Software Review On Flex Systems Mailing And Printing Software

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Flex Systems offers several powerful software packages to the direct mail industry and other stemming printing industries. Specifically, they produce software packages that handle variable data print and management, mostly for mailers and printers.

Their flagship product, FlexMail, was initially designed as an inexpensive way of importing data and arranging it on a layout template. In the template, users could include all the appropriate graphics, logos, fonts, and barcodes. Of course, FlexMail still does this, but the number of features have grown.

One of FlexMail's most exciting benefits is the sheer number of print drivers Flex Systems has developed and supported. FlerxMail is compatible with almost every major PCL based inkjet printer in the mailing industry. This includes Secap, Rena, Pitney Bowes, Neopost, Hasler, and even older printers like Bryce and Astro. The appropriate driver automatically loads a template that shows the position of the cartridges in that specific printer. FlexMail also supports some of the higher-end cartridge printers, such as XiJet, Domino L-Series, Walco, and more.

Other Features include the ability to import a PDF background document, produce a PDF Proof, or RIP variable PDF documents. Users can bring in a PDF document, and lay variable data right over the top!

FlexMail's newest feature in the US Market includes USPS Mail Processing. They've made it easy to CASS certify mailing lists and sort it according to postal specifications. What's more, the feature is cloud-based. No monthly updates are needed to keep up with regulations. It's all done by Flex Systems automatically. FlexMail USPS Mail Processing also offers a lot of extra free features, such as NOCA – MOVE Updates, Palletizing, etc.

FlexStream is a sister product. It allows users to generate documents for intelligent inserting equipment. Someone generating variable page statements for inserting equipment need unique identifiers. This is how the inserter distinguishes between documents and sets of documents. FlexStream users can simply overlay the marks to existing PDF documents BEFORE they are printed.

Why is this important? With statement work, it's common for the data to be prepared off-site by an IT team. The IT department does not always know the logic of the mechanical inserting equipment. So FlexStream builds a logical bridge between IT and printing / mailing departments. Now, they can easily generate OMR Marks, 2D Barcodes, or 3 of 9 barcodes that are compatible with envelope inserters. This includes large machines, such as Bell & Howell, Pitney-Bowes, and GBR. It also includes table-top models, such as Neopost, Pitney Bowes, Secap, Hasler, and Formax.

But FlexStream does not stop there. A final feature includes a camera interface, which makes it easy to do several things during the printing and inserting stages. It can read a 2D code on a product exiting an inserter or inkjet addressing printer, and "check it off" against the original file. It will also perform 2 way matches on Inserters, by comparing 2D or Datamatrix codes.

FlexMail also offers Tracking, for Read / Write or Read and Print on an inserter. So it can read a 2D code on an upstream document (in the inserter) and send the data to an inkjet printer to address a matching name on the outside of the envelope. Flexmail can also use an IMB verification camera, and check it against the original print file. It can also be programmed to shut down the inkjet printer or inserter if the IMB code fails to read.

Above all, Flex Systems software packages have one winning benefit: users can add features as they grow, instead of implementing the entire package at once. Not every printer or mailer in the industry needs every feature. So they can pick and choose which features will help them, without having to upgrade all of their equipment (or buy new equipment).

Overall, Flex Systems gets two thumbs up for their products' performance and the ability to integrate it with almost any existing system.

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Source by Rick K.

Can Software Piracy Be Eliminated?

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In recent news, the software giant Microsoft is suing a reseller because of the sale of pirated software. Piracy has always been one of the major problems since the inception of technology. It seems that this problem is being eliminated one lawsuit at a time. Although there are severe civil and criminal penalties, there are still many out there who are involved in this practice and call it a business. This just goes to show that there are entrepreneurs who set business ethics aside in favor of the almighty buck. The internet is a very powerful tool especially for businesses and the fact that people use it to scam others leaves every Tom, Dick and Harry suspicious of internet-based businesses. Needless to say, this might be a bit problematic for software startup entrepreneurs.

