EstiMate Desktop

Sign Pricing Software Built For Windows.

Rock solid, lightning fast pricing technology that
leaves you free to do what you do best - make and sell signs.


EstiMate Desktop

Sign Pricing Software Built For Windows.

Pricing Screens

EstiMate's Plugins are where the rubber meets the road.

The plugins are entire sign pricing programs that integrate into EstiMate.

Pricing Screens Included With EstiMate

What are plugins?

Plugins are the actual pricing screens that are found in EstiMate. Each plugin is devoted wholeheartedly to one particular process you do in your shop.

This means that you don't have to make an "18x24 Vinyled Aluminum Sign" one item in your software (the way you have to do in more generic quoting software), but can instead use the Vinyl Signs plugin to quote any kind of Vinyl Sign you may need to make.

Anatomy Of A Plugin

In taking you on a tour of the parts of a plugin, we'll use the Flatbed Digital Printing plugin as our example. Keep in mind that a lot of what you'll see here applies to all the pricing plugins available with EstiMate.

Important: remember that any dollar figures will be different for your shop because EstiMate's pricing is tailored to your specific needs and market area. In this example we are only really looking at how the Flatbed Printing Plugin works.

Flatbed Digital Printing Plugin

Setting Up The Job

For starters, you select the print media you are printing on (note the sheet size to the right - that shows the size of the sheet you purchase and figures into the material waste calculations).

Once you've selected the print media, you move on to the print specs. In this case, we've set up a print as follows:

  • 50 prints on .040 Styrene, 24"x36"
  • Single-Sided
  • Printed on a Mimaki JV-1631 Printer
  • 15 minutes setup per sheet (that's per 4'x8' sheet, not per print)
  • Double hit ink for extra vividity
  • 100% Ink Coverage (any full print should just stay at 100%, only oddities really need an adjustment here).

Surface prep for this job is set as a simple alcohol wipe, 30 minutes for RIP time, and basic trimming - just cutting the prints out of the 4'x8' sheets.

Once this is done, we can click on the Material Waste Calculations tab and see how material wastes are being factored in.

Reviewing Material Waste

Flatbed Digital Printing Plugin Material Waste Tab

Material wastes are carefully calculated so that you know exactly what your drop is and how you want to charge the customer for scrap material.

The options are:

  • The same markup as the material you are printing on
  • A separately specified markup for scrap
  • No charge for scrap material

As you can imagine, this can make a big difference in the charges for a job!


Templates Menu

In a nutshell, templates allow you to save any job you do as a "template" for quick access. If you scroll back up to the plugin screen on this page, you'll see that the templates button is located at the top right of the plugin screen. We've saved the 24x36 Styrene Prints here as an example of how this can be done.

Then, when you click on that template item, everything on the pricing screen is automatically filled in for you.


Upcharges Tab On Plugin Screen

Upcharges are where you add additional items to a quote. These will add either a percentage to the job or time to the design and/or production times.

You can have as many upcharges in the system as you like and quickly add them to any quote.

Design and Production Times

Design And Production Times

The design and production times indicate how long the job will take to complete. In this case, the 1 hour of production time is based on the default (15 minutes is what we have set up here) plus the 45 minute upcharge for scanning and cleaning up the logo.

The production time is based on how long it will take to prep and load each sheet, print them, and trim them.


Subjective Sliders

The subjective sliders on EstiMate's plugin screens are ways to "tweak" your pricing (though they will rarely even need to be used). In a nutshell, the sliders are as follows:

  • Artwork Complexity: this slider adjusts design time on a job. So, for example, if you know you need to scan and clean up a logo (but for some reason don't want to do it through an upcharge), you can adjust this slider until the design time is where you want it to be.
  • General Difficulty Level: this slider adjusts production time on a job, just like the Artwork Complexity slider adjusts design time.
  • Shop Workload: this slider does a straight adjustment for profit on a job. If you are extremely busy and don't want to "take that job right now unless the price is right," adjust the slider upwards. If, on the other hand, you really need work - adjust it down. Be careful. Always check your Hard Numbers if you adjust this slider downwards and make sure you aren't losing money by doing so. Only Administrators and Managers will see this slider when pricing.
  • Market Level: this is a "set it and forget it" adjustment taken from the configuration screen (see the next section). It takes into consideration what your geographic area will bear price-wise. Only Administrators and Managers will see this slider when pricing.
  • Margin: this does NOT represent your profit margin. However, it is intended to appear that way if a customer is looking over your shoulder when you are pricing, which is why it is intentionally mis-named. The margin slider really represents the "flake factor" when dealing with difficult customers. If a customer is really particularly hard to work with, you can adjust this slider downward to raise the price - but if the customer is looking over your shoulder, they will think you are dropping your profit margin. ;-). Only Administrators and Managers will see this slider when pricing.

Hard Numbers

Clicking The Total Link

You can see an example of a hard numbers screen in the Quote section of our tour.

Essentially, the "Hard Numbers" are an on-the-fly P&L statement for anything you price and can be accessed by clicking on the word "Total" on the plugin screen.

Plugin Configuration Screen

Configuration Screen

The configuration screen for the plugins offer you many settings to control the plugin's behavior, including the market level settings mentioned in the Subjectives section above.

Common settings found here are cutting - weeding - masking - mounting times, base design and production times, default printers and cutters, trimming time, and the like.

Every plugin's configuration settings are specific to the plugin in question and can be accessed by clicking the "configure" button at the top right of the plugin screen.