The iSite® Estimating Module provides a powerful alternative to your choices of Task Estimating tools. Traditionally, contract performers would utilize a patchwork of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to handle their Task Estimating needs. While this file-based approach provides a great deal of autonomy to Task Estimators as well as a level of familiarity by utilizing a widely used tool such as Excel, it also proves to be problematic in many ways.
Challenges of “The Excel Approach”
A few of the problems with a file-based Microsoft Excel approach to Task Estimating are as follows:
- Limited control over spreadsheet structures and formulas
- Trouble ensuring Estimators have the most up-to-date version
- Users mistakenly deleting formulas
- No centralized location for Labor Rates, Burden Rates or calculations
- No ability for multiple users to work on the same estimate at the same time
- No reporting capabilities across multiple Estimates
- No ability to view an Estimate across different Financial calendars
Solutions through iSite's Estimating Module
These problems are no longer YOUR problems when you utilize the iSite® Estimating Module. iSite® stores your Estimating data in a database, thus giving you the control over the Task Estimating process that you need. Your Estimators will always have the most up-to-date Estimate layouts, calculations, and rates as they are stored and managed in a central location. Users can no longer corrupt an Estimate by accidentally deleting data or calculations. Your Estimators can collaborate on the same Estimate at the same time! Most importantly, because your data is now stored in a database rather than a file, you have the ability to create reports that aggregate data across multiple Estimates!
Lastly, Estimate data is published as revisions, which means as you define new values for existing Estimates, iSite® will store the delta change from any existing data. This allows you to do “point-in-time” historical reporting where you can see how the estimate for a Task has progressed over time.
The iSite® Estimating Module allows you to create Estimates for different scenarios on your Contract. Based on the type of Estimate that you choose to create, Estimate data will be saved in a different manner and ultimately published to different locations within the datawarehouse.
The following Estimate types are supported by the iSite® Task Estimating Module:
- Time-Phased Baseline Plans
- Estimates-to-Complete (Forecasts)
- Planned Contract Values
- Estimate Mockups (what-if scenarios)
The traditional file-based approach where estimates are created using Microsoft Excel creates one MAJOR problem: you cannot have more than one user working on the Estimate at any given time. When it comes down to crunch time and you need to get an estimate out the door in a hurry, this approach just won’t cut it.
That’s where iSite® steps in! iSite® stores data in a database and presents its entry interface via the web, which means during crunch time, you can provision different parts of your Estimate to different Estimators and have each of them contribute to the Estimate at the same time. Crunch time? No problem!
When working on Estimates, the data is considered in Draft mode while the Estimator adds Labor Resources, enters data, tweaks numbers, etc. Once the Estimate is to the point where the Estimator considers the data ready for review, what happens?
Benefits of the Task Estimating Module
- Simplified data entry
- Reduced amount of time to create and submit and Estimate
- Allows more than one person to work on an Estimate at once
- Estimate templates are centrally managed and can be versioned
- Burden and Labor Rates are stored centrally
- No more worries of “missing formulas” due to user mistakes
- Create different “views” of Estimates for different audiences
- View Estimates with different accounting calendars such as Calendar Year,
- Contract Year, Government Fiscal Year and more
The Estimating topic is comprised of the following main subtopics:
- Estimating Summary Page
- The Estimate List
- The Estimate Life Cycle
- Creating New Estimates
- The Estimate Viewer
- Reviewing Estimates
- Publishing Estimates