Intuitiveness / Initial Learning Curve – 9/10
On Screen Takeoff is very easy to use. Creating jobs and inserting images is quick and easy. Create new conditions easily.
Software Capability – 9/10
The high rating comes with a caveat. You need Quick bid along with On Screen to make assemblies. That is why I took one point off. Basically, the software can do a lot of calculations, but it does not create assemblies. You need to get Quick bid, which imports the takeoff. Not everyone needs assemblies and fewer actually use them. So this might be a non issue for you.
Ease of Customization – 10/10
It is super easy to create a template. And each condition can do upto three calculations. So, for example you can get surface area, perimeter and volume for a concrete slab in one go. And there is no formula you need to create or input. Just select the calculation required from the drop down menu. No training required!
Ease of Collaboration – 10/10
On Screen takeoff makes it easy to work in teams. You can copy takeoffs from one OST file to another. So you can put many estimators on a single project and still get one complete file at the end.
Price – $2500 to $3000 purchase + optional yearly maintenance
I don’t like the fact that there is no fixed price printed on their website. I understand that there are bulk discounts, but there should be a fixed price for single license purchases at the least. Upon enquiry towards the end of 2015, I got a price within the range above. I will respect their wishes a little and not reveal the exact price quoted to me.
Best Suited for…
If you need to estimate big commercial projects, then I would highly recommend OST. Because, you can work in teams, it doesn’t slow down and its typical group and bid area features are simply great for such projects.
There are cheaper options if you want to estimate smaller projects. I have reviewed Planswift which is a cheaper software and is just as good for residential and upto mid size commercial projects.
Software Review by Nishant Agarwal
Senior Estimator at Advance Informatics