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About Resource Estimates

Cartegraph OMS can give you an estimate of what an activity will cost and how long it may take, using data you’ve already entered. The more complete, accurate historical data you have, the more accurate your future estimates will be. Estimates generate when you create a task for the following:

  • Labor hours
  • Labor cost
  • Equipment cost
  • Material cost
  • Total cost

The estimated costs for each resource type and the display in a chart along with the actual costs for a visual comparison. This chart is available in the Task and Work Order detail views.

Once Cartegraph has your estimates, they may display in the Analytics Dashboard:

  • Task Estimates vs. Actuals Cost Comparison: Display estimate and actual costs broken out by resource type for the past year.
  • Task Totals: Estimate vs Actual: Display the estimate and actual total cost for the past year.
  • Work Order Estimates vs. Actuals Cost Comparison: Display estimate and actual costs broken out by resource type for the past year.
  • Work Order Totals: Estimate vs. Actual: Display the estimate and actual total cost for the past year.

If there is no estimate, it’s because you have never completed a task like the one you're creating and haven't entered your own estimate.

How Estimates Are Calculated

In the background, Cartegraph runs through up to three estimating rules when you create a task, but it doesn't necessarily act on all three. First, it will check whether you’ve manually entered an estimate for labor, equipment, materials, and other resources. This is your chance to override an estimate. Second, if you haven’t manually entered your own estimate for all of those elements, Cartegraph will check for identical historical data and use that as the estimate. For example, if you have completed the same task on the same asset previously.) Third, if neither of the first two rules applies, the system will consider the average use of resources for the same task on similar assets.

Rule 1

Uses custom estimates set for asset type and activity combinations in the Resource Estimate Manager. For these combinations, you can create a custom estimate for any combination of labor, equipment, material, and other resources. Custom estimates can be created with or without a quantity. When using Custom Estimates with a Quantity, you are setting an estimate amount per unit of measure.

When an asset task is created and there is a Custom Estimate with a Quantity for the asset and activity combination, the estimate on the task is calculated by multiplying the estimate per unit by the specific asset's unit amount. The field that is used for the asset's unit amount is set up in the Asset Types library, in the Distribute Cost Using field.

For example, a Material estimate is calculated when Custom Estimate with a Quantity is set up in Resource Estimates Manager for the Asset Type of Pavement and the Activity of Overlay.

  • In Resource Estimates Manager, the material estimate is set as $2.00 / ft.
  • In the Asset Types library, the Distribute Cost Using field for Pavement is Length.
  • Pavement record 123 has a length of 1000 ft.
  • Pavement record 456 has a length of 2000 ft.

When an Overlay task is created for Pavement 123, the estimated Material cost is $2000, since $2.00 x 1000 ft = $2000.

When an Overlay task is created for Pavement 456, the estimated Material cost is $4000, since $2.00 x 2000 ft = $4000.

Rule 2

The next step in the estimate calculation is looking at the history of the specific asset. The system looks for the five recent tasks with the same activity. The tasks also must have a cost greater than 0, and were completed within the last five years. If there are no tasks in the past five years, the most recent task is used.

Rule 3

If there aren't any tasks for the specific asset the system next looks for other assets of the same asset type, the most recent 100 tasks with the same activity, completed, with a cost greater than 0, and took place in the last five years. The costs are averaged from those tasks. If there are not any tasks in the past five years, the most recent task found is used.

If the asset type has a Distribute Cost Using field set in the Asset Types library, the actual costs from the selected historical tasks are broken down to unit costs and then averaged. The average unit cost is then multiplied by the asset's unit amount to calculate the estimate on the new task.

For example, we'll see how a Material estimate is calculated for Pavement record ABC which has a length of 1000 feet and does not have an Overlay task in history.

  • In Resource Estimates Manager, there is no Custom Estimate for Pavement and Overlay.
  • In the Asset Types library, the Distribute Cost Using field for Pavement is Length.
  • Pavement record DEF has a length of 1500 feet and an Overlay task from last year with a Material actual cost of $2625. This calculates to a unit cost of $1.74 / ft.
  • Pavement record XYZ has a length of 900 feet and an Overlay task from two years ago with a Material actual cost of $1055. This calculates to a unit cost of $1.17 / ft.
  • There are no other Pavement records in the system with an Overlay within the last 5 years.

When an Overlay task is created for Pavement ABC, the estimated Material cost is $1460 since the average unit cost of the 2 historical tasks is (1.75 + 1.17) / 2 = 1.46, and $1.46 x 1000 ft = $1460.

Manage Units Used For Estimates

In the Asset Types library, the Distribute Cost Using field is used for calculating Resource Estimates per a specific unit of measure. This value is populated by default for all standard Cartegraph linear and polygon asset types. Administrators can change what unit field is used. For example, Pavement defaults to the Length field, but some customers may want to use the Area field.

If the Distribute Cost Using field is changed in the Asset Types library to another unit field, there are few things to be aware of:

  • Any existing estimates on tasks are not changed. The historical information remains as it was.
  • Any Custom Estimates with a Quantity in Resource Estimates Manager need to be reviewed and updated for the asset type that was changed. The unit will automatically change based on the newly selected field, however, the per-unit costs and hours will still display as the previous amounts. To receive more accurate estimates make sure to update the costs and hours to reflect the new unit.

If the Distribute Cost Using field is changed to <None>:

  • Any existing estimates on tasks are not changed. The historical information remains as it was.
  • Any Custom Estimates with a Quantity in Resource Estimates Manager need to be reviewed and updated for the asset type that was changed. The unit will automatically change to each, meaning each record, however, the costs and hours will still display as the previous amounts which were based on a unit. To receive more accurate estimates make sure to update the costs and hours to reflect an amount for each record instead of a unit.