Electrical Bid Manager™
We continually improve Electrical Bid Manager through customer feedback and internal ideas. The Extended Service Plan (ESP) for your Electrical Bid Manager™ (EBM) includes all upgrades we release. We typically release 2 or more upgrades through the year that includes new features, enhancements to current features and bug fixes. Learn more about ESP.
- Improved Reporting: New and improved report templates and bid analysis.
- Improved Pricing Updates: We are researching better ways of updating EBM with EPIC Pricing.
- New Items & Assemblies: Quarterly enhancements to item/assembly database.
- User Interface Updates: Adding look & feel improvements
- Digital plan takeoff workflow improvements based on customer feedback.
- Our development team works on Electrical Bid Manager every day. Check back for updates.
- Email us at email@example.com with any improvement suggestions. Or use our support webform here.
New Feature Highlights
- Added: New priced and labored items added to keep EBM's database updated. Cleared out older retired items.
- See latest items added: http://bit.ly/2019q4database
- Added: Search feature added to more reports and job list screens.
- Added: New "Copy Labor" button added to speed the creation of new items in EBM's database. Customize your database in less time and clicks.
- Added: Design/Build tools - PlanSwift users now have access to over 70 electrical symbols that provides basic Design/Build functionality and counting with Electrical Bid Manager.
- Added: Quickbranch Takeoff - Allows quick selection and takeoff of device assemblies combined with conduit/wire, or cable runs of any length from your Saved Assemblies in Branch Circuits and Cable modules. View a video of this new feature.
In this update, we focused on updating the database, adding customer-requested features, and bug fixes.
- New items and assemblies added to the EBM database in the following categories:
- Stainless Steel Items and Assemblies (Plus/Pro-only)
- Lighting Control (all versions)
- Occupancy Sensor Items and Assemblies (all versions)
- Fire Alarm Quoted Items and Assemblies with Quote Devices (all versions).
- View a list of added items: http://bit.ly/2019q4database
- Search feature added to more reports.
- New search button added to the following reports: Job Extension spreadsheet, Price Comparison spreadsheet, Material List spreadsheet, Open Items spreadsheet. This search helps you quickly track down what you are looking for in your bid.
- Added Notes and Reminders functionality to Device Assemblies.
- You can now edit notes when using edit-to-source on Device Assembly items.
- New "Copy Labor" button added to speed need item creation.
- In the past, we allowed the user to "Copy Attributes" but sometimes a user only wants to copy an item's labor section of the Add/Edit dialog window when creating new items. The new "Copy Labor" button provides this functionality.
- Improved Job search tool.
- We greatly improved the algorithm for the search tool on the following screens:
a) Job Open screen
b) Job Copy screen
c) Job Delete screen
d) Create Change Order screen
e) Merge Job screen
- We greatly improved the algorithm for the search tool on the following screens:
- On Switchboards & Panels takeoff module, # of sections increased from a max of 9 to 999.
- An EBM customer called and explained that it is pretty common to put in more than 9 sections for multiple meter boards when doing apartment work, or multi-dwelling work. We agreed and enabled up to 999.
- Notes added directly to the Audit Trail are now denoted as a "Note".
- When adding a "note" directly to the Audit trail, the note would have a 0.00 value and did not sort properly. We fixed the sorting, removed the 0.00, and added the label "Note" to the Item # column.
- Added usability features to Open Job and Bid Log screens.
- Added column resizing and tooltips on truncated text to make a friendly, more useful Open Job screen.
- Change how EBM launches PlanSwift when viewing Job Extension/Job Totals
- EBM would automatically try and open PlanSwift (if not open) every time a customer would view reports in EBM. This was to ensure any changes in PlanSwift were incorporated into EBM before generating reports. However, this is rare and we now ask the user if they'd like to check for changes.
- New help videos added to EBM's Help menu.
- We added "Creating a New User" and "Importing Multiple Items from EPIC into EBM". We updated some existing help videos.
- Duplicate entries created when using Edit to Source for Quick Devices and Custom Assemblies.
- Fixed an issue some users experienced that would create a duplicate entry when they edited an item in the Audit Trail using "Edit to Source".
- Improved "Insert Note" function in the Audit Trail report.
