BidQwik.com

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Your product works with Microsoft's Excel. I have Excel as part of my Office suite of products but do not have the time or the desire to learn how to really use this program. Should I skip your product and look for something similar that is easier to use?
I have a service and associated product material; what should I sell it for?
What profit does my competitor have on the same service & product we provide?
I get $944.08 profit on each product I sell, is this a moneymaker?
Does the product cost change if my company asks me to sell the product at a specific price or gross margin?
My company wants to make good profit but does not insist on a specific GMP or sell price. They rely on me to set the sell price. However, my costs are not fixed. In addition to the usual material & labor costs, I sometimes need to pay parking and subcontractor costs, other times I pay only freight charges. How does this affect the GMP?
Assume I bid a project at a specific sell price, and downstream I find additional costs that I did not count on. How will this affect GMP?
So if I use lower raw-labor rate people to complete the job, the increased costs mentioned above may be offset by the cost decreases from labor?
How does your cost chart work in TrakPro?
Along that same line as question #8 above, how does TrakPro handle the estimate-to-complete (ETC) cost projection?
In TrakPro, what is the "Over/Under Minimum Billing Amount" and what is it used for?
In TrakPro, what is the function of the WIP Sheet?
I have many technicians (at different pay grades), many products, different configurations, variable timeframes and more. How do I calculate the sell, GMP, billing and cash position numbers easily and quickly?
A 3" diameter EMT conduit we want to use already has 2 sets of cables (10 cables @ 0.2" dia and 5 cables @ 0.31" dia). We want to add 43 cables @ 0.26" dia. Will we still be to standard at the 40% max fill?
Please help with the bid price for the following: 525 new CAT6 V/D runs and 25 new fiber locations. All are at an average 200' distance from the MDF except 3 fiber runs that are 250 feet station distance. All voice/data/fiber cables land on patch panels. The CAT6 cable costs me $0.23 per foot, the multimode fiber cable is $0.38 per foot, the rack is $180. The 96 port data panels cost $878.40 each, 12 port data panels $121.80 and the 48 port fiber patch panel is $134.40 each (with couplers only,unterminated). I mark up my material 20% and my burdened labor is $26.00 per hour and the labor sell price is around $54.00 per hour.The customer wants 20% growth on the panels. Can you help?
I notice many questions relate to computer cabling projects, does your software handle different business projects?
Do I need to update your programs regularly to keep them current? Do I need to buy additional copies or licenses to run your program on my work and home computers?
Your logo is a moon overlooking the earth. Is there any significance to that?
Peter we have a 5" EMT conduit that has the following existing cables (50-0.215" OD, 75-0.115" OD and 45-0.30" OD). We want to add 45-0.24" cables to this conduit, will we still be to the 40% maximum fill standard? We see that your "Peter's Fill" sheet has the multi-cable calculations but not the EIA/TIA sheet. Can you design a sheet for the EIA/TIA multiple cables?
We are using TrakPro, see below, and was wondering how we can make the 28.3% gross profit margin project look like we made a 30% GPM? We can finish the project (20 hours) with an $18/hour guy but that didn't give us the results we wanted. Please hurry with information!
We are planning a future multi-story building and want to be ahead of the installation game. How much conduit capacity is needed for the CAT6a communications cable?
Our company utilizes the formula for material sell price as Sell = Cost divided by 1 minus the gross margin %. BidPro uses a markup % times the cost. Our formula example for a 40% GPM: the $100 cost = $166.67 sell. BidPro shows a 40% markup so the sell price is $140.00. How can we reflect our Accounting requirements in BidPro?
There is an existing empty 4" EMT conduit that has 3 - 90 degree elbows. The customer asked us to use this existing 75' conduit (due to budget constraints) and install 70 - 0.24" OD cables?
Whom do you recommended as a supplier for communications cabling products?
Question 24: I have a business that arranges flowers for weddings. I can't seem to make money on this venture because soooo... many people compete in that field. I love what I do but cannot continue to break even or loose money. What can your software do for me?
Question 25: We are using your ConduitPro to determine conduit capacity. Your special fill sheet can calculate up to 4 different cable types, we have a need for 6 to 8 different groups. Can you help?
Question 26: Can we use BidPro in a Hollywood film making project?
Question 27: We use CablePro and want you to add a graphical depicting of our bid material & labor figures. How do we go about asking for an upgrade?
Question 28: Walk me thru LaborPro. As an example: I have 10 people I want to track per project. We have 40 hour work weeks (when business is good) but we have do not have paid holidays or vacation days.
   

