ProEst 2011 software streamlines the estimating process and features masonry-specific tools.

Work is harder to find. That's hardly a surprise to mason contractors. On the other hand, there is work out there. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported in early November that its Construction Backlog Indicator in September was 6.7 months. Six months of work seems like a luxury. But what's interesting about the report is that not every contractor's backlog is the same. The ABC economist reports large construction firms are faring better than smaller ones. Firms with annual revenue above $100 million have seen their construction backlog grow by 8.6 months over the past year. In contrast, the backlog for firms with annual revenue below $30 million fell to 5.7 months in September.

Is bigger better? Or is it a matter of diversity of services? Is this difference in backlogged work due to the ability to bid more work? If you'd like to try to bid more diverse work, you should consider upgrading your estimating and back-office software.

The ProEst 2011 software program, released earlier this month, is an upgrade to one of the industry's most used estimating packages. It now includes innovative estimating features that streamline the estimator's productivity. The software was designed to be easy to use and to integrate with most current business software. ProEst 2011 also features a masonry component.

The developers at Construction Management Software in San Diego have added several features to the legacy software that is used by more than 6000 contractors around the world. The new edition has an intuitive user interface, easy-to-use item and assembly screens, and it can analyze estimates by square feet or cubic yards. The software also has a built-in concrete materials database with everything from slabs and piers to footings, enabling estimators to quickly produce accurate, competitive bids.

ProEst 2011 features proprietary technology that has been fine-tuned by the developers over the last 30 years. For example, integrated digital takeoff tools allow estimators to quickly and accurately measure lengths, areas, and counts using on-screen plans and a mouse. Paperless takeoffs save time, space, and money to provide an unparalleledreturn on a contractor's ProEst investment.

But the new product's ability to streamline a contractor's back office goes beyond enhancing estimating. ProEst 2011 is tightly integrated with common business tools like Microsoft Excel and Outlook, and many construction accounting systems. This feature increases efficiency and eliminates duplicate data entry. Direct integration withleading online plan rooms will allow estimators to keep projects updated with the latest specifications, plans, and addenda.

ProEst 2011 also leverages the latest Microsoft development tools and resources, including a SQL database and .Net framework to ensure superior usability of its software for accounting purposes.

You can learn more about ProEst 2011 by visiting, or stopping by Booth #C4257 at the World of Concrete.

Rate the Best of What's New for 2011 ProEst 2011 is one of more than 60 nominees in Hanley Wood's Most Innovative Products award program at World of Concrete. Beginning in mid-December, readers can vote for their favorite nomination in a number of categories. World of Concrete attendees can vote by ballot.

To view this year's award nominees and cast your vote, visit

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