- Notes were not always appearing in their correct location when a user sorted the Audit Trail by Breakout, Section, etc. Notes now sort correctly in the Audit Trail.
- Residential Bid Price Final report was not summarizing correctly.
- On this residential report, the total quantity was accurate but the report broke out items incorrectly into multiple lines instead of summarizing into one. We fixed this report glitch.
- Improved handling of default labor rates when restoring a backup of master database.
- When you restore a backup of your master database, and leave "Overwrite Job List" unchecked, the default labor rates would be deleted or set to $0.00.
- Job Totals Report not preserving unchecked (unselected) status of overhead/profit.
- We found this to occur when saving multiple Bid Summary names in the Job Totals Report. This now works as expected.
- Phases were not ordered properly when using the Print Details function of the Job Totals Report.
- We enforced proper sorting in the Print Details function of the Job Totals Report.
- EBM Standard installer and unlock key was not auto-activating the Residential takeoff and database.
- We fixed this issue for new EBM Standard installations and unlocks. Previously, our support department would manually unlock the residential takeoff and database features for EBM Standard users. Now it is automatic.
- EBM Pro with "Windows 10" appearance theme would not allow database editing via the spreadsheet editor.
- Some of EBM's appearance themes, or skins, were not compatible with the database spreadsheet editor tool. We updated the tool to add compatibility.
- The Getting Started screen had a broken link to the Sample Commercial job.
- We fixed the link.
In this update, we focused on updating the database, adding customer requested features, and bug fixes.
- Labor and Material Factor fields for Quick Devices Takeoff (Pro
- New residential database items and assemblies, UPC changes
and item description corrections. View the Q4 2018 updates here:
- Item weight field accessible on the database editing spreadsheet
(Pro Version only).
- Improvements to the Planswift link process to prevent data
corruption in specific use cases.
- Date/Time stamp on the Planswift Import Spreadsheet.
- Fixed: We audited and cleaned up the installation and removed
- Fixed: Updated support tools that help improve our Support teams
capability to keep you running smoothly.
This update was delayed due to the volume of additions and bug fixes we squeezed into this update. We will be returning to a more regular release schedule as we move forward.
- Database items cleaned up.
- Brian Hoffelder, Vision's training and software development expert, edited the Electrical Bid Manager database to clean up inconsistencies and added items. NECA labor units added and updated on many items.
- View the Q1 2018 updates here: http://bit.ly/2018q1database
- OST/PlanSwift Import table columns resize and sort. Tooltips display.
- When importing takeoff items from PlanSwift or On-Screen Takeoff, Electrical Bid Manager displays a table (or spreadsheet) of the items to approve for importing into your bid. The columns now properly resize and sort. Tooltips also popup info.
- PlanSwift Symbol sizing defaults set to optimized sizes
- We added more auto-sized defaults to ensure you can jump right in with counting in PlanSwift.
- Added notes tool to more takeoff modules.
- Added tool to add notes to the "Quick Temp Misc", and "Quick Entry" takeoff modules.
- Added more features to the Job Notes tool.
- You can now Add, Edit, and Delete Job Notes. You can also multi-select delete Job Notes.
- Network installations can now auto logout users.
- For Electrical Bid Manager updates and restarts, all users need to be logged out. From the server, you can now prompt all users with a message that they will be logged out in 10 seconds.
- EBM Network upgrade installs now auto-connects to an existing EBM SQL database.
- When installing on a network server, the existing SQL instance used is not recognized. The install program prompts the user to reselect, and enter the SA login, as if this is a new installation rather than an upgrade.
- Planswift conduit entries made with trench, when deleted, will also remove the conduit & trench in EBM.
- Electrical Bid Manager now identifies the existence of trenching for a conduit takeoff done in PlanSwift. This allows the user to delete both the conduit and trenching at the same time.
- Import Spreadsheet allows longer descriptions with no truncating
- Import spreadsheet is more usable with better descriptions.
- Electrical Bid Manager installer and all EXE/DLL files are "Code Signed."
- Some customers had issues with either Windows 10 or their antivirus software. Our new Code Signed files rectified this issue.
