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General estimating systems are designed for contractors that develop high-level estimates across multiple divisions. However, when a more detailed drill-down of the plumbing work required, a system that is designed specifically for plumbers will be a better fit.
While evaluating applications in this market, you should consider deployment model, as pricing can vary based on the type. The two primary categories include cloud-based software, also called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The second type is on-premise deployment, which usually requires purchasing a perpetual license upfront.
There are about a dozen top-rated vendors that serve this market. In this guide, we will have break down the high-level "key requirements" for applications in this market. Also, we identified related plumbing applications that this software typically integrates with.
|Plumbing Item Database||Plumbers need fast access to every pipe, fitting, valve, flange, mount, and more. A plumbing estimating program will have a vast database that includes the approximately 150,000 items a plumber would need to access.|
|Plumbing Assemblies||Each bathroom you install uses most of the same items. The same with each shower, each sink, etc. “Assemblies” are the groupings of items you’ll need for each job. Naturally these can be customized as standard or for each individual job, but by standardizing this information, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every single time you put in a bid.|
|Plumbing-specific Pricing Integration||It’s important to submit a professional-looking bid. A good plumbing estimating software will export your bid information to a customizable template that includes your company information and logo, helping you reinforce your company’s brand through your bid.|
Leading vendors will integrate their estimating software with additional features to make for a full plumbing software suite. Applications commonly associated with the top plumbing software include:
|Time and Materials Billing||Plumbers bill based on the time spent on the job, as well as the materials used, so keeping accurate accounts of both is critical for effective estimating and billing. Therefore, consider this feature carefully when selecting your plumbing software.|
|Project Management||If your company has more than a few subcontractors, you’ll want to manage project schedules and track job documents. For this, project management capabilities can save a considerable amount of time and energy, ensuring efficient scheduling and maximizing your use of labor resources.|