The question is, can software piracy be completely eliminated and when would we see it done? According to Wikipedia, copyright infringement of software is common. Yes, there is a copyright law which in a nutshell means that all financial benefits would be given to the creator of the software and there are penalties should a person be found guilty of infringing copies of software. However, there are also many cases wherein a relatively innocent person can commit this crime. The simple sharing of backup copies of your software can already be deemed as copyright infringement. If you did not know that this can be the case, you're still not off the hook because any claim of ignorance can not be considered a defense.

There are numerous ways on how you can prevent software privacy like investing in code keys, usage of open source software, using a hardware key and of course, anti-piracy software. It is said that prevention is better than cure so in starting up your own internet business, it is vital that you put a premium to the security of your assets to stop and prevent software piracy.

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Source by Marie Hernan

Medical Clinic Software: Useful for Integrating Various Functions

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Medical clinic software is highly useful in seamlessly integrating the various functions and departments of a clinic. The efficient and smooth running of a clinic or a nursing home requires proper and timely coordination between the various departments and the concerned staff. Use of software that covers the overall management of the clinic, billing and the scheduling of patients is the key to efficient and successful operations.

Medical Clinic Software: Areas Covered

Medical clinic software generally covers all aspects of the running of a clinic. It includes features that aid in:

  • The overall management of the clinic by organizing patient information and their medical records in such a way that they are easily accessible to the doctors.
  • Streamlining the clinic's billing systems to allow for automatic billing in accordance with the treatment provided to a patient and the applicable taxes. This feature allows automatic updating of invoices, payments and stocks.
  • Patient record management by keeping track of a patient's previous visits, his medical history and any specific type of allergies that he may have. The software also provides quick access to all the necessary details about a patient and thus ensures speedy treatment.
  • Scheduling of patient and other appointments. This feature allows you to plan and organize the calendars and appointments of multiple surgeons or physicians in your clinic. It also facilitates the storage of medical schedules, including patient appointments and calls, business schedules that include meetings, calls, seminars and personal appointments.
  • Inventory management by keeping track of the status of medicines and other necessary medical equipment. It also facilitates timely replacement or refurbishment of the medicines and equipment used on a regular basis in the clinic. Medical clinic software also allows for the placement of instant purchase orders and auto generation of purchase notes and goods received notes.

In addition to all these features, using such software is a safe option and its misuse can be avoided by incorporating different user accounts for varied operators like nurses, doctors and the administrative staff. This feature can be used to restrict access to certain important information to all the users.

Benefits of Medical Clinic Software

The major benefit of using medical clinic software is that you save lot of effort and time that would otherwise have been spent on manually performing the various functions.

  • It ensures smooth and efficient running of the clinic
  • It is easy to operate and has security features to prevent misuse
  • It integrates all the functions of a clinic
  • It reduces the chances of error in treatment, billing and other areas.

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Source by Abigail Dsoza

List Of Top Accounting Software For Your Business

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Simply put, accounting is the lifeline of a business. Accounting deals with summarizing, analyzing and reporting the financial data and information about a business. An accounting software records and processes the accounting transactions of a business within its functional modules. Financial statements consisting of the balance sheet, profit and loss account, and statement of changes in financial position can be easily prepared with an accounting software.

An accounting software is all about the various functional modules that it has. Some of them are- General ledger which takes care of the company's financial dealings; Accounts Payable where the company enters its bills and pays the money it owes; Accounts Receivable where money received is entered.

The different categories or types of accounting software are as follows:

a) Small business / personal accounting software which are mainly meant for home users. They are simple and inexpensive with simple functioning such as management of budgets.

b) Low end accounting software are for small business markets that are capable of serving a single national market. Such software are characterized by 'single entry' products.

c) Mid market accounting software are for companies with large businesses. These software are capable of serving the needs of multiple national accountancy standards and facilitate accounting in multiple currencies.

d) High end accounting software are complex and expensive business accounting software that are also known as Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP software.

However, you have to keep certain things in mind before buying an accounting software, like the prices of the software, its different features, its after-sales support and alike. Most of the accounting software include all the important accounting modules. The more specialized features a software has, the more expensive it becomes. Your software features must be compatible with your business. Also, the after-sales support is important like FAQ package, local service center and others.

There are a lot of top accounting software available in every category. So, it is not easy to select the best ones. Below are top five accounting software in every category.

