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Tutorial for E-STM8 Construction Cost Estimating Software

How to use this Cost estimating Software?

Screen shot of Software Main Panel
Estimating construction cost with e-STM8 Software is easy and straightforwrd. The objective will be to have an estimate of the cost and a priced bill ready for submission.

How do I enter or edit data?

After starting the software, you will have to Start a new project and give it a unique title, or open an existing Project. Then you will be able to enter data under this specific project. User Entries are not permitted if a Project is not defined.

How to enter the Bill Of Quantities data?

Construction Bills of Quantities comprise a list of items of work which are briefly described. The Bills also provide a measure of the extent of work and this allows estimating cost of the construction work and pricing it.
The estimating Software will assist contractors to price the bills and submit their proposals to owners.
Preparing the Bills of quantities, in the form of a detailed list of construction work descriptions and quantities is beyond the scope of the software.
e-S T M 8 cost estimating software allows users to enter the Bill data, in succession, or import all items from an Excel File on User's P.C.

For direct entry of B.O.Q items into the program:

Use icons in the toolbar to:
- Enter a new item
- Edit an existing item (selected by cursor from the table)
- Insert an item above selected row in the table.
- Move an item up or down after selecting it from the table.
- Delete an item.

For importing data from Microsoft Excel file:

Use Excel icons in the toolbar to import the Bill Of Quantities.
- The Excel file must have descriptions at Column B, starting at Row 2
- The unit must be at Column C starting at Row 2
- The quantity must be at Column D, starting at Row 2
- Each row must represent an item. No empty rows allowed.

How to add a new Construction Sub-Contractor to the List of Sub-Contractors?

Click the Sub-Contractors icon from the toolbar.
Note: The icon shall be enabled once a project is open, otherwise it is disabled.
A new window shall open with a Table that you can add, and delete Sub-Contractors to the list.
If the Sub-Contractor does not exist in the top left pane it will be added to it automatically.
If it does exist in the top left pane you can assign any B.O.Q Items to him and he will be added to opened project list automatically.
The scheme will also show the total value of works assigned to each Sub-Contractor once their rates are entered .

How to delete a Construction Sub-Contractor from the List of Sub-Contractors?

You can also delete Sub-Contractord from the opened project List.
If the Sub-Contractor does not exist in any other project he shall be removed from the top left pane List of Sub-Contractors otherwise he shall only be removed from the open project list
In other words you have two lists:
- a List of your Sub-Contractors in all projects which is shown at top left Pane.
- and a List of each project Sub-Contractors which can be accessed from toolbar.

What is meant by Construction Cost Elements in the estimating process?

Construction Cost elements can either be:
- A Sub-Contractor Price.
- Labor, Plant and Material cost.
The Software allows user to choose either but not both for the same item in the Bill of Quantities.
Other construction cost such as overheads, site offices, insurance shall be considered in the Markup

How to consider Construction Sub-Contractors Cost?

- Select the work to be sublet from the B.O.Q Pane by its description
- Select the Sub-Contractor to whom the work shall be sublet from the top left pane.
- Click "add selected" button at bottom of the left panes.
- The work shall now appear in Cost Elements Pane with zero value.
- Click the Packages icon from the toolbar and select the Sub-contractor
- A new window shall open containing items assigned to this Sub-Contractor and forming the Sub-Contract B.O.Q
- Select the item and click "edit rate" then enter the Sub-Contractor price for this item and click 'save'.
The entered price shall be propagated to the Cost Elements Pane as well as to the Bill f quantities Pane
Note: If you have not entered the Markup percentages the price carried onto the Bill of quantities would be the same as that of the sub-contractor. However, once you enter Markup the price shall be modified accordingly

How to consider Construction cost associated with labor, plant and Material

Select from Labor, Plant and Material Panes corresponding construction cost elements and click add selected.
You can add as many as you wish but only one selection from each pane at a time. That is you can select Labor 1, Plant 3, Material 4 for example and enter them then select Labor 2, material 6 etc
When you click "add selected" the items shall appear in the construction cost elements pane with zero quantity.
Select each item and edit it to enter corresponding quantity.
Quantity to be entered here is Man-Hour for Labor, Hours for Plant, and units of Material as per Material cost Table.

Is there a built in database of construction Labor cost, plant cost and material cost?

No. The e-STM8 Cost estimating Software is provided with local USA commercial Labor cost prevailing in 2008 for illustration purpose.
User has to satisfy himself as to the applicability of these costs to his local region at the time the software is used, and to make any modifications required.
User can add new categories, delete or modify existing categories and corresponding cost by editing selected row.

How to allow for contingency, overheads, and profit?

Markup includes direct and indirect overheads, contingency, as well as profit.
Click Markup icon from the toolbar to view the List of percentages to be added up to the construction cost.
User may edit, alter or add his own Markup components and corresponding percentages.
Data entered in this table are reflected in the priced Bill of Quantities that can be viewed from Menu bar View > Priced B.O.Q, or from the Packages icon in toolbar.

How to import data from a Microsoft Excel file to the software?

Click the Excel icon from software toolbar and select import from Excel from the drop-down menu.
or File > Import from Menu bar
To import data from Excel Files data has to be arranged in an order readable by the Software. The first row will have column titles and first column will have a serial number starting with 1 at row 2.

How to export data to Microsoft Excel file?

Click the Excel icon from toolbar and select Export to Excel from the drop-down menu.
To Export data to an Excel File, a File Chooser shall open and user will have to specify the name of the file to export data to

How to know the costs associated with a specific resource or cost element?

Click the Stats icon from the software toolbar, or Select View from Software Menu Bar and then the specific sum you wish to view.
Note: A project must be open in order to use this option, since sums are project specific information.
The Software provides sums for Labor, plant and materials as derived from the Cost Elements of all items in the Bill of quantities.
As you may have noticed there is also a unique feature in our Software, that is summing up each cost element instantly and having it displayed in the bottom right pane of the main window.
This sum can help in:
- resource allocation.
- Job planning
- Advantageous discounts for plant rental costs for longer durations

How to prepare a cover for the Offer?

Click the Tender icon from the toolbar or select View>Tender from Menu Bar

Though the Tender Letter is automatically filled with project information, including total offer in numbers and words, you will still have to enter some data such as Employer, Project location, date when invitation to tender was issued, and undersigned name.
You can edit any row by double clicking and then you can change any wording.

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