This is the Prime -FAQ, which contains the most frequently asked questions about Prime Estimating & Software Services, Inc.
General Questions – Software
1. What is Prime Estimating & Software Services, Inc.?
2. What Software platform does Prime provide to it’s clients?
3. What are the minimum computer requirements?
4. Is the Software provided Online or Downloadable?
5. How do I install Prime6400?
6. Who will use Prime software?
7. How are upgrades provided?
8. Can I estimate using different units of measures including metric?
9. Can Prime6400 quickly and easily handle Special Item pricing?
10. What type of internet connection do I require?
11. How safe is my data on the remote server?
12. How do I backup my data?
13. Can I access the application from other locations?
14. Does Prime6400 have any data included?
15. What is the expected setup time?
16. How can I be sure that this is the right software for my business?
17. Can I request special features?
General Questions – Services
1. What type of services are provide other than software?
2. How do I communicate information?
3. How will takeoff and pricing information be returned to me?
4. What is the typical turnaround time to complete a takeoff and pricing?
5. How does Prime incorporate my pricing and rates?
6. How will my estimate be stored when you are doing work for other contractors?
7. Will I have access to the software for the project?
8. How do you charge for this service?
9. What is your hourly rate?
10. Is your price based on the final bid number?
11. Do you cover cost for errors and omissions?
12. Is this your full-time job? Do you or your employees work in or own a shop?
13. Do you need to know what type of machinery I’m using?
14. How do we compare hours on assemblies?
15. How do you price raw material cost?
16. What is your success rate on an estimate?
General Questions – Software
- Prime provides estimating services and software to the Architectural Woodwork, Millwork and Casework industry including Architectural Metalwork and Glasswork.
- Prime6400 is based on current program language utilizing SQL databases, designed for standards compliance and performance with all Windows conventions. The program language engine has engineering tools and debugging capabilities to eliminate any program errors. Procedures are all formatted and validated for accuracy. And the SQL database structure is one of the most popular and powerful used in the software industry. This is not a spreadsheet based program.
- Pentium III 800 or greater
- Windows NT (SP4)/2000/XP/Vista/Windows7
- 1024 x 768 resolution
- 2 MB RAM or greater
- 128kb or greater graphics card
- Explorer 6.0 or higher with ActiveX add-on installed
- Yes. Prime6400 is available as from a remote server that is accessible from any high speed internet connection. There is also a downloadable version for installation locally for users that do not require remote access capabilities.
- The Remote Server version does require installation. You will be assigned a user name and password to login online. The download version will require installation on your computer or server after downloading files from the Prime website.
- The list of users include millwork and casework manufacturers, carpentry contractors, specialty contractors, general contractors, metalwork contractors, glasswork contractors, architects and owners.
- For the Remote Server version, upgrades will be uploaded to our server after hours. Users will merely receive an email message stating that the upgrade has been installed. The download version however, will require you to download the upgrade and install on your computer or server after being notified by email that the upgrade is available.
- Yes. Quantites entered can be in following units of measure: Each, Lineal Foot, Square Foot, Square Yard, Lot, Pairs, Sets and meters. The calculations and assembled sizes will be entered in imperial.
- The software application is designed to give a clear path to keep the takeoff and pricing moving without any delays to build library items. By use of a unique screen to input all materials and labor for the Special Item, including the feature to merge/copy in Standard Library items, other Special items from the same project then modify/add to suite the new item. Additional User can merge/copy Special items from other project to modify/add. With the completion of the first unique Special item where itemcode,length, depth and height then all like items will be automatically priced in the takeoff. Finally and most important, all special items will be added to the pull down selection or be auto populated on subsequent entry.
- Any internet connect will work for you. For best performance, a high speed internet connection is recommended such as DSL or cable 5 meg or greater.
- Your data is stored on a dedicated server in a Class A Data Center with:
- Dual Tier 1 / OC12 Connections
- Raid5 Server with 3 Live Mirrored Drives
- 99.997% Uptime History
- 24/7/365 Monitoring
- Failover Power System
- Automatic 24 Hour Tape Backup
- Offsite Tape Storage
- iCloud Offsite/Secure Location 24 hour Data Transfers (158 bit encryption)
- Virus Protection
- Remote Server version required no backup of data. Data is automatically backed up as indicated above. The download version does require the User to perform typical backups of their data similar to process included from our Remote Server version. Users are encouraged to save to pdf or print project reports upon completion of each estimate.