A. Small business / personal accounting software:

1.ePeachtree (Best Software)

2.MYOB Plus for Windows (MYOB Software)

3.Peachtree Complete Accounting (Best Software)

4.QuickBooks Online (Intuit)

5.Small Business Manager (Microsoft)

B. Low-End Accounting Software:

1.BusinessVision 32 (Best Software)

2.MAS 90 & MAS 200 (Best Software)

3.QuickBooks Pro 2003 (Intuit)

4.ACCPAC Pro Series (ACCPAC International)

5.Vision Point 2000 (Best Software)

C. Middle-Market Accounting Software:

1.ACCPAC Advantage Series Corporate Edition (Best Software)

2.Great Plains (Microsoft) MAS 90 & MAS 200 (Best Software)

3.Navision (Microsoft)

4.SouthWare Excellence Series (SouthWare)

5.SYSPRO (SysproUSA)

D. High-end accounting ERP Market:

1.Axapta (Microsoft Software)

2.e-Business Suite (Oracle)

3.MAS 500 (Best Software)

4.Solomon (Microsoft)

5.ACCPAC Advantage Series Enterprise Edition (Best Software)

In compiling the above list, a variety of factors such as feedbacks from customers, scalability of the software, and after-sales support are used. Also, the different attributes for different categories have been considered like for ERP software, attributes such as manufacturing solution, supply chain solution and database solution. The above compilation may not be all inclusive and some people might choose to differ with it but it is almost near to perfect list.

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Source by Joann Grant

Advantages and Disadvantages of Customized Software

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Other questions you could ask: Advantages and disadvantages of proprietary software what is proprietary software? How to customise fields in Optimism software? How to Use CRM software? How to customise software is musical software to create your own loops? How businesses use customised software to improve relationships with customers by developing there own software?

Custom software is not targeted to the mass market and is tailor made for specific needs of companies and organisations this requires having a reasonable understanding of these principles. The software is made and will in some way represent that organisation and make it stand out in some way for the options available for clients customers and users of these websites and make communication better between the two.

The first advantage of having this software is Users of the program will find a custom-made program more friendly and intuitive as it will not contain superfluous facilities Custom software. The second advantage of having software that represents a company well that brandishes this software statistically has proved to convert into higher profits for the company and by being customisable these elements can be adjusted and tweaked as is.

Some reputable software developing companies are SiliconEdge, get website ranking, Lucrosus, Software developers UK and Endeavor. These companies call themselves bespoke software developers, and like tailors who make clothes they need details from there customers before they can deliver a product software based. These companies have approved and certified staff and savvy is the variety of computer languages ​​out there.

This is a key problem of all time understanding, sharing what you mean and then remembering it every day. Companies with technical jobs in all organisational areas spend hours on not working on tasks, focus groups, webinar meetings, forum chats, researching data that does not pay anymore and other sections that because new confuse society. These are the only solutions available to truly understand what needs to be done in the age of information.

That is why software developers get paid so handsomely because they are optimised and aligned in a place where when you need them they will be there at the top of the search engine, depending on your location. If you know what you are looking for this could be anywhere in the world.

A disadvantage of these software services is that you need to always understand the ebbs and flow of where work is being distributed worldwide.

These languages ​​can create better graphic designs and engineering of internal workings of any companies web based hub. By understanding the languages ​​Java, .NEt, C ++, VB, PHP, DELPHI, Oracle RUBY on RAILS and many more they can provide exactly what it is you need.

One man can not in his lifetime learn all these languages ​​because the disadvantage is a man or women can not live a normal life, however there are people out there who are trained within the industry for many years who can gather the cross-section of communication data needed to offer something that will stand out look great and do what ever it is you want to be a leader in your field.

In this environment of cost-cutting outsourcing is taking precedence, knowing where to advertise your requirements or educating your self for these skills are very confusing especially if you learn a new skill to only find out this skill is no longer worth the annual yearly rate of pay anymore.

Outsourcing as it grows can put professionals into a difficult position when recruiting the complicated services required to make sure the software's created with a sustainable guarantee at a price that suits the company or organisation.

Within Public services and organisations this can differ in their flexibility because when contracts over time are solved, this can create red tape that restricts the use of outside sources, but if developers know enough people and can provide a professional resume anything is possible.

