01-13-2013, 10:35 PM
does anyone have experience with this software? If so how does it work for you? Can anyone recommend a similar alternative?
01-14-2013, 11:12 AM
I can tell you this about Chuck Vander Kooi. I took his bidding and estimating work shop in spring of 1986. Best money I ever spent. He is entertaining and keeps it interesting. I would guess the software is spreadsheet material in which to plug in numbers to build a bid. He and Jim Huston worked together at that time, then went their own ways.
Personally I found mors (multiple overhead recovery systems) to be too complex. I followed Jim Huston and his more simple approach. Today and for years now, I have simplified further for my business (fert programs and irrigation).
Because my guys do mixed duty as does some of the equipment, I prefer to calculate my overhead, equipment costs and labor costs per man hour for the company, rather than job. Looking back on past years P&Ls, the cost numbers as a percent of sales have been very stable, hence predictable for budgets and the future.
None of this can be done without a good general ledger set up in your acctg program and good payroll info. I can tell you there is a huge discrepancy in what some contractors and accountants believe overhead to be. So a good education and understanding is important.
An example of this confusion is a truck payment/depreciation, and insurance on a truck. I take those as a variable or also known as a production expense. An account may call it overhead because you have to pay those items. But they are related to performing work. The more work you have, the more truck expense you have in terms of operating costs of the truck or purchasing more for the increased work. And if things go sour, you can sell that asset to reduce expenses and keep costs in line with sales volume.
So you can compute your equipment costs per man hour if you do your payroll correctly. Hours need to be coded by working (billable, working) and non working (rain day, vaca, sick, holiday, etc).
Overhead is a more or less fixed cost you can't get away from. Land lines and cell phones will cost the same no matter whether it's a good year or bad. Same for facility rent, parking whatever. Advertising will remain the same whether results are good or bad. Stationary for mailing. You gotta have it. Computers and printers same thing. Gotta own one and feed it, no matter 50 customers or 250 customers. Business licenses, same.
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