Electrical Estimating Software: How to Update Material Pricing
Obtaining current and accurate pricing for contracting companies is vital to profitable jobs. Current pricing is important because it keeps track of product pricing fluctuations. Especially now, most products' prices have increased dramatically, causing bid prices to skyrocket. If you aren't keeping up with pricing trends, you will be severely underbidding on a project causing your company to lose money.
Beyond following pricing trends, accurate pricing is essential because your vendors, and your job location, will have different prices than the market average. Getting accurate quotes, especially for your big-ticket items, is one of the most critical factors in determining how much profit you make on a project.
This article will detail how to update material pricing in Electrical Estimating Software. The examples shown will be using Red Rhino Electrical Estimating Software, but the concepts should be transferrable to other software providers.
System Material Pricing
Some Electrical Estimating Software vendors will provide you with generic pricing in a ballpark to get your estimate pricing. What is generic pricing? Generic pricing is the Vendor manipulating data to try and get the pricing near national averages. Hitting exact national averages for every product in the system cannot be guaranteed due to the thousands of products in the software. It is always essential for the estimator to get material quoted to verify generic pricing.
Generic pricing in electrical estimating software should be updated at least once a month. Updating the system pricing once a month will help generic pricing follow the industry trends as prices fluctuate. A software provider that updates prices more frequently will keep your generic pricing as recent and accurate as possible.
For Red Rhino, the user decides when to update the material pricing. Putting the user in control allows estimators to determine when updating the system pricing is appropriate. The process to update Red Rhino's generic is as follows:
1. On the Home Screen, the user will click the Bell Icon in the top red banner (to the right of the Home button). A generic pricing update is available if there is a notification in the Bell Icon.
2. Once you click on the Bell Icon, the following screen will prompt you to update system pricing. Click on the Notification Link.
3. After clicking on the Notification Link, select "Update Product Prices."
4. Now, the system pricing reflects the current pricing trend.
The following video demonstrates the start-to-finish process of updating generic pricing in Red Rhino.
See how easy Electrical Estimating Software is for the user to keep up with the electrical industry's pricing fluctuations? There is no need to spend hours pulling pricing data from online vendors to help get your estimates in the ballpark. Electrical Estimating Software enables you to do this in under a minute!
Estimate Material Pricing
What if you won a bid that you worked on months ago? Material pricing might be significantly different from when you submitted the bid. You don't want to start over from scratch. The best use of your time is to use the information you already have and update the material prices to reflect the current market. Electrical Estimating Software allows you to refresh material prices with your current system pricing instantly. In Red Rhino, this is a simple process.
1. Once you have selected the Estimate on which you want to update material pricing, you will click Refresh at the top right of your screen.
2. After clicking on Refresh, Red Rhino will prompt you to select Material Cost or Labor Hours. You will choose "Material Cost."
3. The Estimate's material pricing is now updated! The software will let you know if all material prices were updated or if there are some you need to update manually.
Be careful; this step cannot be undone as soon as you update the material pricing for an Estimate. Electrical Estimating Software keeps your time investment and capacity for mistakes as low as possible.
Product Material Pricing
What if you are working on an Estimate and know your pricing for a few specific materials? Electrical Estimating Software allows you to insert pricing information easily. There is no need to edit the system pricing for something as simple as this. That would take too much time and cause you to lose your developing rhythm. Red Rhino simplifies this process while entering the material. For this example, let's assume you have 10,000 feet of 12/2 MC Cable needed for a job. You added the 10,000 feet of 12/2 MC Cable into your Take-Off and saved your progress. Looking at the pricing, you know your total cost for the 10,000 feet of 12/2 MC Cable is $8,000. The steps below will detail how to update material pricing while working on your Estimate.
1. Click on the line item to select the product you want to update. This will highlight the line item in gray, readying it for editing.
2. Once the line item is highlighted in gray, click "Edit" at the top right of the screen.
3. After clicking on Edit, you will now be able to update the Unit Pricing. We are editing the Unit Price to be $800.00 per Unit of Measure of 1,000 (M).
4. After entering the verified Unit Price, press "Save" at the top right to complete the product material price update.
As we all know, many things tend to change as the Estimate develops. Electrical Estimating Software is designed to accommodate changes and makes it easy for you to make changes to any prices.
Quotes from Vendors
The best way to ensure your prices are the most accurate is to request pricing from your Vendor (s). Accurate material pricing brings your Estimate's material cost as close as possible to what you will spend on the Job Site. Most Electrical Estimating Software has functions to pull in your Vendor (s) material pricing. However, most software vendors require you to pay for subscriptions. Red Rhino has a built-in Request for Quote (RFQ) function that takes the materials and quantity from your Take-Off and puts it into a form you can send to your Vendor(s). After your Vendor (s) return your RFQ form, you can quickly enter their exact pricing, and Red Rhino will automatically populate those values into your Take-Off. This function is for Estimators who want the most accurate and current pricing in each of their Estimates. To learn how to use the Request for Quote function, please follow the steps below:
1. After selecting the Estimate, click RFQ, then New RFQ at the top-right menu to create a new RFQ.
2. You will now be able to enter the necessary or relevant information for your RFQ. These include Vendor, PO Number, PO Revision number, RFQ Name, and RFQ Date. You want to be as detailed as possible when creating an RFQ. An asterisk (*) notates a required entry. Click "Save" once you have entered all information.
3. After clicking Save, you will select which Estimate Sections you would like to get Item Pricing for. Click the box next to the Section Name to select the section for a quote. After completing your selections, click Save Section Selection.
4. Select the items you would like to send for a quote. To do this, click the box next to each item you want to Save for Quote. To select all items for quote, click on the box above Select.
5. To save your item selection, click on Save Item Selection.
6. Now that your selection is saved, you can Preview or Email the RFQ to the Vendor for Unit Pricing. Click on Preview to view/save the RFQ. Click on Email to send the RFQ to the Vendor.
7. After your Vendor receives your Request for Quote (RFQ), they will provide you with Unit Pricing for your item selection. You can now input the Unit Pricing into the RFQ that will automatically populate into the Take-Off. This ensures you have the most accurate material pricing, getting a direct quote from the Vendor. Inputting Unit Pricing is simple. Navigate to the sent RFQ and enter the Unit Price into the Unit Price (Quote) column. After entering the Unit Price, click Save Quotes, and the Estimate's Take-Off will automatically input the quoted unit price.
There is an added level of security when obtaining quotes directly from the Vendor you will be using for the job. If you want your jobs to be profitable, be sure to get quotes for your "big-ticket" items and input them into the Electrical Estimating Software.