Off shore software development provides guides and recommendations which you can follow to ensure your company does not get messed around by infallible outsourcing. Form these guidelines you educate yourself at a local level to recruit a decent software developer face to face or over the phone. By knowing the right questions to ask and the terminology used you will be able to probe your software developer. By knowing the current and earlier variables you will be able to distinguish if you and when interested in educating yourself with skills that will earn you a living online.

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Source by Robert Bridge

Why Do We Need Software Engineering?

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To understand the necessity for software engineering, we must pause briefly to look back at the recent history of computing. This history will help us to understand the problems that started to become obvious in the late sixties and early seventies, and the solutions that have led to the creation of the field of software engineering. These problems were referred to by some as "The software Crisis," so named for the symptoms of the problem. The situation might also been called "The Complexity Barrier," so named for the primary cause of the problems. Some refer to the software crisis in the past tense. The crisis is far from over, but thanks to the development of many new techniques that are now included under the title of software engineering, we have made and are continuing to make progress.

In the early days of computing the primary concern was with building or acquiring the hardware. Software was almost expected to take care of itself. The consensus held that "hardware" is "hard" to change, while "software" is "soft," or easy to change. According, most people in the industry carefully planned hardware development but gave considerably less forethought to the software. If the software did not work, they believed, it would be easy enough to change it until it did work. In that case, why make the effort to plan?

The cost of software amounted to such a small fraction of the cost of the hardware that no one considered it very important to manage its development. Everyone, however, saw the importance of producing programs that were efficient and ran fast because this saved time on the expensive hardware. People time was assumed to save machine time. Making the people process efficient received little priority.

This approach proved satisfactory in the early days of computing, when the software was simple. However, as computing matured, programs became more complex and projects grew larger whereas programs had since been routinely specified, written, operated, and maintained all by the same person, programs began to be developed by teams of programmers to meet someone else's expectations.

Individual effort gave way to team effort. Communication and coordination which once went on within the head of one person had to occur between the heads of many persons, making the whole process very much more complicated. As a result, communication, management, planning and documentation became critical.

Consider this analogy: a carpenter might work alone to build a simple house for himself or herself without more than a general concept of a plan. He or she could work things out or make adjustments as the work progressed. That's how early programs were written. But if the home is more elaborate, or if it is built for someone else, the carpenter has to plan more carefully how the house is to be built. Plans need to be reviewed with the future owner before construction starts. And if the house is to be built by many carpenters, the whole project certainly has to be planned before work starts so that as one carpenter builds one part of the house, another is not building the other side of a different house. Scheduling becomes a key element so that cement contractors pour the basement walls before the carpenters start the framing. As the house becomes more complex and more people's work has to be coordinated, blueprints and management plans are required.

As programs became more complex, the early methods used to make blueprints (flowcharts) were no longer satisfactory to represent this greater complexity. And thus it became difficult for one person who needed a program written to convey to another person, the programmer, just what was wanted, or for programmers to convey to each other what they were doing. In fact, without better methods of representation it became difficult for even one programmer to keep track of what he or she is doing.

The times required to write programs and their costs began to exceed to all estimates. It was not unusual for systems to cost more than twice what had been estimated and to take weeks, months or years longer than expected to complete. The systems turned over to the client frequently did not work correctly because the money or time had run out before the programs could be made to work as originally intended. Or the program was so complex that every attempt to fix a problem produced more problems than it fixed. As clients finally saw what they were getting, they often changed their minds about what they wanted. At least one very large military software systems project costing several hundred million dollars was abandoned because it could never be made to work properly.

The quality of programs also became a big concern. As computers and their programs were used for more vital tasks, like monitoring life support equipment, program quality took on new meaning. Since we had increased our dependency on computers and in many cases could no longer get along without them, we discovered how important it is that they work correctly.

Making a change within a complex program turned out to be very expensive. Often even to get the program to do something slightly different was so hard that it was easier to throw out the old program and start over. This, of course, was costly. Part of the evolution in the software engineering approach was learning to develop systems that are built well enough the first time so that simple changes can be made easily.