 


Question 0: Your product works with Microsoft's Excel. I have Excel as part of my Office suite of products but do not have the time or the desire to learn how to really use this program. Should I skip your product and look for something similar that is easier to use?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: You will not find any product that does all the things our's can do. Our products use Excel because it has worldwide acceptance. The beauty of Excel is that we made it look like a typical input sheet that will give you the results you want without having to program or understand formula structure.

As an example: using our program called, CablePro (determines product quantity, cost and sell price of a horizontal communications cabling project) and the Baseline parmeters: you only need to enter one (1) item to get the following results.

One of 68 entry area representing faceplates in CableProThis is the entry area where you want to enter the quantity of Fiber - Voice - Data jacks
Quantity 125 representing 125 fiber/voice/data faceplates in CablePro You enter 125 FVD (Fiber-Voice-Data) faceplates. Based on normalized data, you get:

Typical Pricing Sheet in CablePro

On this project you would bid $54,455 and make about $22,395 profit. Most contractors just seat-of-the-pants bid $450 per 1Voice/1Data/1Fiber faceplate ($450x125=$56,250), you should have a bid margin advantage because the average sell price is nearer to $436. Also construction loan applications tend to go easier when the bank or financier sees all costs, sell price and Gross Profit Margin. So you see there is no need to understand Excel, but you must understand your product: how it is bid and what your financial needs are. By the way, this bid took less than "20 seconds". return


Question 1: I have a service and associated product material; what should I sell it for?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: It depends on your customer’s perceived value of the product/service and your company’s profit expectations. If your financial people do not dictate a specific profit margin, pick 32%. This magic number has made many companies very rich. Remember the formula for GMP % = Sell minus cost divided by sell times 100%.
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Question 2: What profit does my competitor have on the same service & product we provide?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Ask them! Or use BidPro to determine what your gross profit margin would be if you sold your product & service at their asking price. Using BidPro will allow you to do a Best-and-Final (BAF) where the customer is "looking" for a specific sell price. It quickly "reverse engineers" the numbers to determine what your profit would be if you use the new sell price. return

Question 3: I get $944.08 profit on each product I sell, is this a moneymaker?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Profit is always good. However, what is your product cost? response - $1,256.18.

Peter Buitenhek Answer: If the product costs you $1,256.18, then the sell price would be $2,200.26 at a gross margin of profit (GMP) of 42.9%. Any company would love a GMP over 40%; most companies have numbers ranging from 10% - 30%. However, if for example, your cost of the product was $12,561.80, the sell price would be $13,505.88 at a GMP of 7.0% - that would not be a moneymaker. return


Question 4: So GMP is very important to the company’s financial strength. Does the product cost change if my company asks me to sell the product at a specific price or gross margin?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Not if your costs are fixed. Examples of costs are: material cost, labor burden rate, direct job overhead cost, bonds, parking, permits, per diems and more. return

Question 5: My company wants to make good profit but does not insist on a specific GMP or sell price. They rely on me to set the sell price. However, my costs are not fixed. In addition to the usual material & labor costs, I sometimes need to pay parking and subcontractor costs, other times I pay only freight charges. How does this affect the GMP?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Use BidPro and set up each project with a specific GMP or sell price in mind (say 32%). This way you are assured a specific forecast profit. Each project should always have a good profit story to talk about at raise time. Remember Babe Ruth pointing to the right field where he was going to hit that home run! Upper management is impressed if you point to the profit dollars and deliver that amount. By the way, I don't mean fleece the customer, I am an advocate of a good job performed at a fair price! return

