Saving time saves you money and SharpeSoft Estimator is loaded with time-saving features – like Bid Item Masters and Subcontractor Comparisons – that make cost estimating faster and easier than ever. Another way Estimator helps to speed things along is by allowing you to create reusable Crews and Assemblies.
When you create a bid item in an estimate, the labor, materials, equipment and other components that you add as cost detail can be saved as a single unit to your Crews and Assemblies tables.
Then, when you have a similar bid item in a future job, you can insert the crew or assembly into your estimate with just a few clicks – saving you the hours it would take to re-create all of that detail again from scratch.
Moreover, you can link your crews to specific assemblies, or assemblies to crews.
For example, if you set up a Fire Hydrant Installation Crew, you can link it to a Fire Hydrant Assembly. Then, when you insert your Fire Hydrant Crew into the bid item detail, it automatically brings in your hydrant assembly as well.
Crews can be for any type of work that you perform on a regular basis. You could set up a Mobilization Crew, Compaction Wheel Crew or a Roadway Excavation Crew.
Similarly, you may have specific assemblies for different size water or sewer services, fire hydrants, retaining walls, or other items.
Crews generally consist of Equipment and Labor, while Assemblies are made up chiefly of Materials. However, both may also include Outside Trucking and Other items from your resource tables.
Creating Crews & Assemblies
There are two ways to create a crew or an assembly - either manually from the Crews or Assemblies windows in the Tables menu, or by saving the detail you create from the bid items in your estimates back to the Crews and Assemblies tables as reusable units.
You can create a Crew or Assembly from their windows in the Tables menu by right clicking inside either window and clicking Insert. A line will open in the Group column where you will assign your new crew or assembly to the appropriate group.
Next, you will enter a Code and Description (If you are creating an assembly, you will also assign it to a Sub-Group.). For accounting purposes, you can also assign an optional ID number. If you are creating a crew, you will enter the Production/Day rate (the amount of work this crew can perform in one day), and the production UM (unit of measure). If you want to link crews and assemblies (or vice versa), double click in the associated column and choose the crew or assembly you want from the selection window that opens.
When you are finished, press Enter and your new crew or assembly will be added to its perspective window.
Now, you will add the individual Labor, Equipment, Materials, Trucking and Other items that will make up the detail for your crew or assembly. Simply double click on your entry and its Details window will open.
Entering detail for either a crew or assembly is done the same way. Simply right click inside the detail window and click Insert. A line will open in the Type column where you can use the drop menu to select the type of detail you want (labor, equipment, materials, trucking, other). You will then enter the Code, Description, Quantity and UM for the detail you are adding by working though the different selection windows for each column. Repeat this until you have added all of the individual detail items that will go into your crew or assembly. When you are finished close the Details window.
Notice that there are no costs associated with the items in the Assembly Details window. This is because all the items you enter here come from the other cost tables where rates have already been entered. You simply enter the number of items you need to make up the assembly. When it is entered into the estimate, the system will calculate the cost by multiplying the individual item costs by the quantities entered here.
Copying from the Bid Item Detail
The easiest way to create a crew or an assembly is by saving the cost details from your job bid items as single units back to your Crews and Assemblies tables.
For example, if you have created bid item detail for roadway excavation that includes excavators, loaders, trucks and their operators, you can save all of that labor and equipment detail - including quantities, production rate and units of measure - as a Roadway Excavation Crew to your Crews table.
Likewise, if you have created a bid item to install fire hydrants, you can save all of the valves, pipe, bolt connectors, flanges, adapters etc. that you entered as detail for that bid item to your Assemblies table as a Fire Hydrant assembly.
If you have created a bid item and you want to save its detail as a crew or assembly, open its detail in the Bid Items window then go to the Actions menu and select either Create Crew or Create Assembly.
If you click Create Crew, the Crew Wizard will open, which will guide you through the setup process. You will enter a Group and item Code, a Description, the Production/Day rate and UM. If you want to link an assembly to your crew, you can use the search button to select the assembly you want. The system will automatically populate the crew Details window with all of the equipment, labor, trucking and other items from the job bid item you were working on. Now you can edit and/or rearrange the items the way you want. When finished, your new crew will be added to the Crews window.
