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Estimating

Preparation

Strategy

The TracManager Estimating Module provides flexibility for creating an estimating method that ‘fits’ your needs. This is a great benefit however; it also means that decisions must be made about how you will price your products and adjust the price when features or options are changed.

Market Pricing Philosophy

TracManager generates prices based on a product price by a unit of measure along with the price of feature choices and options. This is different than a cost plus estimate where you are trying to determine what a project will cost and then add a profit to arrive at a price. The reality is that is is extremely difficult to know the cost of a project during the estimate process.

Market pricing sets the price to a value the market wants to pay. It is “value” based and easy to consistently replicate. The key is that TracManager tracks actual cost to constantly measure the pricing assumptions to assure a target profitability.

Product Identity

You may be fabricating highly custom products, or you may be selling catalog items – or both. How are you determining the price of a project today? Do you sell a product by the linear foot and add or subtract from the base price based on feature choices? Do you sell a specific product for a specific price such as a B21 cabinet or B24 cabinet? Both methods will work with TracManager.

Product Groups

Certain products that would have the same feature and option choices should be grouped together. For example a base cabinet: There would be choices for material, construction method, doors, drawers, hinges, pulls etc. Whereas a microwave cabinet would not have choices for hinges or pulls etc. and would not be in the same product “feature/option” group.

Product Group Relationship

Creating A Catalog

We will ultimately use spreadsheets to build and import the product catalog. There will be three different spreadsheet types. Before we build the actual spreadsheets for importing, it is necessary to start small and build up. Here are some steps to help you get started.

  1. Start with a list of products. Each product will need to have a unique product ID assign (like a part number) however, you can begin with basic descriptions and assign product IDs later in the process.
  2. Organize the product list into groups that would have the same “features” 
  3. Create a list of the feature names that would apply to the product group.  For example: Material, Finish. Do not be concerned with dimensions at this point.
  4. For each named “feature” make a list of choices for the feature. For example a feature named “color” may have a list of red, green, blue, yellow etc. 
  5. Every “feature” is also a product. All products have a price per unit of measure and may or may not contain labor and material items. 

Products

  1. BOMID – every product must have a unique identity (like a SKU or part number).  The product ID is called a BOMID. This should be a short name or code that.
  2. Description – every product must have a description. This is the text that describes the product and may be as verbose as necessary.