At the same time, hardware was growing ever less expensive. Tubes were replaced by transistors and transistors were replaced by integrated circuits until micro computers costing less than three thousand dollars have become several million dollars. As an indication of how fast change was occurring, the cost of a given amount of computing decreases by one half every two years. Given this realignment, the times and costs to develop the software were no longer so small, compared to the hardware, that they could be ignored.

As the cost of hardware plummeted, software continued to be written by humans, whose wages were rising. The savings from productivity improvements in software development from the use of assemblers, compilers, and data base management systems did not proceed as rapidly as the savings in hardware costs. Indeed, today software costs not only can no longer be ignored, they have become larger than the hardware costs. Some current developments, such as nonprocedural (fourth generation) languages ​​and the use of artificial intelligence (fifth generation), show promise of increasing software development productivity, but we are only beginning to see their potential.

Another problem was that in the past programs were often before it was fully understood what the program needed to do. Once the program had been written, the client began to express dissatisfaction. And if the client is dissatisfied, ultimately the producer, too, was unhappy. As time went by software developers learned to lay out with paper and pencil exactly what they intended to do before starting. Then they could review the plans with the client to see if they met the client's expectations. It is simpler and less expensive to make changes to this paper-and-pencil version than to make them after the system has been built. Using good planning makes it less likely that changes will have to be made once the program is finished.

Unfortunately, until several years ago no good method of representation existed to describe satisfactorily systems as complex as those that are being developed today. The only good representation of what the product will look like was the finished product itself. Developers could not show clients what they were planning. And clients could not see whether what the software was what they wanted until it was finally built. Then it was too expensive to change.

Again, consider the analogy of building construction. An architect can draw a floor plan. The client can usually gain some understanding of what the architect has planned and give feed back as to whether it is appropriate. Floor plans are reasonably easy for the layperson to understand because most people are familiar with the drawings representing geometrical objects. The architect and the client share common concepts about space and geometry. But the software engineer must represent for the client a system involving logic and information processing. Since they do not already have a language of common concepts, the software engineer must teach a new language to the client before they can communicate.

Moreover, it is important that this language be simple so it can be learned quickly.

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Source by Edeh Chijioke

Recommended Software for Arena Management

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When there is a little over a month left to enter the data for a thousand plus cattle penning teams into a fickle spread sheet software program that was built by good intentioned volunteers; the last thing anyone should be doing is looking for replacement software. However, as any event / entry secretary or producer knows this is sometimes the lifeline that is needed to get the job done.

The preparation of all of the necessary data combined with balancing a three-quarter of a million dollar show in the six weeks prior to its start should have been enough to do. Throwing in a new piece of software to learn and master would be considered ludicrous to say the least. The producers deemed it to be a necessity in view of the history of inconsistencies in the program currently in use.

With a three-year old recommendation in hand and very little back ground checking, Arena Management Software became the chosen lifeline. The software was purchased, loaded onto the computers, played with for a day or so and then our team went to work. The KCI support group was there, day and night, to help with the learning curve and any snags that presented themselves. Our team quickly realized that the new user-friendly software program we had taken a chance on was going to be our ongoing choice for future events. The show was a success. The producers and contestants were happy. All was good in our world!

There have been a lot of years pass by since those short six weeks when our group became acquainted with the Arena Management Software. The program still provides a user-friendly format that has the talent to produce minimal data to realms of reports. From rodeo to cattle penning events the product continues to amaze our team with its ability to perform in and out of the arena.

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Source by Ann Edall Robson

Advantages of Data Recovery Software

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Have you ever encountered a situation where your hard drive suddenly crashed and you've lost all important files and data? This is a fairly common occurrence and happens due to overheating of the disk, improper system shut down, manual deletion of data and many others. Did you know that you can recover all or most of the lost files using suitable recovery methods?

Depending on the impact of data loss or hard drive malfunction, data recovery software is implemented to offset the effect. With technological advancements, a number of alternatives exist in the data recovery market.

Advantages of Data Recovery Software

  • Time saving: It recovers lost or corrupted data in no time. The process is quick, efficient and restores data in a matter of minutes.
  • Economically viable: It is affordable and comes customized for basic home services to high end enterprise services.
  • Versatility: They have solutions for every type of data loss and dedicated to various types of storage media, which speaks volumes about its versatility.
  • Online availability: Home and enterprise users can purchase and download a copy of data recovery software directly from its manufacturer's website without any hassle.
  • Lifetime support and utility: Users can avail lifelong support and utilities after purchasing the software. You can also use its utilities as long as you use the software.

