Home Reviews Software Quick Bid : Which one's right for you?
US FTC Compliance
Yes, all these ads are some kind of affiliate link and I get paid a commission if you click or buy.
Not enough to quit my day job, but it keeps the site alive.
- Jeb Riordan, Editor, PROJECTmagazine
Quick Bid : Which one's right for you? Print
If you look through the list of project management tools currently on the market, they appear to fall into two categories - the can-help-with-any-type-of-project PM software and the specialist IT/software development project management packages.
This is all fine and dandy...

Nevertheless, we all know that project management applies to many different industries, so if you don't work in IT, what are you supposed to do if you need a specialised industry-specific tool to help manage your projects?

Short of designing a tool yourself, there's not much it seems you can do, unless you work in the building or construction industries where a couple of similarly named tools called Quick Bid could help. Developed specifically to assist construction contractors with their cost estimating, cost breakdowns, and cost reporting needs, these products can make nearly anyone do a double take when it comes to getting the crucial job of construction estimating done.

Quick Bid 3.0

Quick Bid 3.0 is the latest release from the Texas, USA-based On Center Software.
Formally known as Quick Bid Professional Estimating Software, it is a Windows-based program designed to handle any size of bid estimating for commercial construction contractors and subcontractors in various Construction Specification Institute (CSI) divisions.
First launched in 1988, the product has undergone a number of enhancements, and On Center representatives report that version 3.5 is about to be released.

Quick Bid 3.0 helps construction estimators bid for jobs more quickly, accurately, and more efficiently than ever before. If calculator crunching is getting you into more hot water than you can shake a stick at, this is a tool that can turn those nightmares into potentially profitable reality.

Quick Bid has the all-familiar Windows interface, so your learning curve is substantially reduced right from the start. IT contains a number of preloaded databases for numerous trades such as roofing, masonry, painting, acoustical, insulation, and flooring.

Commercial construction estimating takes a direct hit with Quick Bid's wide range of features, ease of use, and level of customisation. You can adjust your labour and production rates based on the job's difficulty, change your pricing or materials universally, and make adjustments according to the job and market conditions. All of these make Quick Bid an attractive package for nearly any commercial contractor.

Quick Bid has powerful reporting features for creating 11 customised and detailed project reports. Everything from field reports and bid proposal forms to production and purchasing reports are included so that information regarding your construction project can be passed on quickly and easily to communicate information to the field, suppliers, or customers.

Quick Bid and its associated databases are designed to work with its sister application, On-Screen Takeoff. In combining the two applications, construction managers can benefit from a complete cost estimating and takeoff package. Takeoff is designed to help view construction plans and perform quantity takeoffs quickly and accurately. It is designed to quantify your measurements so you can establish exactly how much material you will need to complete your project.

Pricing for Quick Bid 3.0 starts at US$3,895, based on the databases required.
A CD-based demo version is available so you take it for a spin around the block. Unfortunately, this is only available in the US and Canada. If you don't want to wait for the mail or are from outside the States or Canada, you can schedule an online demo where an On Center Software representative will take you through the advantages of using Quick Bid.

A Platinum Plus annual support program is also available for purchase. With this plan, you receive free technical support, access to the On Center's Download Zone, and free product upgrades. If you're having trouble getting to grips with the software, the company offers free over the phone training to help you. If this is not enough, they also offer hands-on personal training.

Even with the range of support available, On Center believes that Quick Bid is so easy to use that extensive training, if any, really won't be necessary.

Quick Bid 2000

If you're a residential building contractor or subcontractor looking to greatly improve your estimating processes and increase your bid awards, this version of Quick Bid is well worth a look.

Quick Bid 2000 is an easy-to-use residential estimating tool designed by construction people for construction people by a company of the same name, Quick Bid.

Developers C. Whitney Kartchner and Steve Hyde have nearly 50 years of construction experience between them.
After using a variety of estimating tools that very often fell short of their needs and expectations, they set out to develop a tool that anyone with limited computer skills could get to grips with AND could be customised to suit specific needs of contractors working in different areas. Quick Bid 2000 was the result of their collaboration.

