System Overview

The Product Spectrum in the construction world runs from estimator tools, usually based on spreadsheets, all the way to CAD.

PostFrame Manager is a simple to use, integrated system. It combines the ease of use of spreadsheet type estimators with the accuracy of CAD, and for good measure also introduces data and automatic materials handling that neither spreadhseets nor CAD can even consider, much less do. For example, CAD systems concentrate on drawings, so getting materials lists, quotes and so on are separate programs and systems. CAD is basically limited to the drawings and the architecture.

Spreadsheets can't do drawings, and they're not very good at being exact. Labor is always a problem. This is one reason why so many post frame builders have a signature "style" of say 6', 8' or 10' post spacings and create buildings that are multiples of this; they're using an estimator that tells them Bays x AvgPerBay. It's difficult if not impossible for these builders to easily switch to a different spacing and get reliable estimates.

PostFrame Manager is like a bridge between the two worlds. For the first time, you can get dead accurate estimating regardless of what's built; you can get CAD output (drawings); and you can get something neither system alone can do -- materials lists, purchase orders, quotes, and electronic output for your inventory system. This is what we mean by integrated because this is all part of a simple to use system.

The heart of the system is BCREATE, the program you use to draw with and what you see from day to day. But BCREATE can't function without data. You manipulate the DATA POOL via the use of a host of small systems applications.

With Trim, for example, you can tell BCREATE how to apply (e.g.) fascia. Does this overlap? Yeah? How much overlap? In areas with little wind, 3" may suffice. Coastal areas may use 6" or more. And how do you approach fascia layout? Are you concerned with seams? You can elect to lay fascia with minimal seams, or you can choose to lay it such that you use the minimum number of pieces, and so on. For every piece of trim, you have this amount of control. Here's the Trim Controller Help File. You may want to peek at this to get an idea of what goes on.

With Labor, you can direct BCREATE to solve siding application via the number of fasteners attached. Or you may prefer to just go by sq ft. You have as much control with Labor as above with Trim. You can also assign different crews at different rates. That's right. Your framing crew may cost you $10 per man hour, and the Steel Application crew may cost you $12 per man hour. But the Labor control program takes this into account under your direction.

Here are some of the Data Pool Control systems applications -- In sum, everything you put on or in a building is under your control. When you draw a building outline, BCREATE looks at your Trim data and automatically overlaps or seams or otherwise handles each material just as you would. It looks at your Labor data and calculates a Labor total specific to this building as you would. Far more powerful than guessing based on how many bays were put up. But... HOW DOES THIS ALL WORK? Let's illustrate --

This is the mnemonic control set for walk door trim application and labor calculations. Mnemonics are 3 letter identifications for measurements within BCREATE. When you tell BCREATE to add a walk door, it knows to record SDS, SDT, and SDB. This measurement is added to for all walk doors. Later when it comes time for BCREATE to apply trim, it looks up what you have decided was proper for walk doors via the Trim Controller, i.e. type, overlap, etc. BCREATE then reads the data files and applies the correct pieces as per specified by the values of SDS, SDT, and SDB. BCREATE also looks up your labor file and does the same thing, applying minutes per foot X number of feet X price per minute to derive a figure for the measurement represented by the mnemonic.

Every possible measurement one can make in a building is represented by a similar mnemonic. The data file manipulation you do in the Systems Applications is essentially telling BCREATE how to handle the mnemonics. That's how the system works. Measurements and applying data to each one. Trim. Labor. Siding. Roofing. All the same basic type of thing to solve.

And where it concerns labor, estimators simply aren't up to doing the job. And remember, neither is a CAD program. They can't do labor.

Fast Start
Inside PostFrame Manager
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Running 3D

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