Are you looking to purchase sign estimating software? Having trouble deciding which one to go for? Check out our useful guide below for information on what you should consider before buying a sign estimating solution.
What is sign estimating software?
A sign estimating software, sometimes referred to as sign shop management software, or sign quoting software, is a software that can enable you to create quick and accurate quotes for signage costs. It allows you to create simple or complex sign quotes, send the quote or estimate to your customer, and store the details so you can easily create a job from the estimate when the customer gives you the go ahead to produce the signs.
Using a sign estimating software saves you time and money, and is far more efficient than a manual quoting method. It creates quotes quickly and accurately enabling you to respond swiftly to your customers and operate efficiently.
5 considerations before buying a sign shop management solution
Below, we’ve outlined some relevant points to consider before you buy a sign estimating software. It’s worth going through them and checking that your chosen system meets all your needs and criteria before you commit to you selection.
1. Cost and value of the software
An obvious aspect to consider when choosing a sign shop software is the pricing. Costs can vary greatly between providers, so you’ll want to find one that’s within budget while providing the necessary functionality for your specific business operations.
The selected solution is going to play a key role in assisting you to drive business sales, profit margins, and growth, so a focus on both the cost and the functionality it provides is necessary.
Pricing of sign estimating software in the digital large format, screen printing, and signage industry can vary greatly, it’s worth comparing a few prices to find one that best fits your budget while also meeting your core workflow requirements.
2. Ease of use and speed
Most signage businesses will be using their sign estimating and management software throughout the working day, often with multiple users in the team accessing the software for different purposes such as sign production, finishing, packing, installation or delivery.
An easy to use software workflow will ensure your staff achieve a high level of productivity, and providing timely estimates and signage quotes, that are also detailed and accurate with consistent pricing.
Do your best to find out how quickly the sign estimating software can create estimates and ensure your staff can be confident producing quotes for the full range of products and jobs you offer your customers while understanding the profit margin the job will make if you are awarded the job.
Customers will ask you to alter quotes with different specifications or quantities, they will require estimates for signage jobs with multiple parts they will request items you outsource, and your selected sign estimating software will need to have the capability to accommodate these requirements.
Each time you send a quote to a customer you are giving an example of your professionalism and knowledge, and maintaining your reputation within the sign industry. Quality of information, accuracy, and consistency will be enhanced when you use a quality sign estimating software and will ensure you have more satisfied customers in the long run.
3. Company Reputation in the sign industry
Where does the company you are dealing with stand within the sign industry? Do they have knowledgeable support staff based in a similar time zone to you, do they speak your language, and understand your business and culture?
Does the company have successful customer reviews and references from other sign companies you can contact for feedback on the software’s performance, and do they provide exceptional customer support in the initial training stage and ongoing. How a company conducts itself will often be a good indication of the quality of its software and the experience you are likely to have dealing with them.
Ideally, you’ll want a business that truly understands the signage industry, your production processes, and those of your customers. You want to invest your money and time into working with an Industry-leading software provider, you are likely to rely on them to grow your business so consider how professional they are, how well you can relate to them, and are they really invested in assisting you grow your sales and profits.
4. Total Business Workflow
Having established that the sign estimating software will enable you to create the estimates as you need, save time, and provide consistent pricing and profit margins, you now need to turn your attention to the functionality of the software after the quote is accepted by your customer.
You want to save time by creating jobs from your sign estimate, have an easy to use production tracking screen, quickly generate job tickets or work orders, and be able to create purchase orders for materials and undertake inventory management.
You may want to create customer invoices at the time the job is created or take a deposit at the start of the job and then invoice the balance on completion of the work. Before you consider buying a sign estimating software you need to explore if the solution suits your complete business needs.
5. Integration and modules
To truly benefit from a sign estimating software, you’ll want to ensure that it comes with integration capabilities especially to your accounting software and solutions such as Xero, Quick Books Online, and MYOB are very common systems to integrate with. You may want to manage your invoicing within your accounts software or from within the sign management solution.
Professional sign estimating software from Hexicom Software
With software from Hexicom, your team will save masses amounts of time, and effort and gain the intangible benefit of just being more organized.
The Hexicom solution, for example, enables you to estimate for roll-to-roll large format, and flatbed equipment, as well as the ability to create estimates using standard signage products such as banners, light boxes, or flags. You can also easily include labor costs and costs for processes like design, finishing, and sign installation and travel.
Estimates are easily turned into jobs, purchase orders and delivery dockets can be created quickly, as well as invoices. Customers can order jobs online through a public B2C web2print site or through a dedicated B2B sign and print ordering solution. You can even proof your jobs art files through the Hexicom system and send data to your accounting software to ensure your workflow is easy and accurate.
We offer a comprehensive cloud based sign estimating software that can be accessed through any browsing device. We focus on small to medium sized sign companies who want to get organized, increase sales, win satisfied customers, and achieve business growth. Get in touch with us today to arrange a discussion to learn how you can be more efficient, accurate and win new clients.