Major Release Notes - Estimate 21.10

Release summary

This release of InEight Estimate largely focuses on improvements and more flexibility around the bid pricing functionality, which enhances an estimator's ability to effectively price out various types of bid proposals.

The new pay item hierarchy in the Pay Item and Proposal register allows for grouping of pay items. This helps estimators to more closely match pay items to the bid items provided by the owner. The new pay item price categories give better visibility into how prices are established and provide a breakdown of the prices at the level required for more detailed bid forms. In addition, visibility is provided into the man-hour at a pay Item level. These new features collectively let you more efficiently fill out an owner's bid form and accurately provide the required detailed information.

Improvements such as assigning indirect cost to pay items, including business overhead as markup and selectively marking up pay items provide estimators more flexibility in how markup is spread throughout the Bid allowing them to effectively price their work.

Estimators now have an improved way to track competitive bid information directly in the Competitors tab. In this new register, you can now keep track of submitted bids, as well as record and track bid prices on the individual bid items.

Other improvements to enhance your Estimate experience include an automatic refresh of the Pay Item & Proposal register, the ability to establish pay item prices using billing rates, support for having multiple bond or rate table based dependent items in the CBS, and a new CBS tree navigation mode letting you quickly navigate to a cost item record using the CBS tree hierarchy.

User interaction improvements include a new common navigation slide-out panel which is shared amongst all InEight products, plus, shift rate calculator and production tab window layout improvements.

  • Pay item hierarchy –Many Bid Forms are organized by grouping bid items for related scopes of work. Pay items in the Pay Item and Proposal page can now be grouped in a hierarchy by utilizing the Position Code column. ClosedRead more

    The Row Number column has been replaced by the Position Code column to provide you with a more efficient way of organizing pay items. The layout of the Pay Item & Proposal form has also been updated to better utilize available screen space and provide more vertical space to accommodate organizing Pay Items in a hierarchy.

  • Pay item prices by category – Owners are increasingly requiring more and more information from contractors as part of their bid submissions. This often requires the further breakdown of bid prices by indicating prices by category such as labor cost, material cost or man-hours. ClosedRead more

    New columns can now be added to the Pay Item & Proposal register so you can summarize your pay item prices by up to 10 price categories.

    In addition to seeing the price by category, these additional columns also give you better visibility into how the price is established, including columns for the total cost, total distribution, total markup and markup percent. These new columns make it easier to verify that the distribution of unassigned cost and markup are calculated as intended by the estimator.

  • Assign indirect cost to pay items – The cost segment field in the CBS is used to differentiate estimated costs in the Direct Costs, Job Overhead or Business overhead categories. ClosedRead more

    This helps to classify the scope of work so you can more accurately report on direct vs indirect costs, and better control how markup is spread throughout your bid. This differentiation can be used to more effectively price work based on the risk profile of each segment of cost.

    Previously, under various business rules built into the system, the cost segment field was restricted on dependent cost items and for cost items with pay item assignments and was not editable.

    Today, it’s now possible to assign any assigned or dependent cost Item to any of the 3 cost segments and provides greater control over where costs exist in the Price Breakdown Structure (PBS).

    Additionally, indirect cost items such as the cost of the prime bond or the cost of material escalations, can now be assigned to a pay item, such as mobilization or another type of general conditions bid item. This new flexibility lets you more accurately control the cost basis of bid items and strategically price the work to maximize cost recovery and profit.

  • Categorize business overhead has markup – In previous versions of Estimate, Business overhead is considered an indirect cost and contributes to the total cost of a project. Now estimators can choose if costs with a cost segment of business overhead should be considered as indirect costs or markup. ClosedRead more

    If selecting markup, then Business Overhead is spread in the Markup category of the Price Breakdown Structure (PBS). The Total Markup is the sum of Target Profit and all Items categorized as Business Overhead.

    This lets you see the true total cost of the job, including the total markup inclusive of the business overhead. You can also create cost items and categorize them as business overhead, then possibly include itemized overhead costs such as estimating hours or home office expenses.

    This enhancement also provides you with added flexibility in marking up your job’s price. Assigned and unassigned columns have been added to the PBS to give you increased visibility and show which costs are assigned and unassigned to pay items. Unassigned costs are spread back to pay items based on the distribution logic set in Job Properties.

    When selecting Categorize Business Overhead as Markup:

    When selecting Categorize Business Overhead as Indirect Cost:

     

  • Selective pay item markup – Estimate makes it easy to estimate the cost of a project and price the work to ensure all unassigned costs and markup are included in the final price of the project. ClosedRead more

    For markup to be spread to pay items, a weighted distribution method is used as determined in the Job Properties, Pricing tab. It might be desirable for markup percentages to not be distributed, but rather directly applied to the costs assigned to any particular pay item.

    In the Job Properties, Pricing tab, the option can be set to keep markup with assigned costs for establishing a pay item price.

    Additionally, this option can be used to isolate the markup and apply it only to specific pay items. The following is an example of a dependent cost item being used to mark up the labor of select site work pay items by 25%.

