NAPLES, FL — The purpose of technology is to make our lives easier, more efficient. Perhaps no sector has experienced this truth as much as woodworking manufacturers, where computers and software have often been inserted into the operational mix. But the human factor often still seems missing.
This gap between an intuitive approach to business and raw technology is what Doug Baxter, president of Prime Estimating & Software Services, has worked tirelessly to close for the better part of four decades. He hopes his latest efforts help woodworking businesses across North America increase simplicity while minimizing waste and worry.
In the trenches
According to Baxter, “I was down in the trenches for years. My first job was cutting survey stakes in the mill. I’ve worked on woodshop floors. I’ve also done my share of estimating. I know how challenging the process can be, but I’ve also learned how to make it simpler, less complex.”
He adds, “So I’ve used my training in software, estimating, woodworking and business to create tools that intuitively make things easier for woodworkers, starting from estimating, but also touching upon other aspects of the wood industry — project, material and shop management — especially in the architectural woodwork and millwork sectors.”
At the heart of the approach Baxter uses with the Prime6400 software, which comes in cloud-based or localized options, is to create a platform that intuitively incorporates how estimating actually works and is integrated into the operational success of a business.
Baxter says, “I first did estimating with pencil and paper, and that’s exactly the kind of feel I want with the software we develop. We transpose every shortcut, crosscheck and more into our product. So, not only does using the software feel right, but the setup, training and implementation are minimal. If it’s not easy to use, then what’s the point?”
The latest technology
The latest edition of Prime6400, V4.7.4, implements this easy-to-use approach by incorporating custom programming for interface with other software, including QuickBooks, Sage 100 Contractor, PlanSwift, On Screen Takeoff, Bluebeam and more. Pricing features include: standard and customized parametric assemblies that are easy to copy and modify, and that can become library items for projects; the ability to input materials directly into the materials library; measuring-units conversion in EA, LF, SQ and M; and a material quantity generator.”
The latest features found in V4.7.4 include: quick update for incomplete takeoff items; the adding of the price watch icon to material reports; auto-update shop-drawing register; added export file for material quantity summary; auto-update schedule of values with new change orders; and a new overhead/work orders feature.
Baxter concludes, “We go to great lengths to bring all these added features to our software product in an intuitive way that we think is unmatched in the wood industry. Ultimately, we know it adds value to architectural woodwork businesses while minimizing time, cost and hassle.”