Question 6: Assume I bid a project at a specific sell price, and downstream I find additional costs that I did not count on. How will this affect GMP?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: The GMP would decrease by a calculated amount. If this difference is negligible or within tolerance, you may not need to worry. I always allow some product pricing or labor slop for that reason. If the variance is not within tolerance, management needs to be apprised immediately! However, if the bid is very competitive, extra pricing slop may put you over the winning bid so use caution. return

Question 7: So if I use lower raw-labor rate people to complete the job, the increased costs mentioned above may be offset by the cost decreases from labor?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Project Cost Management. If for example you bid $18.57 per hour labor people and ended up using $15.78 per hour wizards, you could possibly offset the cost difference. Or, you might be able to buy that special tester, at $4,857.58, and still bring the project in at 30% GMP. TrakPro can handle all those conversions easily. People will be impressed.
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Question 8: How does your cost chart work in TrakPro?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: The Contract cost is shown across the (x-axis) baseline and extends left-to-right. After the project starts and actual costs start to accrue, a secondary line (blue) is added to the chart to depict cost relationship. If the actual line costs are to the right (below) of the contract line, the labor, material, subcontractor, and other project total costs are all within contract goals:

TrakPro Cost Chart showing actual costs below the contract line

If any category costs are to the left (above) the contract goal, the actual line will fall to the left of the contract line signifying you are above contract cost. This easy-to-see graphic format is great for assessing many projects quickly.

TrakPro Cost Chart showing actual costs above the contract line return


Question 9: Along that same line as question #8 above, how does TrakPro handle the estimate-to-complete (ETC) cost projection?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: A tertiary line is added when Estimate-to-Complete (ETC) costs are forecast for project completion. If the ETC line falls below the contract line, the final costs will be below contract goals (yea). Conversely, a line above the contract will signify costs above the goal and suggests cost-saving or limiting measures should be implemented by management.

TrakPro Cost Chart showing actual costs and ETC below the contract line

The process of viewing the line chart is a favorite for most companies. The question at all staff meetings reviewing projects invariable states, “Are we below the line? If so, next project.” return


Question 10: In TrakPro, what is the "Over/Under Minimum Billing Amount" and what is it used for?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Like my previous boss, George Harris, always said, "Hello!"

You need to stay profitable on every phase of the project. Look at the ratio between year-to-date actual plus ETC (estimate-to-complete) costs and compare this to the contract cost amount to determine how far along you are on the project. If you have used 50% of the costs then, hypothetically, you are 50 % done. Therefore, you should be able to bill a minimum of 50% of the total contract "sell" amount. TrakPro compares what you have billed and what you should bill to give you an "over/under" billing dollar amount.

Assume your costs are $365.75 and you have billed the customer $500 contract cost. You are $134.25 over billed. If the customer has paid the $500 invoice, then your cash position is $134.25 over cost. These "over cost" dollars thrill bankers and can be used to fund other projects without mixing project accounting funds. return


Question 11: In TrakPro, what is the function of the WIP Sheet?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: The WIP (work-in-process) Sheet depicts your project standing in cost, profit, minimum billing and cash position. It breaks down overall material, labor and other costs and presents a hypothetical Time & Material (T & M) rate for reference.

TrakPro WIP then provides 3 Options for similar projects:

Option 2. What if we were to fix the material markup costs and/or Labor Rate (T & M)?

Option 3. What if we were to fix the material sell amount?

OPtion 4. What if we were to fix the labor sell amount?

Example: the customer has numerous similar installations and the previous contractor typically charged $500 total for labor. The customer became disenchanted with the current contractor, for whatever reason, and has asked you to bid the project with the proviso that the labor dollar amount be similar. You estimate the project, lock in the Labor Sell Amount, and decide at what GPM you want to bid the project.

A WIP chart will depict cost, sell price and profit dollars.