- Only the Online Hosted version has remote access through the Prime central server through any hi-speed internet connection. Users of the download version can setup that our remote access through other methods at their own expense if required.
- The system has a material, labor hours, labor costs and standard library included based on an industry standards and AWI cost book. This will allow a quick startup [typically 4-8 hours] by merely confirming hours, material costs and assembly components.
- The system has a material, labor hours, labor costs and standard library included based on an industry standards and AWI cost book. The initial setup time would entail updating the existing databases to represent the figures that is propriatary to their firm. Estimated time is typically 4 to 8 hours. Should the user require additional items, this time would be over and above the estimated time.
- There are 2 options for any potential user to be sure he has selected the right system for his use. Prime offers a 30 day free trial or a 90 day moneyback guarantee. Available on online service only. If acceptable and the user would like to change to the download version, all data and software will be available to download to the users server.
- Yes. If your request is considered by Prime to be beneficial to the global system, then the changes will be upgraded at no cost to the users. If the request is deemed to be specific for the sole benefit of the individual users, then change will be provided at an extra cost. Any upgrades shall be at the sole descretion of Prime.
General Questions – Services
- Prime will provide any serices to suit your requirements including:
- Competitive, coceptual, budget and ROM bids
- Takeoff and pricing
- Quantity Surveys
- Business Development
- Instruction and training
- Bid analysis
- Change Order pricing
- Custom Programming
- Forward all scope/bid documents to Prime by FedEx/UPS or electronically in any format. We have our own ftp site to facilitate large file transfers
- For non users of the software, all reports will be forward by email in PDF and/or Excel spreadsheet format. For software users, you will have access to the estimate directly upon login to review, modify and print.
- Generally Prime will return an estimate within 1-3 days. The client must allow sufficient time for Prime to complete the estimate in time to returned at least 1 day prior to the bid date for the client review. As all projects vary in size and detail.
- Client information will be stored in a password protected proprietary SQL database either remotely or locally.
- Client must be a user of the Prime6400 software to have access to their estimate online.
- We will quote cost before starting based on hours and rate per hour. After we complete a few estimates, most clients will allow to charge by the hours used as they see we are very consistent and efficient in preparing every estimate.
- Refer to our pricing page for the rate. Client should consider that our time is productive/uninterrupted time and along with the use of our software we can complete the estimate in faster time than normal. No extra cost for overtime or weekend work. Client does not pay workman’s compensation, unemployment, vacation pay, etc. Consideration can be given for volume of work and prompt payment schedule.
- Cost is based strictly hours only. No percentage for successful projects is requested but some client have offered bonus at their discretion.
- All estimates are provided on an as-is basis. We are estimators for hire, no different than if you hired an estimator to do this work. If your in-house estimator misses anything, your company is responsible so therefore we hold no liability for errors and omissions. What we do, is provide a very detailed estimate of inclusions, exclusions and clarification for items that may not be clear. For questionable items, we will forward an RFI for clarification and/or include an declared allowance
- We are all full time estimators and a few are part time. No one has any interest in a woodworking manufacturing facility. However, we all have worked in or owned shops in the past with many years of experience.
- We have an initial checklist to identify your equipment and processes. We also have a basic list of standard assemblies and material costs for you to review. This data is maintained in your account for all projects, in addition to labor rate, overhead, profit, etc.
- We have a basic library of standard assemblies that we request your hours. For Special/Custom items, a report is provided that will breakdown all labor and material for your review.
- We have a list of standard material that we transmit to client for their input. For Special materials, more project specific, we will source and include cost. Will clarify and include allowance for material not specifically specified.
- We prepare a detailed estimate with a lot of reports for the client’s review. We do not track a success rate as the decision on the final price is the responsiblity of the client including but not limited to overhead, profit, local market conditions/considerations, etc.