Types of Data Recovery Software

Keeping in mind the business impact made by data loss, scientists and engineers have developed various types of recovery software used for various media. This process is an evolving one and product innovations are requent. The various types of media where date recovery software is implemented are:

  • iPods
  • Digital Cameras
  • Memory Cards
  • Pen Drives
  • Hard Drives
  • FAT (File Allocation Table)

Steps to Prevent Data Loss using Data Recovery Software

Data loss can be minimized to a great extent using proper and strategic data recovery procedures. Some of them are listed here:

  • Take backups of all important data regularly and archive it accordingly.
  • The software must interface properly with the power surge interface and synchronize in a seamless manner.
  • A good antivirus program should be installed and run on a regular basis.
  • All emails and downloaded files must be scanned for virus, spyware and other malware.

Hiring the services of experts allows your company to focus on its core competence, rather than worry about data recovery. For help with safeguarding of important information and data recovery, log on to the website.

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Source by Louie Noel

Review of Takeoff Software for Estimating Construction

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So often people want to rush out and buy estimating software or takeoff software without first trying to define their internal estimating processes. Once the estimating process is clearly defined, then and only then, can you actually try to compartmentalize the process into segments. So often the segment is really quantity takeoff. Takeoff of what you may wonder? That is like the million dollar question. This article will speak about the takeoff software process which usually associated with estimating software processes. The takeoff software process can often be takeoff of materials for some folks, and to many others, the takeoff process of scoped systems to create estimates or proposals. This review or comparison will not try to explain the estimating software process but bring to you valid quantity takeoff thinking among estimators in a quest to find which product thinks the way you do. These are the opinions of the author.

I will review and compare 3 types of measuring takeoff products:

It is extremely important to note that these are ONLY measuring takeoff programs, NOT estimating programs.

1) Planswift

2) On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software

3) Electronic Plan Takeoff Software

All three products have their strengths, however, Planswift and On-Screen Takeoff are stand-alone products and Electronic Plan Takeoff is actually dynamically integrated live with Microsoft Excel which means that it starts and finishes and saves in Excel. They all integrate with Excel, however, you will have to evaluate your thought process and decide which of the three products work-flow think along the lines of how you think. For instance, what is the first thing you do when you get a set of plans? Typically, you start flipping through the plans to see how involved the project is and what type of work do you see that is attractive for your company. Then when you decide you are going to estimate this job, more often than not, you start like 80% of companies in the world of construction estimating by opening your takeoff master template Excel spreadsheet. You rename your spreadsheet to the new job or project and off you go performing takeoff. This is where the differences are:

In Planswift, you decide what drawing you are on and then you perform the measuring of an item you want to perform takeoff on the plan. Unfortunately, that is not exactly how an estimator thinks. Planswift does give you the ability to add a type of takeoff item on the fly by naming it and then perform takeoff of it; somewhat of a very manual and slow process. They also provide you with the ability of applying a type of assembly to a takeoff to aggregate quantities of items in that assembly. Not quite the way an estimator thinks. It forces you to jump to different screens which slows down the process. Typically, the main start of anyone's takeoff process, or some may think of it as a checklist approach, is to start with your own spreadsheet of YOUR items. Those items can be material items or can be scoped assembly system items. Either way, by starting with a master spreadsheet say in Excel for example, many estimators think of this as a risk reducer, not to forget things they normally takeoff. Being that Planswift is a stand-alone takeoff program, it typically saves your takeoff images in Planswift instead of your estimate in Excel, if Excel is your estimating system. If you are using Excel, you have to manually save your takeoff measurement numbers in Excel and your takeoff images in Planswift or elsewhere, just not in Excel where the takeoff quantity resides. Again, if you want to integrate with Excel, they force you to either export or import takeoff items from Excel rather than being dynamically integrated live to Excel. They do however have the ability to dump the measured quantity from Planswift into any Excel spreadsheet or Word document. The main purpose or the primary focus of this program is measuring, therefore it does a good job at that function. Most of the other functions require you to jump around different screens, and essentially, you loose your thought of where you are. There are some features that attempt to address the estimating process, however, there are many features that are missing for Planswift to be a full fledged estimating system; it is NOT one. Planswift does integrate with the leading estimating system Sage Timberline, but the integration is weak. Since Timberline's power is in assembly takeoff and where most estimators reside in Timberline, Planswift does not give the estimator the ability to add quantities of miscellaneous Timberline items or one-time items that need to added on the fly to an assembly while they are in Planswift at the Timberline interview screen, and while being in the measuring phase. Planswift does allow the deleting of assembly generated items as well adjusting assembly item quantities in a different screen. Again, to perform all that, you are forced to jump around to different screens. No assembly is ever perfect in any estimating system since project conditions are always uniquely different, therefore, having to add items to an assembly is extremely important. That adding of items and associated quantities is an absolute requirement any estimator typically has to do during the takeoff measuring and estimating phase; something that Planswift struggles with as related to Timberline Estimating. Planswift does allow the direct send of measurements to Timberline Estimating items and assemblies while in Timberline Estimating, just as you would do with the old digitizer measuring boards. Training, support and maintenance are extra for Planswift. On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software , and Planswift charge their annual maintenance and support fees per license (mandatory) which costs the end user more expense annually especially if a customer has more than one license.