TrakPro WIP Chart showing options 1 through 4 return


Question 12: I have many technicians (at different pay grades), many products, different configurations, variable timeframes and more. How do I calculate the sell, GMP, billing and cash position numbers easily and quickly?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: The best solution: BidPro & TrakPro from http://www.bidqwik.com return

Question 13: A 3" diameter EMT conduit we want to use already has 2 sets of cables (10 cables @ 0.2" dia. and 5 cables @ 0.31" dia). We want to add 43 cables @ 0.26" dia. Will we still be to standard at the 40% max fill?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Yes, a simple problem for ConduitPro. The calculated fill percentage is 39.5% for the 58 total cables in the 3" conduit. The cable area is 2.9745 sq." in the useable conduit area of 7.523 sq.inch at the 40% Standard.

ConduitPro Multicable inputreturn


Question 14: Please help with the bid price for the following: 525 new CAT6 V/D runs and 25 new fiber locations. All are at an average 200' distance from the MDF except 3 fiber runs that are 250 feet station distance. All voice/data/fiber cables land on patch panels. The CAT6 cable costs me $0.23 per foot, the multimode fiber cable is $0.38 per foot, the rack is $180. The 96 port data panels cost $878.40 each, 12 port data panels $121.80 and the 48 port fiber patch panel is $134.40 each (with couplers only,unterminated). I mark up my material 20% and my burdened labor is $26.00 per hour and the labor sell price is around $54.00 per hour.The customer wants 20% growth on the panels. Can you help?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Yes, let's use CablePro. You did not mention rack cable management so I assume there will be none. We will enter 525 Voice-Data 2-plex faceplates and 25 fiber simplex faceplates

Typical Faceplate Input for 525 Voice/Data Locations Typical Faceplate - showing 25 fiber connectors in a simplex plate

Each faceplate combination is broken down by cost and sell pricing. Most contractors feel the sell price for a voice/data drop ($136.02) and a single fiber drop ($243.76) are too low, opting for the seat-of-the pants $200 per V/D drop and $300 for a fiber. But after using the CablePro, many contractors can actually see their "real" average costs are a lot lower ($96.77 average cost). For this reason, all applicable costs are added to CablePro: cable, jack, hanger, faceplate, rack, block and panel pricing. Installation labor, documentation and testing are also added at the user specific rate. The Sell Price for you is $91,732.
Bidqwik.com CablePro for 557 locations

525 duplex faceplates
As requested 20 % growth on the panels

330 Hangers+330 screws+970 J-Hooks
Cost $4,260.50

25 simplex faceplates
Labor hours - 598.367 hours = Cost $15,557.54
Innerduct Cost = $86.00
550 faceplate & mudrings
Overall Sell Price - $91,731.48
Average cost per faceplate - $118.32
Total cable length - 215,150'
Gross Profit Margin (GPM)- 29.1%

Average sell price per faceplate - $166.78

Return on investment (ROI) - 41.0%
15 Patch Panels & Rack $11,855.40
Profit dollars - $226,657.54
Overall Cost $65,073.94
 
Total time to do this bid = 2 minutes
 

Question 15: I notice many questions relate to computer cabling projects, does your software handle different business projects?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Yes, originally all programs were developed for the cabling industry. There are five (5) software projects that we market; three (3) have been redesigned for any business (BidPro, TrakPro and AttendancePro), the remaining two (2) have stayed strictly for the horizontal cabling industry (CablePro and ConduitPro).

We also do custom projects on occasion. We have developed a proprietary FuneralPro were the funeral director can enter all pertinent information after the interview with the family. The program ascertains if all items have been covered, calculates costs and prints the death certificate. This prevents embarrassing come-backs. return


Question 16: Do I need to update your programs regularly to keep them current? Do I need to buy additional copies or licenses to run your program on my work and home computers?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Both are - No!

All information that you enter into the programs are your current product-project related items. Each program calculates the complex results using your figures. All formulas and graphs are available through the standard Microsoft-Excel program.

To stay ahead of the competition, we do our work at home as well as at work. Use as many copies as required to make your business profitable. If you need copies for additional salespeople, do so. One famous software program developer (unnamed) uses our software structure from two programs as an underlying calculation engine for their software.

