It's true, there is seldom only one way to approach a task and cost estimating for heavy civil construction is no exception. In fact, the final cost of a job bid item can rest upon a number of variables. With that in mind, we included a What-If function in SharpeSoft Estimator that allows you to bid a work item in multiple ways to determine which is the most cost effective and efficient approach.
When a bid item has been assigned What-If status, it appears in your bid items list, but it is not included in the actual estimate. Later, If you decide to use it in a bid, you simply turn off the What-If status and its cost will be included in your estimate totals.
As an example, assume you have an excavation item on a job. You already own excavators and trucks and have the operators to do the work, but paying more up front to rent a scraper may allow you to get the work done faster and with fewer workers.
Will renting a scraper save me money on labor and time?
In this case, you would create two bid items for the excavation work, each with its own cost detail. In one, you cost out the item using your own excavators and trucks. In the other you use a rented scraper. Once you have created each bid item, you mark them both as What-Ifs.
Now, both items appear in your bid items window, but since they have been designated as What-Ifs, their costs are not reflected in the estimate totals. You can now compare them in relation to the rest of the bid, your time line, and other factors to see which is the optimum scenario. Once you have weighed the advantages of both, you can turn off the What-If status for the one you want to use and it will now become part of your estimate and its cost will be included in your bid total.
Later if you change your mind, you can turn it back into a What-If item and choose the other scenario if wanted.
What-If items are created in the Bid Items window in the same way you do all of the other items in your estimate. Assigning What-If status to a bid item is as easy as clicking on the item and then clicking the Actions menu selection, “Toggle What-If Status”.
To learn more about using What-Ifs, check out your system Help manual, or give us a call and we’ll be happy to show you how it's done.