Quotes, estimates, inventories: Instant Quote Professional does it all and more

Manage price quotes, customer contacts, parts inventories, and much more with this full-featured business package.

Instant Quote Professional by PC Experts is a full-featured tool for any business that needs to issue quotes and cost estimates to customers, such as parts suppliers, contractors, and technicians. Built around a powerful MS Access customer database, it supports major tax structures such as U.S., VAT, GST, and PST, with many customizable options. It includes contact management tools, call logs, POS invoice, Outlook compatibility, support for Add-Ins, and more than 100 different reports. It tracks mileage, inventory, and serial numbers, too, and supports major parts importing formats. On top of all that, it offers some of the most comprehensive product and customer support and guidance we've seen in any type of software. Instant Quote Pro isn't cheap, though it's not expensive for business software, and in some ways it's a bargain. You can try the latest release of this long-running business solution, Version 8, free for 15 days and see for yourself what it does.

Installing Instant Quote Pro involves quite a few steps, starting with three installation options: Full, Workstation, and Server. We chose Full, and a nag screen began counting down our 15-day trial. Next we chose a startup option: Begin, open, or import a database (it must be Instant Quote Pro 5.6 or better to import). We selected a new database and moved on to the Setup Screen. Here, we were required to enter a Company Name, Markup Preferences, and other data, with plenty of fields for additional information and options. We also set up our tax system, inventory control options, and other preferences. If it seems like a lot, help is available, starting with Viewlets offering a New User Setup Tutorial and Inventory Control Demo (online demos, too). A separate page made it easy to set up and run a database backup (highly recommended). Then we were treated to a Flash-animated grand tour! And, to top all that off, a page entitled, "Where do I go from here?" offering five detailed choices.

What else does Instant Quote Pro have? How about an Office-style Ribbon toolbar packed with tools, features, and yet more options (and help)? Too much to talk about, actually: This impressive business system needs to be experienced.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Instant Quote Professional 8.0.

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