Everyone that purchases our programs makes money consistently. We have priced these programs ($40 - $80) so you can make your money back ..........in just one project ! return


Question 17: Your logo is a moon overlooking the earth. Is there any significance to that?
Peter Buitenhek Answer: Yes, I am an amateur astronomer so the original logo was a lunar eclipse.Older logo for Profitdeveloper.com The Earth depicts the P in Profit and the eclipsed moon is the D in Developer. The dot com (.com) was not easy to see.

The lunar eclipse can only occur at Full Moon and only if the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth's shadow. When an eclipse of the Moon takes place, everyone on the night side of Earth can see it. About 35% of all eclipses are of the penumbral type which are very difficult to detect, even with a telescope. Another 30% are partial eclipses which are easy to see with the unaided eye. And the remaining 35% are total eclipses. Similar to these cycles, my software originally was geared to provide a profit in the 30-35% range when all contributing factors were met.
As the programs matured so did the logo. The current logo Profit Developer logo -  woman's face on moon crescent looking right at green earth has taken on the color of money (green) which is the driving factor for my programs. In addition, it is also the color of the Universe when viewed through the largest spectroscopic survey completed to date. Astronomers Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry of Johns Hopkins University, conducted the Two Degree Field (2dF) Galaxy Redshift Survey and calculated the current "cosmic spectrum" is a greenish hue. This galactic glow was considered bluer six billion years ago when the stars were younger. The current pale green will become redder as the stellar population ages. return

Question 18: Peter we have a 5" EMT conduit that has the following existing cables (50-0.215" OD, 75-0.115" OD and 45-0.30" OD). We want to add 45-0.24" cables to this conduit, will we still be to the 40% maximum fill standard? We see that your "Peter's Fill" sheet in ConduitPro has the multi-cable calculations but not the EIA/TIA sheet. Can you design a sheet for the EIA/TIA multiple cables?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Both the EIA/TIA and Peter's Fill sheet abide by the 40% fill criterion. Originally EIA/TIA wanted any technician to be able to easily calculate cable areas and fill quantities so they used general number. The area of a cable (or conduit) by EIA/TIA standards is calculated by squaring the diameter and multiplying this by 0.79 then rounding to the 1/00 position. Peter's Fill sheet uses radius squared times Pi (3.141592653589) and rounding to the 1/1,000,000,000 position. This equates to the following: a 0.24" OD cable by EIA/TIA standards has an area of 0.05 sq.inch and Peter's Fill is 0.045238934 sq. inch. Peter's Fill is no different, just more exact and accurate.

I added Item1 of Peter's Fill because that is what we saw in real life. The EIA/TIA & BICSI Standards did not have any multi-cable calculations. Perhaps we should ask the standards people to incorporate the multi-cable layout!

Conduit OD can be user changed at the Conduit Sizes sheet. So I made the 5" NEC Conduit size the same size as the EIA/TIA size (5.05" ID). I then plugged in the cable fills and came up with the following:

ConduitPro Peter's Fill Sheet

So the 45-0.24" OD cables will fit (39% fill) into the 5.05" ID conduit and still be to the 40% code (actually 49 cables will fit and be to code). As a bonus, I have included Peter's Fill using the NEC sizes as a comparison so you will see that 51-0.24" cables will be to code.

ConduitPro Peter's Fill Sheet using EIA value for 5" conduitreturn


Question 19: We are using TrakPro, see below, and was wondering how we can make the 28.3% gross profit margin project look like we made a 30% GPM? We can finish the project (20 hours) with an $18/hour guy but that didn't give us the results we wanted. Please hurry with information!
TrakPro Customer Project
Peter Buitenhek Answer: I do not recommend changing your baseline numbers. It makes project estimate comparisons really hard to normalize. After our telephone conversation, it was determined that the company desired profit margin is 30% and good things happen at that rate. Because of a competitive situation you bid the project at 23.6% GPM so I assumed that you were required to make up ground as you go.

