Founded and incorporated in 1965, and with a continuous outside-audited history to 1967, RIB MC² is the oldest software business serving the construction industry. Its founders – a construction company executive and a visionary IBM veteran – foresaw the day when the pencil-and-paper, triangular-scale processes of estimating would be utterly transformed through the application of computer technology.
Through the late 1960's and 1970's, RIB MC²'s business consisted primarily of preparing cost estimates for Clients such as A/Es, Owners, government agencies, and appraisal companies. To support a large staff of estimators and to ensure their productivity, the programs were rewritten for operation on IBM mainframe and mini-computers of the era. During this period, RIB MC² people and products learned much about the construction industry and its processes, as the company prepared itself for introduction onto the national software stage. In 1979, RIB MC² partnered with IBM in large-scale marketing of its software to the construction industry. Now christened ICE – for Interactive Cost Estimating – the software was a natural complement to the IBM CMAS product, which automated accounting and job costing functions. By 1983, ICE was in daily, front-line use in hundreds of construction offices throughout the US.
The construction industry’s embrace of personal computing greatly expanded the market for ICE. By integrating ICE with Citrix or Windows Server Remote Desktop Services, RIB MC² provided its Customers with the same multi-user environment they experienced on the IBM minicomputers, while still enjoying the portability and power of their own PCs. In base technology, ICE moved from DOS to Windows in the mid-90s, and to a more flexible Windows structure in 1999. Since then, all ICE data has been stored in an open data format, directly accessible using Microsoft Office tools such as Excel and Access. ICE data can be directly copied and pasted from its working screens into Excel spreadsheets. The importance of open data to RIB MC² Customers is extremely significant; most make use of this openness in tying ICE data to job cost, scheduling, CAD, BIM, and other applications.
Keeping up with industry and world trends, RIB MC² added metric and multi-currency support to ICE. ICE Customers can takeoff a job in metric or Imperial, price it in any combination of currencies, and see the final total in whatever currency is desired. For industrial Customers, ICE spec-driven takeoff capability has been enhanced many times to address the many nuances of this process, and is today the number one choice of industrial piping companies.
Today, RIB MC² has taken its experience in estimating and software development to become a leader in the construction software industry. RIB MC²'s ICE estimating software has become the easiest and most efficient to use. Digital takeoff along with Building Information Modeling (BIM) have been incorporated to ease takeoff and estimate creation. RIB MC² continues to take advantage of technology to improve the performance of its software and to make its programs the best in the industry. As the only estimating software vendor providing a single source for software, Knowledge Bases, support, training, and implementation, RIB MC² is extremely well positioned to help its customers deal with an ever-changing landscape in the construction industry.