October 2006
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ICS - Estimating Software works with Planning Software

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Concerto Suite is the popular Estimating / Design software used by Commercial Building Automation contractors to prepare accurate installation cost estimates and design submittals.

The program now includes an upgraded feature to export a detailed set of labor factors to Microsoft Project©. Job schedules and plans are a key ingredient for financial success, but preparing them for anything but a trivial job can be time consuming. In Concerto, the MS Project files can be produced directly from the cost estimate, and can be further refined as the project designs are finalized. As a result, Concerto-estimated projects are more likely to benefit from detailed project planning, enhancing the likelihood of successful completion.

Current Concerto users can download the latest program update to add the enhanced Project Planning feature.

Planning Function:

The function gathers user-specified data from the estimate/design file and exports it into MS Project. Concerto’s ‘performance contingencies’ are applied to the plan. The export file prepares a ‘Gantt chart’ and other available outputs or reports to satisfy client demands. The exported file is a standard MS Project file, offering all the available functions and features of that popular program to sales and project management people. Hence, Project Managers can plan and schedule the work in suitable detail, without investing large amounts of precious time to prepare the labor task tables.

Planning Templates:

The program Administrator can optionally create standard planning templates to customize the detailed output to MS Project. Examples may be ‘Small Job’, ‘Government Job’, ‘Large Job’, ‘Job for Consultant X’, etc.

PlantPROCORE Any available Administration-created Planning Template can be selected as a user’s own 'default' planning template. Historical revenue profiles can be accounted for, e.g. ‘Design’ is performed at the start of a project, ‘Commissioning’ near completion, etc.

Export Function:

Data is presented in accordance with the Planning template settings, and can be further fine-tuned by the user. The custom selections are saved in the estimate, and data is exported to MS Project (2000 or 2003). An intuitive interface allows for complete customization of required variables and data.

Output:

The created MS Project file (*.mpp) can be opened directly in MS Project. The file organizes labor hours in the order, breakout detail and phases (start/completion times) as set up by the user. In the absence of user determined settings, the program provides reasonable defaults.

About ICS:
Since 1990, ICS has focused exclusively on the development of productivity software tools for contractors and manufacturers in the commercial Building Automation Industry. With installations on four different continents, ICS products enable hundreds of clients to reach their business goals. www.ics-controls.com

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