First: Your average actual raw labor rate is $24.76 per hour but you bid less expensive people ($23.25/hr)! However, you made up ground on the labor hours by saving 50.5 hours. Your decision to use an $18.00 per hour person (lowering the actual raw cost to $24.37) is sound advise as long as this person can meet the 20 hours to complete requirements.

Second: Your actual GPM is 32.2% and it dropped to 28.3% after your estimate to complete $1,643.60. Your are $734.90 over your material cost estimate and have $1000 available for the subcontractor so you missed the actual material mark by over $1700! Can you trim the $1000 material estimate-to-complete cost? response - No.

Finally: If you use the lower priced person and lower your 30% burden rate to 24% it will work. Your final profit dollars will be $12,834.18 which is higher than the $10,111.40 you bid. Keep in mind that if your "real burden rate" is actually lower than your 30% bid, you would probably win more projects (lower bid price).
TrakPro input loweing the Burden Rate
So the end result shows a 30% gross profit margin after the Estimate-to-Complete.
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Question 20: We are planning a conduit rough-in for a future multi-story building and want to be ahead of the installation game. How much conduit capacity is needed for the CAT6a communications cable?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: You are referring to Augmented CAT6 UTP (CAT6a) cable which, in 2006, is being considered in draft status by the IEEE 803.2an Standards Committee looking into 10GBase-T Ethernet at 100 meter versus only 37 meters for CAT6. The main issues still deal with properties of shielded twisted-pair (STP) CAT7 cable versus familiar unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) CAT6a cable. Regardless of the choice, I do not believe they will change the max 40% fill ratio for 3+ cables. As such, a 1-1/2" EMT conduit will support 8-CAT6a (nominal outside diameter 0.35") cables versus 20-CAT6 (0.22" OD) cables. A 2" EMT will support 13-CAT6a or 34-CAT6. And for fun, 16-CAT6a and 20-CAT6 will fit into a 2-1/2" EMT at 39.3% fill. return


Question 21: Our company utilizes the formula for material sell price as Sell = Cost divided by 1 minus the gross margin %. BidPro uses a markup % times the cost. Our formula example for a 40% GPM: the $100 cost = $166.67 sell. BidPro shows a 40% markup so the sell price is $140.00. How can we reflect our Accounting requirements in BidPro?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Option 2 of the Margins Sheet allows fine tuning of the 20 cost categories. Simply enter your desired gross margin.

Margins Sheet 40% Desired  
 
Option #2 placement of 40%

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Question 22: There is an existing empty 4" EMT conduit that has 3 - 90 degree elbows. The customer asked us to use this existing 75' conduit (due to budget constraints) and install 70 - 0.24" OD cables?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: You did not indicate if the EIA/TIA Standards police was involved because we all know that they do not allow more than 2-90 degree bends without a pullbox. That said, each 90 degree bend reduces the conduit's capacity to carry cables by roughly 15%. Thus, 3 bends will decrease the capacity 45% (15%+15%+15%). Assume a conduit has 100% capacity with no bends, the resultant is 100% - 45% = 55% capacity. The Standards indicate that 3+ cables has a maximum capacity of 40%. Using both these restrictions, the conduit "should have" 40% x 55% = 22% capacity or 71 cables maximum.
FAQ ConduitPro 3 bends
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Question 23: Whom do you recommended as a supplier for communications cabling products?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Yikes, a political question!

Supplier: My #1 pick for supplier has always been Graybar for their people, product support and consistent low prices. Anixter is a close #2 with people, product knowledge and major account pricing structure. However, since my office was a regional location, I was not credited with the Anixter Corporate Discounts so I was left with much higher prices to compete against local corporate companies with discounts.
Now product: Many years ago we had some technician time on our hands so we devised an unscientific test to determine which communications cable was the best. Again politically speaking, we tested 5 major brands of cable at 152 feet distance where:
1-we tied it in a tight figure 8 knot
2-wound it around a running drill and vacuum cleaner motor
3-placed it over a door jam and sat on both ends to form a U crease
4-ran it around a nail pickup magnet.