The only things you need for this tool are a basic Pentium PC system running Windows 95/98/NT/2000 and a spreadsheet package. Popular spreadsheets supported by Quick Bid include these versions or later of: Microsoft Excel 97, Corel Quattro Pro version 8, or Lotus 123 version 5. Don't let the idea of using spreadsheets put you off. You don't have to be a genius with these to get Quick Bid working effectively for you.

Quick Bid is not a standalone software package, but a spreadsheet template that contains over 75 residential construction categories. It is divided into 13 tabbed major construction areas like lumber, framing, electrical, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and these are accessed by clicking on the specific tab at the bottom of the screen.

Quick Bid uses unit pricing to calculate costs. It comes with preinstalled cost information, and this data can be customised to reflect the current costs in a particular geographical area.

In addition to generating automatic calculations, Quick Bid 2000 also calculates complete itemized cost breakdowns and creates material lists in a number of residential construction categories. Another unique feature includes the capability to calculate roofing quantities no matter what your roof pitch is. Once your estimate is complete, you can also determine what your profit on a particular job will be based on the material and soft cost data you've entered. You'll be able to report your project costs to your customers and the banks as well as know exactly what your profits will be.

Quick Bid 2000 retails for only US$398 plus shipping and handling charges and can be ordered online from the Quick Bid website.

Loyal readers of PROJECTmagazine can enjoy a 50% discount by quoting Discount Code P1202 on the online order form.

While it enjoys uses from a variety of construction firms, it would certainly prove valuable to those of you who operate small enterprises and would rather not fork out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for tools that do the same or even less. A downloadable demo of Quick Bid is available in the form of a Lotus Screen Cam. This runs you through a presentation, clearly highlighting the package's features and benefits.

When you're deciding if Quick Bid is for you and you don't already have a spreadsheet package in your software armoury, you should just bear in mind the extra cost of having to purchase one. The cost of Quick Bid certainly can mount up. Having said that, when compared to most of its competitors, Quick Bid is a real bargain. If you consider its ease of use and reliability as well as the time it should save you from having to work out the calculations by hand, it should pay for itself many times over in no time flat.


Both Quick Bids are without a doubt impressive cost-estimating tools for the construction industry. Those construction managers who have never heard of either tool before should by now be positively salivating at the prospect of what they can do for them. OK, many of you may be used to doing your estimates by hand, but then you'll know just how frustrating and time consuming the whole process can be. Let's be honest: at the very least, Quick Bid has to be a step up from the calculator. Both are certainly faster and highly accurate. For once, you have time saving tools designed specifically for your industry. For residential contractors, Quick Bid 2000's price gives you nothing to lose. It should almost pay for itself after the first job. With Quick Bid 3.0, the range of reporting features and ease of use for commercial construction contractors should more than warrant its significantly higher price tag.

Why not save yourself from a few more grey hairs and let a Quick Bid do the hard work for you!

System Specs:

Alternatively try

  • Pentium-based PC system
  • Windows 95/98/NT/2000
  • NOTE: Quick Bid 2000: Requires spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel 97, Corel Quattro Pro 8, or Lotus 123 release 5
  • Deccan Systems Inc. DeccaPro
  • Quality Plans and Software Inc. 2001 CD Estimator
  • Quality Plans and Software Inc. 2001 National Construction Estimator
  • Applied Computer Systems Inc. JOBPOWER Estimating
  • Timberline Precision Estimating
  • Estimating Systems, Inc. Pulsar
  • Softstar Systems Costar
  • Marotz Inc. Cost XPert

Quick Bid 3.0 and Quick Bid 2000
receives PROJECTmagazine ratings of
Image 4 bananas


2001 © Lee and James Appleyard

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
bold italicize underline strike url image quote Smile Wink Laugh Grin Angry Sad Shocked Cool Tongue Kiss Cry
smaller | bigger

Copyright © PROJECTmagazine (c) 1998 - 2019 for practical project management information. All rights reserved.