On Center's On-Screen Takeoff is the Grand Daddy of software takeoff products due to the fact that it has been around the longest. On Center recognizes that On-Screen Takeoff is primarily a measuring program. That is why they have a separate estimating program named QuickBid for those who want an estimating program. On Center does not try to trick you into thinking it is an estimating system. In On-Screen Takeoff, you also decide what drawing you are on and then you perform the measuring of the plan. BUT, before you start, you can load a master set styles of things you typically takeoff or measure from your own library. That process seems to be less complicated than that of Planswift. On-Screen Takeoff does give you the ability to add a type of takeoff item on the fly by naming it and then performing takeoff of it; somewhat of a manual and slow process as well. The program does come with many features that are primarily focused on simple measuring to advanced measuring issues all with attention to detail regarding easy navigation for the takeoff process. On Center does a very good job at that. However, there seems to be a disconnect of thought from an Excel spreadsheet items you may use for estimating and / or proposals. The integration to Microsoft Excel is not a dynamic live link, more like an after thought in my opinion. Yes, you can establish links to named styles to cells or ranges in Excel, somewhat rigid. But the question you will have to ask yourself, which will happen more often than not is: What do you do when you need to add things on the fly during takeoff and in an Excel spreadsheet? Again there will be manual associations you will have to establish with Excel which is another major slowdown. You have to manually save your takeoff measurement numbers in Excel and your takeoff images in On-Screen or anywhere you decide, except the takeoff images will not be saved in Excel where the takeoff quantity resides. This type of situation arises when a takeoff program is a stand-alone program. On Center's On-Screen Takeoff has the best integration with the most widely used estimating system in the USA: Sage Timberline Estimating. It basically mimics the same interview process as you would do with the old digitizer measuring boards. By working directly with Timberline, On-Screen Takeoff allows the estimator to perform takeoff of a Timberline variable question and immediately returns back directly with the takeoff quantity in a Timberline assembly at the variable question. By virtue of this process, On-Screen Takeoff allows the estimator to continue his / her Timberline interview process in Sage Timberline Estimating by reviewing / massaging generated quantities, or adding items in a Timberline assembly as the estimator see fit. That workflow process gives full control to the estimator, good job On Center. Training, support and maintenance are extra for On-Screen Takeoff. On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software , and Planswift charge their annual maintenance and support fees per license (mandatory) which costs the end user more expense annually especially if a customer has more than one license.

