Quite often, contractors are required to produce bids based completely on unit prices. The contractor must, in these cases, determine the selling unit price of each separate bid item and then submit the bid based on these unit prices. Street lighting and traffic signal projects are good examples of projects that quite often bid in this manner.
To illustrate how to use Accubid estimating software to bid unit price projects, we will create a small sample highway lighting project and then walk through the steps necessary to turn our normal takeoff into a unit price bid document.
Terminology used in this example job will be from Version 7 of Accubid’s family of estimating solutions. The steps required to produce this bid are identical in the new Version 8 products with only some terminology changes.
The initial step is to organize and complete the takeoff. This takeoff will consist of the six lines on the audit trail shown in the screen clip following this paragraph. The takeoff items are two fixture types (designation assemblies complete with all required parts), three PVC wiring assemblies, and an assembly representing trenching, concrete slurry, and backfill. Each line of takeoff in the audit trail represents a bid item, and as we are going to be utilizing a unit price bid method for this project, no other breakdowns are required.
The actual takeoff portion of this project is now complete, but before we proceed to the next step, we have an adjustment to make on our total project labor. Because we will be using the Unit Price sorting (or “grouping” to use the new Estimating 8 terminology), we have only one labor column available to us in our Extension screen. This single column has to represent all of the included bid labor. As the Extension screen deals with only the direct (task) labor, we will have to make allowances for any incidental and indirect labor required, as well as labor factoring, if needed.
The adjustment method we have chosen for this project is the Area breakdown. As this breakdown is common to all bid items (in this particular instance), a percentage adjustment here will increase all of our task labor to reflect our required added percentages for incidental and indirect labor.
We have used a completely arbitrary figure of 18% for the purposes of this demonstration as shown on the following screen clip.
Once we have made this final labor adjustment, we will move on to the Extension screen displaying the consolidated items view.
Our task on this screen is to ensure that each individual item on the Extension screen is priced and labored with appropriate values. This is a critical step as we will not be using any “lot” pricing for this project. A screen clip is not shown for this step as the blanks simply need to be filled in with proper values. Look for the “zero value” alarmed cells in red or use the extension filter to list the zero value items.
Once we have completed our due diligence on the pricing and labor in the consolidated items view, we will then sort the extension items by unit price.
Anywhere in the Extension screen, click the right mouse and then select Sort from the pop-up menu that appears. From the Sort Order dialog, select Unit Price, click Add, and then click OK.
The following screen view shows the resulting Extension screen sorted by unit price. The views are split to show all columns, but the actual screen view will display all twenty columns across the screen, beginning with the column entitled Unit Price.
The Unit Price column represents each line item (which could be an item or an assembly) from the audit trail. The columns of material dollars and labor hours represent the actual values from the Extension screen based on totals of the line items consolidated within the assembly for each Unit Price line, and based on the cumulative value of those items within that particular assembly.
The following columns will have either been filled in on the default job, or can be filled in once we have performed the Unit Price sort:
To ensure that we have indeed included prices and labor on each item in any individual Bid Item assembly, we would double-click on that item to look at the expanded view of the materials included in that assembly. The next screen clip is that expanded view of Bid Item 1 as an example.
This expanded view confirms that all materials have proper material costs and labor units applied and so we can safely continue to the next step. Use your Esc key or right click in the Extension screen and select Collapse from the pop-up menu. Either of these steps will return you to the previous view.
We now have all information needed to complete the bid. In next month’s article, we’ll take the next step, which is to customize our display to showy only the information we will be including on the bid form. To accomplish this, we will create and define a screen style.