Estimating
About Speed

So what do we mean by speed, anyway, and what is so important about this?

Simply put, speed means that you can tune a reliable design just by making a few mouse moves. We've already covered accuracy previously, and we use the accuracy plus speed to let you tune designs.

Example: Draw a box on screen. That's the building outline. Click and view the structure in 3D. Exit 3D, then select DOORS/WINDOWS. Click a wall anywhere and add any door or window you want. View the structure in 3D again. The building reflects your choices and they are right there in 3D.

When you draw a box or add an opening, the system creates an accurate virtual building, the parts lists, and writes a 3D version of the building to disk. This takes about 1/4 of a second. All of it. As in up to billion calculations to determine where the parts go, adjusting as need for your particular needs. 1/4 of a second.

When you "Calculate Price," this takes just a few seconds. What the system is doing is assigning prices to the part lists and arranging these nicely for reporting, creating the needed purchase orders and so on. It's accounting and formatting. But the real work? 1/4 of a second.

Tuning? What's the point?

Getting estimates right is tough. We all know this. And there aren't that many reliable tools out there. What many people do is create a price book where they have building designs, all hand tuned. They sell these as "standard" structures, e.g. 40x60, because they have some idea of what this costs.

If you use a price book, you probably use a formula to calculate the price of openings. This gives you a rough estimate of what this ought to cost. Because a rough estimate isn't "exact," you come to rely on "close enough." (And if you want to see that "close enough" really isn't, please look at the door move example on the accuracy page. You may be surprised.) Many people are so tied to this method of estimating that their building offerings are limited to an exact multiple of bay size; e.g. if you build 8' O.C. then all of what you offer is a multiple of 8' bays -- 24', 32', 40', 48', and so on.

There's nothing really wrong with this. It tends to work somewhat reasonably... until you start adding wings. Suddenly, you are in unfamiliar territory because there are a lot of things to factor in, e.g. maybe the 2nd wing is not a nice round bay count. Now what do you do?

Tuning a structure is a different approach.

What you do is draw the structure your customer asks for, then add and/or subtract doors and windows or move them around until you have the right mix for that customer. You can also add wings (up to 4) and create a building on the fly that is far more complex than your price book or rule of thumb estimating can even dream of touching. Moreover, it's FAST.

Think about this. You add a wing. The calculation is still 1/4 of a second. Now add some openings. Still 1/4 of a second. And you can see the structure in 3D. If your customer is watching you work, he or she can see this too. When a customer sees their building taking shape quickly, this is a superb sales tool as well. It tells them you are listening to what they want.

Summary

You can design very basic one wing structures using spreadsheets and books, but if you want to seriously address multiple wings, you need speed and accuracy. The old way of estimating a simple single wing structure may sort of work, but consider the fact that with PFM you can estimate a far more complex and unique multi-wing structure -- and have this be highly accurate (including drawings, BOM, component purchase orders, customer quote, etc., etc.) -- in minutes vs hours.




E-mail: info@postframemanager.com


GO BACK