This next system is ONLY if your estimating system or proposal generator is Microsoft Excel. Electronic Plan Takeoff Software is a plug-in for Excel. You start your spreadsheet, you perform the measuring takeoff, you may even add some more items on the fly all the while you are in the measuring phase in the Electronic Plan Takeoff program. When you are done, even if you added items on the fly, they automatically appear in your Excel spreadsheet. Excel is the control of everything. Your project is started in Excel, your takeoff is saved in Excel, the estimate or proposal is / can be produced there in Excel; one program, one place. Many takeoff programs interface with Excel somehow, but only Electronic Plan Takeoff is live linked with Excel, meaning all your Excel spreadsheet descriptions appear in the measuring takeoff program so you always know where you are in Excel. That is a huge difference in comparison to Planswift and On-Screen Takeoff. You can even change a description of a takeoff item in Electronic Plan Takeoff and it is automatically changed live, in your Excel spreadsheet. When you talk about the estimating and takeoff phase you must keep processes cleans and easy and this program does just that. There is no getting lost in this program. Just like the other reviewed programs above, the central focus of this program is takeoff measuring, and it does a GREAT job at that. The navigation within the program is really simple and easy. It is not made to work with other estimating systems, but there is a version that allows the direct send of measurements to Microsoft any Windows program awaiting a keyboard entry, just as you would do with digitizer measuring boards. There is also a version that works with digitizer boards as well. If you use Microsoft Excel for estimating, or takeoffs, or proposals, then this Electronic Plan Takeoff program for Excel would be your best choice. The integration to Excel is unmatched in Electronic Plan Takeoff compared to Planswift or On-Screen Takeoff. What is quite different in Electronic Plan Takeoff is that training, support, and maintenance are INCLUDED with a purchase, whereas training, support and maintenance are extra for Planswift and On-Screen Takeoff. Moreover, annual support and maintenance for Electronic Plan Takeoff year two and beyond is a low fee per company per year, instead of per license. On-Screen Takeoff by On Center Software , and Planswift charge their annual maintenance and support fees per license (mandatory) which costs the end user more expense annually especially if a customer has more than one license.

Microsoft and Excel are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Planswift is the registered trademark of Tech Unlimited, Inc. On-Screen Takeoff and QuickBid are registered trademarks of On Center Software, Inc. Sage Timberline Office, Sage Timberline Estimating are registered trademarks of Sage Software, Inc.

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Source by Perry Reiter

Top 5 Features And Benefits Of Employee Scheduling Software

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Every manager and business leader is constantly challenged by the need to improve their employees efficiency. The key to achieving optimum employee efficiency is effective planning and scheduling so everything is done in time and no deadlines or events are missed. Many organizations either ignore the wonders of planning employees or use less efficient methods which require considerable polishing. While more functional alternatives are available, many organizations still use scheduling tools which include informal hand written planners or Excel sheets.

Some of these latest alternatives include employee scheduling software products which prove to be more efficient when compared with hand written or Excel sheet planners. Scheduling software products generally offer desktop scheduling and Internet / Cloud technology based scheduling. Here are details of features you can expect from these products:

Top 5 Features that Desktop Employee Scheduling Software Products Offer

These software products can offer planning options only to the employees included in the upper hierarchy, for example managers. As the rest of the employees are not involved in the planning process, chances of confusion are considerably lower. Have a look at some top features these software products offer:

  • With a variety of options available for organizing employee schedules, desktop scheduling software products can be easily remodeled according to needs. User interfaces are designed keeping in mind efficient planning options that can be altered if required.
  • Graphical reports and charts can be printed based upon the data and resources available according to the task, activity or event at hand.
  • Inform your employees about any updates or alerts through email or calendars. Users will be directed towards their desktop calendars when a change is made by the manager.
  • With these desktop planners, managers can control the amount of access they hand to an employee. Sometimes, employees other than the managers need to be given permission to modify the details of a task or an event while others are only allowed limited access to the details.
  • Data can be easily imported from and exported to different formats such as PDF, JPG, DOC etc.

Top 5 Features that Cloud Based Employee Scheduling Software Products Offer

These software products come with added benefits and they operate through the internet. Following are the features offered by a Cloud based employee scheduling software:

  • Just like a desktop software, a Cloud based software also come with a user interface that offers many options to cater to particular needs. Events, employees and tasks can be organized in a variety of ways according to their nature.
  • Through mobile phone apps, changes can be made even when an internet connection is not available and can be uploaded when you can access the internet.
  • Files can imported and exported on formats such as CSV, iCalendar etc.
  • Managers can control the amount of access employees are given in planning of a particular project or event.
  • These software products can also be integrated with Google Maps for added features and options.

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Source by Mark Ballance