Estimating software is often offered as a stand alone application, and in some very technical applications that may be appropriate. LILAC's estimating has the benefit of offering powerful stand alone computational features together with intimate integration to the rest of a powerful business automation capability.
Integrated WYSIWYG Estimate Documents
An Estimate document is stored in the LILAC database in a similar fashion to other LILAC WYSIWYG documents. The document is stored and retrieved with reference to the key for the customer and an estimate number.
Product & Material Specifications
Each line of the Estimate document permits the selection of a product or material code from the LILAC Inventory data base, where description, units, dimension data, cost and selling prices may be maintained.
Technical Data and Calculations
Subject to appropriate set up and possibly specific formulae requirements, most industry requirements for dimensions, weights, sheet sizes, and conversion calculations can be accommodated.
Bill of Materials Interface
A separate function within the LILAC suite of WYSIWYG documents provides for the permanent or semi-permanent establishment of Bills of Materials for standard pre-manufactured or commonly reproduced products. These BoM specifications can then be referenced from Estimate documents as single line items, or exploded into an estimate in componentry form.
Work In Progress (Job Ledger) Interface
Once an Estimate has been established as a document in the LILAC data base, it is possible to us the data contained therein to create an initial set of budgets for a Job account in the WIP ledger. To achieve this the Product Group codes from the materials and products in the Estimate are mapped to Cost Centre Item numbers in the WIP Ledger.
Copy Estimate Function
Much of the utility of an estimating system derives from the notion of established "standard" estimates in the data base which cover the bulk of the requirements for a typical job, and then using a copy and edit strategy to create a specific Estimate for a customer.
Estimate to Quotation
LILAC provides for the single click creation of a Quotation document from an Estimate document. This addresses the common situation where Estimates are prepared in terms of (internal) cost prices, but a detailed specification with markups or selling prices is needed for submission to the customer. Typically by on-line faxing.
Flow Through to Sales Order and Invoicing
Once a Estimate exists there is a natural progression from Estimate through Quotation to Sales Order, Work Order and Invoice, with each transition requiring only a single mouse-click, but with the possibility of revision of addition to the data at each stage.
Recosting of Estimates
Once a cost of a material or product is entered into an Estimate document either manually from the keyboard or by accessing the product and material cost records in the Inventory data base, it will not normally change, because the Estimate is intended to represent a costing at a particular point in time. However a Recost button is provided on the Estimate document which allows the operator to cause the costs in the Estimate to to be brought up to date with a single mouse-click.