  • Bid pricing using billing rates – For Cost Reimbursable or time and expense type projects it might be necessary to produce a bid proposal based on the billing rates used in the estimate. ClosedRead more

    Watch video

    Now you can choose to price the bid items in the job using a target price based on either charge rates or billing rates plus a distribution of unassigned costs and markup.

  • Bid tabulations – Estimators need a way to track competitive bid information for which the Competitors tab is utilized. ClosedRead more

    Watch video

    The tab was previously located in Job Properties and is now located in the Pricing tab as its own register. Here you can still add and keep track of companies that have submitted bids, as well as record and track competitor bid prices at the bid item level. This information is useful to analyze competitor pricing for each pay item at the Job level.

  • Automatic refresh of Pay Item & Proposal register – Often, you must continuously adjust certain pay items, which then rebalance to hit your target goal. The Pay Item and Proposal register now automatically refreshes when a change is made, which triggers updates to a job’s price. ClosedRead more

    Prior to this enhancement, you had to click the Refresh button for Balanced price recalculation to take place. Now, the Refresh button has been removed and any changes to the job’s price are automatically calculated.

  • Bond rate dependent cost item improvements – For certain projects, it might be desirable to calculate costs for bond or insurance premiums based upon multiple different rate tables. As such, it is now possible to add multiple bond and rate table based dependent items in the CBS. ClosedRead more

    For example, in addition to having a prime bond, the job might also require insurance coverage where the premium is calculated using a rate table-based approach. This can now be accomplished by adding another Bond/Rate-table based dependent cost item to the job.

    Additionally, bond premiums can now be adjusted by a single amount. This is common when certain requirements are imposed by the contract, such as extended warranty periods. It is common for the bond premium to be established using a standard rate table, then additional charges can be added to the total bond premium amount.

  • CBS tree navigation mode – The CBS Tree filter shows the CBS hierarchy and is used to help to quickly filter cost items, instead of scrolling the CBS to locate certain cost items. ClosedRead more

    The CBS Tree Filter now lets you choose between a filter mode or a new navigation mode.

    The Navigation mode on the left side of the page provides you with the visibility of your entire CBS structure, as well as giving you the option to navigate throughout the CBS estimate. The Cost Item record can also be tiled next to the tree to make navigating the structure of your estimate easy while viewing all the Cost Item record details at the same time.

  • Improvements to WBS quantity roll-up – The Quantity Roll-Up feature lets you roll up and derive at the parent item’s quantity from detailed level takeoff quantities, while eliminating the need to manually calculate these roll-up values. ClosedRead more

    Estimate is now capable of automatically rolling up quantities (versus a manual roll-up) directly in the WBS. A new Auto-Quantity (Roll-Up) field has been added.

    When a Quantity Roll-Up code is assigned and the Auto Quantity (Roll-Up) option is checked for the item in the WBS register, rollup of the item's quantity happens automatically. When unchecked, you can manually enter a Quantity for the WBS item. This enables you to better control if the WBS Quantities need to be calculated automatically or entered manually.

  • MS Project export – If your project’s schedule is integrated with MS Project, you can now export a copy of your MS Project file. ClosedRead more

    This can be advantageous if a preliminary schedule is needed for a starting point schedule, as the project goes into execution. Recreating the schedule from scratch can be time consuming and error prone, as the existing schedule details might not be properly captured in the beginning stages.

  • Common Navigation – Access the common navigation slide-out panel by selecting the main menu located on the top left side of the Estimate page. ClosedRead more

    This enhancement provides a common navigation user experience that is shared amongst all InEight products. The primary intent of this navigation menu is to provide a consistent InEight product experience, with similar Project Suite graphical interfaces, while working within multiple InEight products.

    Estimate's on-premise software is authenticated by your Windows login credentials, which is shown below the main menu.

    Clicking on Explore Products takes you directly to the product page on Ineight.com. This is where you can learn more about the benefits of each product, along with common challenges for owners and contractors, an FAQ, and other related content. Additionally, clicking on InEight Learning and Support link takes you to either the Knowledge Library, Online Training, and a link that takes you directly to InEight Support.

    The InEight.com link takes you to various InEight resources such as customer stories, blogs, and webinars.

  • Shift rate calculator – The Shift Rate Calculator window has been improved to show the work shift days, hours and scales in more of a spreadsheet grid-like style. ClosedRead more

    The refinement of this upgraded window makes it easier to input your work hours, easily copy paste from Excel and clearly distinguish the editable fields.

  • Production tab – The Production Rate tab in the Cost Item Details window has been improved to show the duration and quantity driven resource columns, in more of a spreadsheet grid-like style. ClosedRead more

    The refinement of this upgraded window makes it easier to read the values in the grid across all the columns.

  • Job Created by field –The Job Created by field has been moved from the Job Properties - Security tab to the Overview tab so it is more apparent who created the job when working in Job Properties. ClosedRead more