- Item Cost report includes all items
- A customer reported that they had an item missing from their Item Cost report. Upon further inspection, we found this happens in some edge cases and fixed the issue.
- Audit Trail, copied assembly keeps "drawing ref" value
- In Audit Trail, "drawing ref" was changing when copying assemblies to another breakout
- Update Labor options in Database top-menu
- The Update Labor option should disable once completed.
- Database Reorganization tool improved
- Optimizations to Database Reorganization tool makes it more useful.
- Trenching now has linear attribute instead of count.
- Measuring trenching in PlanSwift now correctly represented as linear in Electrical Bid Manager
- In rare cases, Editing Labor was reseting to $0.00
- This only affected one customer to date that had specific customization done to their database. We fixed their issue and added safeguards to keep it from happening.
- Motor Controls "wire makeup percentage" changes save properly
- The default settings are now saved properly.
- Feeder Report updated to work better with PlanSwift
- Previously, Electrical Bid Manager's Feeder Report wouldn't properly handle Feeders that were taken off in PlanSwift.
- Quick Branch takeoff keeps defaults from "takeoff defaults" module.
- Previously, the default was getting updated based on the whatever you select as the Saved Assembly.
- Quick Device now keeps "Additional Items" when you Edit to Source
- If you used Edit to Source on a Quick Device, in some situations, the Additional Items would be removed.
- Wire terminations were not counted when using PlanSwift to count Motor Hookup.
- In some situations, the Motor Hookup wire terminations were not being imported properly Electrical Bid Manager when using PlanSwift.
- Database upgraded to handle over 50,000 jobs with no issue
- Previously, the Electrical Bid Manager database would sometimes have issues if there were more than 50,000 jobs in the database.
- Option to set default symbol size for PlanSwift count symbols.
- For most users, the default size was fine. However, some users found the default inadequate so we made it selectable.
- Updated PlanSwift's electrical symbols
- We added more symbols and improved how they are used in PlanSwift.
- Improved PlanSwift count import data validation
- We added more safeguards to ensure counts from PlanSwift import properly to Electrical Bid Manager. In some rare situations, a negative count would get imported and have to be recounted.
- In a Residential job, changing a priced item to quote caused issues with Quote Report
- Quote Report has been updated to properly handle items that have been switched from priced to quote.
- Improved data stability when multiple estimators are using OST and EBM simultaneously.
- One customer reported they had experienced some odd data issues when multiple estimators were all lin the same job and taking off in On-Screen Takeoff. We identified the issue and added more safeguards to keep it from happening.
- Logged In Users screen was not displaying "full name"
- We identified the problem and ensured the full name was displayed.
- Job Totals report wasn't displaying hours for Non-Productive Labor.
- We identified the problem and fixed it.
- Improved rounding for Labor Rates calculations.
- Previously, Electrical Bid Manager rounded calculations and a precision level that caused totals to not match. We have corrected this issue.
- EBM Network with multi-users had copper wire resetting to $0 after EPIC update.
- This only seemed to affect oen customer but we wanted to make sure we solved their problem to ensure others never experience it. In multi-user network environment, copper wire is now properly updated.
- EBM Network now installs correctly on Windows Home Server 2011
- A customer reported difficulty installing Electrical Bid Manager Network on their Windows Home Server 2011 PC. We researched and found a work-around and implemented this into our installation.
- Price Comparison wasn't handling price overrides correctly.
- The Price Comparison tool lets you compare multiple columns of pricing. For example, EPIC's Target Price to a custom price file from your supplier or NetPricer imported pricing. You can now manually override a price and input a new price for an item.
- The From/To wasn't going into the Audit Trail; even with a Designation. (OST)
- When taking off in On-Screen Takeoff (OST) and importing to Electrical Bid Manager, the From/To wasn't going tot the Audit Trail; even with a Designation. This is fixed.
- Switchboards & Panels module now starts a new note for each Designation.
- All of Electrical Bid Manager's takeoff modules have a "notes" function that allows the user to enter notes specific to each takeoff. This module allowed you to make notes but would try and carry over notes from a previous takeoff.
- Edit to Source in Audit Trail keeps all takeoff notes.
- All notes are tracked with takeoff items properly.
