The database is the heart of any estimating program. A properly setup database and take-off libraries are the keys to maximize your estimating horsepower. Database management should be on the weekly agenda of every electrical contractor’s schedule. Most out of the box databases are not set up for your company’s style and market. It is imperative that you have a system in place that allows your estimators to provide input to the database structure.
Database arrangement and manipulation is a time-consuming task. It is in constant motion. Once an estimator fully understands the estimating program features, modifications to the database will allow the estimator to fully benefit from the use of the program.
It is very easy to know if a database is sick. Review the symptoms below to see if you need to re-evaluate your database protocol.
The following are symptoms of an unhealthy database:
- Estimates have large quantities of temporary items and assemblies.
- No electronic method to obtain current wholesale pricing for bidding
- No electronic method to maintain list pricing for change orders
- Paper takeoff sheets are an everyday occurrence with your estimators.
- Estimators randomly select items that are “close” in material cost and labor for an item that they “wish” was in the database or can’t easily find.
- Estimators produce small estimates on pricing sheets because they feel it is not worth the trouble to use the estimating program.
Estimating 101 can help you with your Database needs in any of the following ways:
- Teach the Trimble® ACCUBID™ Database Management Module. Please refer to my training course page and see the description of this course.
- Perform modifications to your company’s database
- I offer a FREE analysis of your Trimble® ACCUBID™ database.