Users' conference yields estimating efficiencies

March 29, 2006 - McCormick Systems estimating-software users found dual monitors a productivity boost.

A recent users' conference hosted by McCormick Systems (www.mccormicksys.com) featured two days of learning sessions, an on-site computer lab with more than 20 workstations, extended lab time, pre-event training, and social activities. But the buzz coming out of the event, held March 8-10 in Tempe, AZ, emanated from users' experimentation with the vendor's estimating software package and dual computer monitors.

Estimating productivity is the key selling point stressed in the company's presentations and literature; and a new vista on speeding estimates opened for those attending the recent conference. Because of the flexibility of the company's estimating software, users discovered they could boost productivity with the use of two monitors on an individual working estimate. Using a two-monitor setup, contractors and estimators experimented and found they could have 15 discrete estimate windows open at the same time across two screens.

"Having all those windows open greatly increased their estimating productivity," said president Todd McCormick. "While this is not unique to McCormick, the response from our customers was so enthusiastic that we think two monitors will probably be the standard from now on."

According to the company, any computer user can set up two monitors for the same computer by retrofitting the unit with a video card that has two monitor outputs; the process is simple and the video card with accompanying software costs approximately $100.

"For perhaps $300 to $350," McCormick says, referring to the cost of the video card and an additional monitor, "and a half-hour's worth of work, any estimator working with McCormick's software can boost productivity."

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