Now be advised, we do not utilize gorillas to install our cabling, but sometimes we receive a cable box or reel where we notice a crimp in the cable or when we pull the cable above the drop ceiling it wraps around a ceiling wire. The magnet and drill windings was to simulate running cable near an HVAC motor or static air plenum. In any case, we ran our CAT5 tester (yes I know it dates me) for compliance and the following unscientific test results were found: -four (4) cable brands failed the tests and one passed (Belden). return


Question 24: I have a business that arranges flowers for weddings. I can't seem to make money on this venture because soooo... many people compete in that field. I love what I do but cannot continue to break even or loose money. What can your software do for me?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Assuming you are breaking even or losing money because you must bid that amount to get the business, see Item #1.
If you are bidding too low and don't account for all your costs (flower costs, delivery, insurance, spoilage, etc.) see Item #2.

Item #1: Work with your flower supplier and other subcontractors to get a better price for their product/service. Tell them you want to remain in business and want to use them many more times...if they can cut their cost 10% for the next 6 months. Make sure you have entered all your known costs in BidPro and keep the desired GMP at 27.5%. Also see if you can team with another wedding flower arranger to provide your service, or vice versa. Show them BidPro to let them determine their GMP. "Take a leap and the net will appear"

Item #2: Know your costs and know how much to charge to get your profit margin at 30%. In the one case you provided me; you had the flowers shipped next-day-air to make sure they would arrive on time and then had them sit in the cooler for 2 days. The bride knew you were ordering these special Hawaiian flowers for her but she really didn't pay anything extra to get them...you did. I know you promised them and your integrity was at stake, but most people will pay for a good service if they are reasonably sure that you can deliver. Don't sell yourself short. If bridezilla is looking for the rock-bottom price, present the product at your desired GMP and "sell not discount" your intrinsic value!
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Question 25: We are using your ConduitPro to determine cable capacity. Your special fill sheet can calculate up to 4 different cable types, we have a need for 6 to 8 different groups. Can you help?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: We have added an additional sheet to ConduitPro that can handle up to 10 different cable types and have even added reduction factors for the number of 90 degree bends found in the conduit. return


Question 26: Can we use BidPro in a Hollywood film making project?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Absolutely. BidPro is designed for any product/service project or program. If you have a specific requirement, like Hollywood Film making, let me know and I will provide a separate information sheet based on your requirements. return


Question 27: We use CablePro and want you to add a graphical depicting of our bid material & labor figures. How do we go about asking for an upgrade?

Peter Buitenhek Answer: A simple email to us will start the process. The success of our programs have come about by adding to the software packages specific user desired options. So here are some additions:

1. Cost Chart to depict all known labor & material entries:
Cost Chart in CablePro - click to enlarge
2. Labor Chart to depict all known labor entries:
Labor Chart in CablePro - click to enlarge
3. Average Chart - a three (3) part Chart
(a) Labor Hour Breakdwon Pie Chart.....(b) Hour Comparison Chart

(c) Material & Labor as Percent of Sell Price
Percent of Sales Chart for CablePro - click to enlarge
In addition, a request was made to add a simple cable install button that would calculate material & labor hour costs based on cable pull times, termination (both sides), test & documentation. No wire hangers, innerduct or panels/blocks. This button would over-ride the standard CablePro calculations without zeroing out those values.
Arggghh. It goes against my grain to quote an incomplete install but...
Basic Cable Button on the Faceplate Sheet of CablePro
The button (located on the Faceplate Sheet) will zero out all none basic values and inform you of same. All charts would reflect zero or blank values.

Hour Comparison Chart of CablePro - hangers & innerduct are zeroed out


Question 28: Walk me thru LaborPro. As an example: I have 10 people I want to track per project. We have 40 hour work weeks (when business is good) but we have do not have paid holidays, sick days or vacation days.

