items, the Suite lets users customize costs to reflect prices in their area or prices of specific vendors. Job templates are also provided to further reduce the time spent on the initial estimate, and can be customized as well.
Once an estimate is complete, a construction proposal is automatically created in Microsoft Word, and GANTT charts and other reports are easy to generate. “If the proposal is accepted, then in one click we can transfer job info into MS Project,” Miller says. ConstructionSuite's scheduling function enables users to set up reminders for upcoming job milestones and expiring subcontractor insurance certificates.
The program also merges construction schedules and company activities into an integrated Construction Calendar, giving users a complete look at upcoming milestones and events for the day, week, or month.
QUICKBOOKS INTEGRATION During ConstructionSuite initiation, a setup wizard guides you through QuickBooks integration preferences, which will determine how the two systems interact. QuickBooks estimates can be directly created from estimates in ConstructionSuite. Then invoices and purchase orders can be created from those estimates. And, after job completion, ConstructionSuite lets you compare the estimate with actual job costs.
For more information about UDA ConstructionSuite — particularly regarding the differences between its several versions and their advanced features — visit www.uniteddesign.com.