Project Q automated quotation software tool review

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posted on Monday, 12th October 2015 by David Slater

Trade  Project Q  Software 


As a system integrator your time is precious. You need to be sales guy, installer and debt collector all rolled into one. So anything that simplifies the job is always welcome. The first step of every install is to price it up, and relay this information to the customer. You can scribble it on a sheet and leave it in the van for weeks, or you can be professional and use a software package. The new kid on the block is Project Q from Clavia, now available for download from the Apple store. We’ve been test driving this automated quotation tool here at Inside CI, and can tell you that it’s a bit of a cracker.

The software is an estimating tool designed to work on an Apple iPad; you’d use it when you first visit a potential client.

Project Q: Software licenses and training
After downloading the app, you’ll need to register for a software with a licence. These  are the options:

One-month license - single device - £100 / $150,
One-month license - three devices - £200 / $300
One-month license - five devices - £300 / $460,
One-year license - single device - £800 / $1200

To simplify matters, Project Q has an option to purchase three different packs that will get you up and running: the Consultation Pack, The Input Pack and the Concierge pack.

The Consultation Pack costs £100 ($150) and with it you’ll receive four hours of online Skype consultation with one of the Project Q team, to be arranged at a mutually convenient time. The Input Pack, £200 ($300), comes with a Quick Start handbook. There is no one-to-one consultation in this pack, but the team will pre-enter your information into your Project Q software, and when you put your license key in, everything will be there. It’s then up to you to tweak it to suit your requirementa, but you must be aware that if it’s wrong here, then the quotes will be wrong. Finally, there’s the top of the line Concierge Pack, £300 ($460).  With this you receive the Project Q Quick Start Handbook with all the information they need from you, plus four hours of online one-to-one Skype consultation.



Project Q: Setup and operation 
One of the first things that strikes you about Project Q is its practicality. The first screen you are presented with after entering your project details is the Needs Analysis screen. Along the top are seven well designed icons offering different actions from cost summary to reports. The basic theme is to enter which room or area has what equipment. For example, the lounge may need one TV with HD distribution, plus multiroom keypad and a pair of loudspeakers. The pricing is stored in a database of preferred equipment, known as reservoirs, that you build up. Each hardware reservoir has four options of kit and a description box that you can put all details and notes that will be ported into your quotes and reports.

The setup screen allows you to put in all kit required; in a multiroom system, you would put in everything required for this type of install -  four zone amplifier, wireless music bridge, 3U rack ear kit and so on. The next fields allow you to put in cost and sell price. Like most new software it takes some time to set up your stock database, but when you have this complete the estimating tool is really powerful and accurate.

Once all the equipment, labour and any other fees, like programming and design fees, have been added it’s really easy to see a quick breakdown of costs using the fee schedule button. If you are costing in front of the customer this would be so helpful as most customers have in their heads what their budget is but don’t tell you; if your price comes out too high you can see on the screen what products you are able to discard or discount as you will also see your margins.

The software also has many reports you can run. I particularly love the run quote report this generates, it’s really swish looking with generic images and all the text that you inputted early in the room and equipment field boxes.  You can email this quote directly to your client, and fingers crossed win the contract.




Project Q: Verdict
Project Q is a stunning piece of business software. It’s so simple to use. Couple this with an ultra fast report generator, and the ability to see your profit at the touch of a button, and you have the tools to win those small, medium or large contracts. To get a feel for the real value of the package, I spent a couple of days entering in past DSE jobs, and the software nailed the profit down to almost an exact number that our manual system had produced. So accuracy is high. Ultimately, the most professional looking quote is usually what wins contracts over other companies, and the Project Q produces a simple but elegant quote that any large company would be proud to send out. And as a bonus, the security of all your data being stored in the cloud means you’ll never risk losing that all important paperwork.

So is it good value for money? The costing of £800 per annum might look a little expensive at first, but you will save this amount of money on the first two jobs you convert. After using it for a week I would never what to go back to my old pricing system. If you are looking for a simple and powerful system builder and estimating software, and don’t want all the weight of D-Tools with system wiring diagrams, then Project Q is the software that you need.

A there is no PC desktop version, I would advise investing in a keyboard for your iPad if you are going to spend some time on quotes. 

In a nutshell, if you are a serious integrator, you need this software. It will increase your profit and decrease your stress levels when it comes to quotations, as it’s virtually impossible to forget any equipment provided you have spent time building the database correctly. We give it a massive thumb’s up…and you can quote us on that.

To purchase the software visit Project Q 

David Slater

David Slater started his writing career with SVI writing a popular column, he has also guested on publications like Home Cinema Choice and
Living North

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