If you click Create Assembly, the Create Assembly Quantity window will open. This window shows the number of assemblies the bid item detail represents. The system will automatically pull the assembly quantity from the Bid Items window, but you can enter it manually if needed. When the system converts the list of detail items into an assembly, it uses this figure to calculate the amount of materials and other items needed to produce a single assembly. In this way, you can insert the assembly into a future estimate and simply multiply it by the number of those assemblies that you need for the job.
When ready, click OK and the Assembly Wizard will open where you will enter the assembly Group, Sub-group, Code and Description. If you want to link a crew with your assembly, you can use the search button to select the crew you want. When you click Next, the assembly Details window will open, listing all of the materials, trucking and other items that were part of the bid item detail you were working on. You can now add, delete or rearrange the items until you have the assembly set up the way you want. Click Ok, and your assembly will be added to the Assemblies table.
Using Crews & Assemblies
Inserting a Crew into your Bid Item Detail
In the Bid Item Detail window, click insert and in the Type column enter C (for crew). Click the search toolbar button and the Select Crew Group window will open. Double click on the group you want and the Select Crew window will open. Double click on the crew you want and its Production Rate window will open showing that crew’s production rate and quantity per day. Make any needed changes there and click OK. The Select Equipment Area window will open. Double click on the equipment area you want to use. The window will close and you will be returned to the bid item detail where your crew and all of its accompanying detail and production will be listed.
Inserting an Assembly into your Bid Item Detail
In the Bid Item Detail window, click insert and in the Type column enter A (for assembly). Click the search toolbar button and the Select Assembly Group window will open. Double click on the group you want and the subgroup window will open. Double click on a sub group and the Select Assembly window will open. Double click on the assembly you want.
You will be prompted to enter the number of assemblies to be added to the bid item detail. Enter the figure and click OK. As the system loads your assembly into the bid item detail, you may be asked to select a vendor for some or all of the included materials. If so, simply choose the vendor you want in the selection windows that opens. When finished, you will be returned to the Bid Item Detail window where your assembly and all of its component items will now appear.
Keep in mind…
As stated above, crews are generally made up of labor and equipment, while assemblies are primarily comprised of materials. However, since Other and Outside Trucking items can be used in both crews and assemblies, there is a chance for duplication of these items in your bid. Make sure you are not duplicating these items when you edit the assembly and crew detail and when linking assemblies and crews.
Hot Crews & Assemblies
If you find that you use certain crews and assemblies more often than you do others, you can designate the nine you use most as Hot Crews & Assemblies for easier retrieval. These are linked to the user’s login so that every user can have his/her own list.
You set up your Hot Crews/Assemblies table from the Bid Item Detail window by clicking the Actions menu selection, Edit Hot Crews/Assemblies.
The Hot Crews/Assemblies window will open. Right click inside the window and click Insert. A line will open in the Type column where you will enter either C (for crew) or A (for assembly).
Moving to the Code column, you will click on the search button to open the Select Group window and double-click on the group you want (for assemblies, you also will be asked to select a sub-group).
Depending on which type you are adding, a selection window will open where you will double click on the assembly or crew that you want. The system will number your entries 1-9 according to the order they were added. However, you can use the arrow buttons to order them the way you want.
Insert Hot Crew/Assembly into Bid Item Detail
To add a Hot Crew or Assembly to your bid item detail, right click inside the Bid Item Detail window and click Insert Hot Crews/Assemblies. In the submenu that opens, double click on the assembly or crew that you want. Alternatively, if you know how your hot crews and assemblies are numbered, you can hold down the Alt key and press the number for the crew or assembly you want.
Once you have made your selection, you will follow the steps outlined above for entering production rate for your crews and assigning vendors to materials. When finished, the system will insert your crew or assembly into the bid item detail along with all of the quantities, production, and units of measure.
Getting the Most of Your System
Using Crews and Assemblies is just one way in which you can get the most from your Estimator system. They can save you countless hours of redundant data entry time, save you money, and ultimately give you more time for doing the things you love most.
To learn more about Crews and Assemblies, consult your system Help manual, or just give us a call and we’ll be glad to walk you through it.