Contractor Essentials contains project estimate capability in the Job Cost module, with users able to edit and track estimates as needed. Percentages can be assigned to the basic estimate and adjusted when necessary. The optional Material Estimation module allows users to enter bid information into the system and later convert the data into a job. Bid information can also be imported from portable electronic devices, making it easy for field personnel to track information and later export into the main system.
All job information is easily accessible by project managers and extensive job, estimating, and materials billing and reporting options available, which provides those managers with quick access to current data. Users can also access current job information by customer number, including details such as job cost by phase, progress billing, and time and materials billing. Managers can easily enter change order information, with both original and change order status accessible.
Contractor Essentials contains excellent vendor, customer, employee and subcontractor tracking and management capability. The Marketing Manager module allows users to track potential leads, convert those leads to sales and also interfaces with both Microsoft Word, for easy document and letter processing, and the Critical Performance Measures module, so managers will also have excellent sales and sales conversion rates available. Features such as the Notes/Files option allows users to record all outside interaction, whether with a customer or vendor, and users can assign tasks to follow up on any new or existing items.
The Payroll module contains excellent employee management capability, with users able to enter separate classifications for each employee that can be later tied back to a specific job or function. The Inventory module allows users to set up and manage inventory items, including bar coding for easier tracking.
The serialized inventory option allows you to enter serial numbers when receiving products, making it easier to track against a job. An Inventory Kit Assembly module is available as well. The Purchase Order module, found under the AP module, funnels all purchasing detail directly into AP for each vendor management and invoicing. Other optional modules, such as the Vehicle Maintenance module allows users to track costs for each vehicle in service, including any scheduled maintenance.
The Tool Management module provides managers an easy way to keep track of valuable tools, with managers able to check tools out to specific employees and specific jobs. Contractor Essentials also contains an excellent Service Management and Dispatch module which makes scheduling and tracking job detail easy. Not only does this module handle scheduling, it also provides phone system handlers with excellent information during the phone call, such as a detailed customer and service history. This module also integrates with the E-Service module, which provides service dispatchers with the ability to dispatch service call details to technicians in the field. An excellent Equipment Management module rounds out this impressive set of construction related modules, offering the ability to track vital detail about every piece of equipment including install dates, warranty detail and expiration and a complete service history.
Reporting & Management Tools - 4.5 Stars
Contractor Essentials offers a good selection of job-related reports, including all job reports, progress billing reports and estimates to actual totals. Labor and maintenance reports can be found in all of the optional job/contractor related modules, and AIA billing is available in Contractor Essentials as well. Contractor Essentials makes good use of templates, and users can easily create a variety of customized forms to suit their needs.
The "My Appointments feature found on the main user screen provides managers and employees both with an excellent time management tool, where users can easily access all current jobs and service details, as well as track all upcoming appointments. Recurring appointments can be easily entered in the My Appointments feature, with the ability to assign a specific priority level to each appointment.
Integration/Import/Export - 5 Stars
Contractor Essentials is a modular system, with a long list of modules available that completely integrate with the core system. Other add-ons include Map Manager, Flat Rate Pricing Interface, Point of Sale Invoicing, In-House Manufacturing, Time and Material Billing, Progress Billing, and a Remote Time Clock Interface. Contractor Essentials also offers excellent integration with Microsoft Office products and contains a direct interface with both Microsoft Word and Outlook.