- Planswift now properly sizes all symbols on drawings by default.
- All symbols, including the PlanSwift the Drop/Riser, Elbows, and Run Count tools inside PlanSwift, the count symbols now scale when the user changes the zoom factor of the plan.
- Design/Build tools - PlanSwift users now have access to over 75 electrical symbols that provides basic Design/Build functionality and counting with Electrical Bid Manager.
- New default setting for takeoff symbol size (PlanSwift link users only)
- Export to eSub.com from Extension Report >> Extension Spreadsheet.
- Export to EstimateGuard.com from Extension Report >> Extension Spreadsheet
- Quick Branch Takeoff - When you use the Quick Branch option in the OST spreadsheet to import from OST, checking the Quick Branch box at the bottom allows you to select from the QB Cable and Conduit/Wire Saved Assemblies. However, it only works if you used F2 takeoff. If you double click on the imported assembly, nothing is entered for the Saved Assemblies.
- Unit of Measure (U/M) and price factor corrections.
- Labor outlier correction option.
- Fixed OST export bug - Feeders saved assemblies 'Round Quantity' was being checked.
- Speed Improvements - With this upgrade we’ve optimized the database for faster processing on most systems.
- No fixes this update.
- QuickBranch Takeoff - Allows quick selection and takeoff of device assemblies combined with conduit/wire, or cable runs of any length from your Saved Assemblies in Branch Circuits and Cable modules. View a video of this new feature.
- New MC Luminary Cable - Lighting and low voltage circuits in one cable. Pricing updated with EPIC Pricing.
- New program "Themes" gives EBM a new look! Find this setting in Program Settings screen on the Appearance tab.
- Ability to take off empty conduit with pull line in one step with conduit take-off in Site and Feeders.
- New database items and updated item UPCs and descriptions.
- Various modifications to PlanSwift integration for improved functionality.
- Clear button to remove unwanted items from the Import Spreadsheet. (PlanSwift link only)
- Advanced Substitution bugs; Converting to Cable would use the incorrect Saved Assembly. After converting to Cable, the resultant entries in the audit trail could not be edited.
- Digitizing item on a different page would return to the spreadsheet instead of item takeoff (PlanSwift link only).
- Feeders and Site From/To taken off from OST not showing in audit trail.
- “Edit to Source” Custom Assemblies not recalling “Additional Items”.
- List Jobs by Customer. Located on the Job menu, this new feature allows the user access to the jobs list, sorted by the customer reference for each job. This provides a quick view of the number of jobs bid for each customer.
- (PlanSwift link users only) Enhanced speed and stability of PlanSwift integration.
- Labor column was not included when exporting the job extension report to a spreadsheet.
- User Defined Equipment takeoff screen no longer requires item selection.
- “Invalid JA_Flags” error message during data conversion after installing the upgrade.
- Link to PlanSwift™. PlanSwift™ is an on-screen digital plan takeoff solution for those who wish to move away from having to acquire hard-copy drawings for the takeoff process. It allows the user to measure and count material quantities from a digital image of the drawing using the EBM takeoff modules for material and labor. This link is available as a feature in EBM Pro, and an optional feature in EBM Plus and EBM Standard.
- Error while moving OST “Layers” on the OST export screen.
- Quote items not showing on the Quote Management screen (Residential version only).
- Updated NECA labor units.
- Update, manage item database with spreadsheet import/export.
- Not all quote items showing in the Quote Management screen.
- EPIC Custom Price import failed to import prices.
- Price Comparison report failed to display prices, when only using EPIC Custom prices.
- Added diagnostic option to warn if job total changes by a specified amount and logs to log file.
- Job extension data export format for Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
- Though audit trail quantities were correct, they were showing as negative numbers in the On-Screen Takeoff (OST) import screen.
- “User2.dat not found” when EBM user is set to read-only mode.
- ‘Job Copy’ function not copying job notes.
- Importing OST Condition Attachments (i.e. conduit/wire runs) incorrectly.
- Bid Price field showing incorrectly in the Residential Proposal template.
- Improved exporting capabilities to On-Screen Takeoff (OST) for exporting to and from OST SQL database.
- Added option to sort commercial jobs by residential phase records.
