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pacificneon

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pacificneon last won the day on September 15 2015

pacificneon had the most liked content!

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About pacificneon

  • Rank
    Drive By Register

Profile Information

  • Name
    Brian
  • Company
    Pacific Neon Co
  • Job Title
    Sr Estimator
  • Location
    Sacramento
  • Gender
    Male

Previous Fields

  • Company Type
    Full Service Shop

Recent Profile Visitors

190 profile views
  1. "V" Sign Software????

    We use it. Wasn't my choice. I'm the IT guy here and the estimator. So my points of view come from that angle. Others have different opinions. It is much cheaper to get started with than any other cloud products we've seen. And if you don't upload much to the cloud it will remain cheap. However, while your initial monthly cost is reasonable, the storage costs are very high, in my opinion. Once you pass your initial allotment, the price goes up. And since all your systems rely on their product, you're pretty much stuck with whatever they charge you because the cost to move and train everyone to use something else again is so high. You cannot customize it to work the way you do. The program works the same for every customer, so if you want some fields changed, want to add or delete some kinds of data, you're out of luck, unless every other customer wants the same thing. You will need to revise how you manage projects to align with their software. You cannot enter a batch of data quickly yourself. If, for instance you have a bunch of new parts to enter, or all your aluminum prices just went up, you need to enter it on a spreadsheet in the format they use, and then send the spreadsheet to them to enter, just as you do when you first set everything up. Or you can enter each item one at a time using a very tedious process. Believe me, trying to do it yourself is best left to a very patient and low-wage person unless you are only doing a few updates. My primary function is estimating, and it is clunky for estimating, but so is a lot of software out there. However, the estimating module of this software will NOT produce a selling price. No joke. When you finish entering all your costs for material, labor, machine costs and outsourcing, you will have a cost number, plus a fixed percentage for overhead that you entered when you set up the software. Then you can go choose a markup and it will tell you what to sell it for, but there's no place to discount some items, or put additional markup to come up with a price. You have the same markup for an electronic message unit that you have for concrete or raw aluminum. If you're building a monument sign that is mostly an LED message center, you'll have to markup everything the same. And you'll be applying the same overhead cost to everything. Hard to explain, but it doesn't work for me. I just have to estimate everything the way I always have and then enter the details into v-sign after I figure everything out and come up with a fair selling price. I understand that the project managers like it, and the sales people like it. Everything is in the cloud, so they can get to it from anywhere. That's nice. As I said, it depends on where you work in the company as to what your opinion will be. I'm sure there are others who really like it.
  2. Sign Industry Fake News

    I hope we all know that trade magazines, in almost any trade, are simply an advertising venue for the sponsors of the magazines, so this isn't surprising. Cars, boats, hunting, fishing, audio, home entertainment, they're all the same. "Trade" magazines just have a more specific audience than a general "consumer" magazine. Aside from that, I would be interested to know if you've included Bitro LEDs in your Project Tighty Whitey. We use Bitro for many of our signs and have good success with them. It's too bad if they're wasting capital on trade magazines, but they seem to have some good products. We have a test cabinet where we compare LED modules for performance (although it's nowhere near as thorough as yours!) and we find results similar to yours; the specs given by the companies are not necessarily a good indicator of the modules' performance, and the big names are usually the poorest performers. And it seems that 6500K white means something different to every company! A good white really stands out in the tests.
  3. Keydin Sign Edition

    We're using Sage also, the Business Works product. I don't know about other Sage products, but there is a module in Business Works that you could use for estimating if you're desperate, but we use spreadsheets for estimating, plus our in-house Access database for PM and Business Works only for accounting. It's a disjointed system but it's still better than KeyedIn.
  4. Keydin Sign Edition

    We're not using a "system". We use Business Works for accounting and a Microsoft Access database created in-house for project management. It works, but thought we could streamline things with an ERP solution. However, even as clunky as our current "non-system" is, it works better than what we would need to do to make the KeyedIn stuff work.
  5. Keydin Sign Edition

    We bought into it last year, paid the upfront costs, got the "training", prepared all our data for export to their system, had everything ready to go live on their system, and (mercifully) never went live. There were a lot of reasons, but a few of the them are: They didn't disclose all the costs up front; we had to pay for many things they didn't disclose. As we got further into it, their system turned out to be very outdated, with no intention of updating any time soon. Early-mid 90's technology. No ability to customize the input forms or datasheets to work the way we work. Answers they gave us to questions we asked about their system before we signed up, turned out to be incorrect once we actually got into it. We found it was going to create more work for us overall, not less. It might work for a small shop such as a vinyl and print shop, or maybe even for a shop that does mostly large production runs of only a few products. But we're a full-service custom fabricator, we do most of our own installations as well as service work. We fabricate almost everything and our list of raw materials is very large. We custom estimate nearly every job. But we're not a large company either, so we don't have employees dedicated to managing and tracking inventory and other functions that a larger company may have. It turned out that the KeyedIn Sign product was a very poor fit for us and the experience we had with the company overall was not a good one. I wish I could say otherwise because we put hundreds of hours into preparing for it and a lot of money paying for it, but it was better to cut our losses before things got even worse.
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