In this guide we'll cover off the basics for creating an Estimate in MyConstruct.
Before we get started, you'll need to have already created at least one 'Type of Work' with some 'Cost Centers'.
(There's a video to help get starting with Setting up for Estimates)
Now you have a Type of Work with some Cost Centres, let's get started!
First we'll start by simply clicking on the Estimate menu, then selecting the Create Estimate option.
Now all you need to do is fill out the form with the details required.
- Job / Opportunity: Start off by picking the Job or Opportunity this Estimate will be based on, if you don't have one created you can use the button to the right to create a Job / Opp on the fly.
- Contact Name: This will automatically updated based on the Job above it, but if you have multiple Jobs per client, you can actually skip the Job input and select the Contact first, then it will narrow down the list of Jobs to only show the ones associated to your chosen contact.
- Estimate No: A vanity only number used by your business to identify the Estimate, this number can be whatever you like and will auto-increment when you next create an Estimate.
- Estimate Name: The name you'll be referring to this Estimate as, this is for internal use only and a quick way to identify the Estimate via sorting / searching. This can be something such as "House with Tile Roof 1" then you may have multiple version such as "House with Metal Roof 1" - it helps to keep track of changes.
- Pricing Area: The pricing area you'll be working within, this dictates the default prices of your Inventory - you can learn more about pricing areas here.
- Type of Work: The Type of Work dictates the Cost Centres you'll be using for this Estimate - learn more about Types of Work here.
- Margin Percentage: The added margin for this Estimate, the percentage you set here will be applied to the overall Estimate, though once we create the Estimate you'll be able to adjust this by Cost Centre as well.
- Create From Template: This feature allows you to create a new Estimate based on an existing Estimate, for this example we'll be leaving this blank, but later on once you have saved an Estimate, you can turn it into a template from the 'Manage Estimates' area by simply clicking on the drop-down edit button and selecting "Create Template" - this feature is useful for standard designs etc.
Go ahead and fill out the details for your Estimate then continue on.
Once you click "Create" you'll be taken directly to the 'Estimate Builder'.
The Estimate Builder is broken down into 5 main sections.
- The Estimate details section, which runs horizontally across the top of the screen, this area shows all of the Estimate settings and job details.
- The Cost Centres list, here is where you'll start your Estimate by selecting a Cost Centre to pick inventory from.
- The Inventory tab, this will update based on the Cost Centre you're working within, in this tab you'll be selecting items to add to the Estimate itself, by clicking on the () plus icon, you'll add that particular inventory item to the Quantities Area below. There's also a MyConstruct Inventory - Read more here.
- Recipes tab, Recipes are a group of Inventory Items that can be added as one overall item into the Estimate and later 'exploded' to populate the Estimate Cost Centres faster - Read more on Recipes here.
- The Estimate Building area (Quantities), here is where you choose the require inventory items for the estimate, their value, quantity and supplier. This structure is what creates your Bill of Quantities later. All Items that are added in (with a supplier) will then show in your Ordering System - from this area you can also create your Requests for Quotes.
So to get started, you select the first required Cost Centre, then add in the Inventory you need, adjust the values, quantities and supplier, then continue to the next Cost Centre until complete.
The first Cost Centre in this example is based on the MyConstruct Indicative Price list, but you can start with whatever you'd consider your 'step 1' which is generally the paperwork at the start of the job, like preliminaries or jump right in to 'site works', select your first Cost Centre and then we can add some inventory from the right of the screen by clicking the () Plus icon.
Our first Cost Centre is 'Preliminaries' - my example is a single storey residential dwelling, for this Cost Centre I'm only going to use the inventory items:
- Average single storey set of construction drawings x 1 @ $850.00
- Soil test x 1 @ $300.00
- Footing and slab design x 1 @ $260.00
(Prices are all example only)
We can even add in a custom item by selecting the "Add blank item" button and editing the item to whatever is needed.
Now that I've added them all, I just set the quantity and supplier, then move on to the next Cost Centre required (you can Cost Centres that aren't required for the project).
Now you see as I continue down, my overall estimate total is adding up (in the top right of the screen) and I'm building out my 'Bill of Quantities' - you continue through your Cost Centres until you are happy with the total price and materials for the project.
Once you have filled in all the Cost Centres required for the job, you'll be able to:
- Generate a Bill of Quantities: This is a total breakdown of the items used in the estimate, it can be sorted by Cost Centre or grouped by Workstages etc, it is great to use as a call up sheet, client breakdown (with price hidden) and an overall great help for the site supervisor to keep track of the project.
- Generate a quote: This quote will be based off the same style layout as the Bill of Quantities, you can choose what the client can and can't see, for example, we'll only show them the overall Cost Centres and their total price for each - this will form the 'client friendly quote' you can also use Workstages (which are groups of Cost Centres) as your payment claim stages if you wish.
- Create and send Purchase Orders: Every item you add to your Estimate, once you set the values and supplier, automatically appears in the Manage Orders sections - from here you can send Purchase Orders per Cost Centre or in batches to match your call-up and delivery dates - Read more on Purchase Orders here.
- Send Requests for Quote (RFQ): Every item you add into the 'Estimate Builder (Quantities)' area can also be used to send out a 'Request for Quote' this feature is a great way to save time if you do not know the cost of the item, or you know the required quantities but would like to get multiple quotes from different suppliers, simply select the items checkbox then from the multi-select, you can access the "RFQ" option - Read more about RFQ system here.
We will go ahead and create a Bill of Quantities (BOQ) then finish up this demo with a quote.
For our Bill of Quantities, simply scroll to the top of the screen and in the upper right hand cover, select the "Generate BOQ" button.
Now select the settings you'd like, in this case I'm going to show ALL options to take a look at the total BOQ
Now you can save the PDF or Print it by simply clicking the Download or Print buttons, the PDF opens in a new browser tab.
Finally, to generate a quote, simply click the drop-down option on that same button "Create BOQ" and select "Generate Quote".
Select the options that best suit you, picking what you want the client to see and what you want to hide.
Your quote will generate as a PDF file ready to be downloaded or you can send it via email within MyConstruct from the 'Manage Quote' area, just like any other quote.
This completes the basics of creating an Estimate in MyConstruct.
Once you have a solid understanding of how the Estimate Builder works and you've done a few Estimates, the next step is to explore the MyConstruct Graphical Takeoff Tool (GTO) this allows you to upload a PDF of the project (such as a floor plan or elevation) then you can trace over the top using your Recipes to create a rapid takeoff visually on your PC screen - Learn more about GTO tool here.