- Unable to import custom prices from EPIC.
- Item numbers not generated automatically when adding a new item to the database.
- Database item search not working properly.
- Improved item (conditions) export to OST.
- “Layers” created in EBM were not getting exported to OST.
- New “apply price factor” option, for importing item price changes based on user specified unit of measure. (EPIC users only)
- Option to show factored extended price and labor in the audit trail.
- Option to export audit trail to MS Excel or text files.
- Export Fixture and Switchgear designations (OST users only)
- New icon on the Reports toolbar, for easy access to the Item Cost Report.
- New On-Screen Takeoff related help videos.
- Automatic Item number assignments not working properly for Temporary items.
- Newly created jobs do not show Job Notes from Default Job Settings. (Residential version only)
- Bid Price Final report did not show the same figures as the Job Totals screen. (Residential version only)
- NECA Showstopper Award winning feature BestPrice™
- Price Comparison feature.
- Allows the user to compare EPIC’s target price with up to 3 suppliers, using any combination of Custom Price Files (imported
- from EPIC™) and NetPricer™ data.
- The lowest individual price on each item is identified for quick selection of preferred suppliers.
- Comparison feature. (Requires Plus/Pro)
- Temporary items takeoff was creating inordinate item numbers for newly created items.
- Notes inserted in Audit Trail would disappear.
- Deleting a layer when exporting to OST would cause the program to crash.
- When editing items in extension spreadsheet the program ran very slow in a large job.
- “Save” button is not visible when editing items in the extension spreadsheet.
- Residential Version - editing assembly in audit trail would cause descriptions to disappear.
Important Database Updates:
- Master Database Updates: Addition of LED lamps and materials for those who work in the Solar Energy market.
- Specialty Database: Removed items that are no longer available on manufacturers’ published price sheets. Prices for these items are only available through manufacturer representative outlets and/or product distributors. For this reason, we have flagged these items as those which should require a quoted price when used in a bid.
- Collapsible Audit Trail. This new feature provides the ability to collapse any takeoff entry in the audit trail to a single line, which makes browsing much easier.
- Improved Audit Trail editing and browsing speed.
- Improved speed when importing On-Screen Takeoff (OST) jobs taken off with multiple pages.
- Database browse capabilities now include support for the “back” button found on a peripheral device (mouse).
- The ability to use temp items in temp assemblies.
- Option to delete “Accessories” or “Other Items” by doing a right-hand mouse click.
- Option to show date/time of each transaction in the audit trail.
- OST users may now export additional data conditions to an existing OST job.
- “Additional Items” taken off with switchgear were getting included in the quote.
- Connection to the SQL server instance was being lost after long periods of inactivity.
- Audit Trial item delete option was disabled.
- Edit To Source’ now works on temporary assemblies.
- Realigned columns to accommodate increased description field on Fixture Quote report.
- Data corruption when using ‘save permanent’ option on jobs priced with NetPricer.
Plus Version - Added Features (valued over $1897)
- Real time totals (in Audit Trail)
- Voice Data Video (VDV) Database
- Demolition Database
- Undo Button to Audit Trail (previously a Pro-only feature)
- Full Residential estimating user interface & database option
Pro Version - Added Features (value over $3,093)
- Real time totals (in Audit Trail)
- Voice Data Video (VDV) Database
- Demolition Database
- Residential Database
- High Voltage Database
- Explosion Proof Database
- Fire Alarm Database
- Pole Line Database
- Full Residential estimating user interface & database option
Additional Added Features:
- Plus and Pro versions now include several premium add-ons.
- Custom price and last date updated to database spreadsheet. The custom column displayed is the one from the currently opened job.
- New option to export cost/square foot to a text file from the Job Totals.
- Increased the length of the phase code to 6 digits.
- EBM’s integration with On-Screen Takeoff
- Company info settings
- EBM was ignoring the setting to not include overhead in the profit calculation if overhead was added as a fixed amount per labor hour. If overhead was added any other way, the toggle for including or not including in profit worked fine. The toggle now works in all cases.
- Feeder Takeoff designations were being overwritten when using Edit to Source.
- Access Violation errors when the job extension sort method is unknown.