Peter Buitenhek Answer: Let's set up this scenario: Note: each person can have a name in the program but for this example it's 1, 2 etc.
Week One
1. Person 1 works 3 days, uses 1 holiday and 1 vacation
2. Persons 2,3 and work 4 days each and each uses 1 holiday
3. Person 5 is assigned to work 3 days but only works 1/2 days, uses 1 holiday and 1 illness

4. Persons 6, 7, 8 and 9 have zero (0) work that week due to work stoppage problems and all use 1 holiday
5. Person 10 was assigned to work 3 days but failed to show, also use 1 holiday
Week Two

1. Person 1 works 5 days and has 10 overtime hours
2. Persons 2 - 8 work a full 5 days
3. Person 9 was scheduled to work the whole week but failed to show
4. Person 10 was scheduled for the whole week but only worked half days
Assume a 40 hour work week

Input Sheet. Note: We defined a normal man week (work week) as 40 hours. We want to see how each person stacks up to that plan and how they compare to each other (for raise & promotion reasons).
FAQ question 28

1. Person 1 = Since your company does not pay for holidays, vacation days and illness that person should not be "judged" on a 40 hour work week. Person 1 took 1 holiday and 1 vacation day then worked 3 - 8 hour days. Therefore: 3 x 8 = 24 plan hours. The "P" designator is for partion or part-time hours. Hence, 24P24 represents 24 hours worked out of a possible 24 hours planned. On week two (2) that person worked a standard 40 hour workweek plus had 10 hours of overtime (50). For visual clarity, this could have been written, 50P40, but either will work
2. Person 6 thru 9 did not have work that week and should not be penalized in effort.
3. Person 9 = was scheduled to work week 2 but failed to show. Hence zero (0) hours.
4. Person 10 = was scheduled for 32 hours but failed to show on week 1. On week 2 they only worked 1/2 time.
5. Each other person worked the planned 40 hour work week.
Out of 16 work weeks, actual work hours were 462 hours out of the planned 560 hours, thus running at 82.5%
Plan vs Actual Workhours
The line chart will display "ABOVE or BELOW" the planned labor hours. Many companys have indicated that they are very pleased with visual ease of this chart when discussing tens of projects. Note: this chart will get very busy with year long projects (52 man weeks).
Planned vs. Actual hours line chart
We next observe the "EFFORT" portion of this project. Out of the 16 working man weeks, Person 1 had ten (10) overtime hours within a 2 week work cycle. Person 10 had one week less than planned and 1 week absent or "sitting on the bench" doing nothing.
Total effort chart for each person
This same information is depicted in the Compare Chart. The center line (midpoint) of the chart signifies being on plan. To the right indicates overtime; to the left indicates under planned time. This could be good or bad. If you are on target with the project scope while using less labor hours...more profit for the company. Note Person 9 has worked zero (0) actual hours!
Actual vs. Planned Hour chart
The Labor Chart (overview) incorporates the typical quick look at how well our people are being managed.

Now finally comes the "Attendance" portion of LaborPro. There are 10 people that we want to manage (50 max). Each persons weekly absences are entered as follows:
Person 1 absent and available status
Person 1 took 1 holiday and 1 vacation day, then was available for work for the next 8 days.

Person 9 took 1 holiday and missed 4 days due to work stoppage (not his fault) the missed the entire week even though he was scheduled to work 40 hours.
Peron 9 absent information

Person 10 took 1 holiday, then missed 3 days of work in week 1. Then only worked 1/2 time for the 2nd week even though scheduled for 40 hours.
Person 10 excuses

The overall absence overview is visible on the AttendanceChart
Attendance Chart

Armed with this information you call Person 10 into your office to ascertain why 9 days of work were missed. You show that person the Total Work hours (although not as low as zero from Person 9) that places him near 28% effort. The mini chart defines lowest, average and max work percentage and compares Person 10 with all others.

The example listed above may seem a bit extreme but it really did happen when I took over a new office many years ago. Through LaborPro we were able to determine the top performers and weed out the low performers and set them on a proper employment path.

The other classic example involved several of my top performers who had many many hours of OT. During a career review on one such person, they where looking for a significant bump in wage. However, the LaborPro showed that the equivalent hourly wage was even higher than they expected. And secondarily, we trimmed expenses because we placed a junior technician with the senior instead of two (2) seniors getting overtime wage rates.

I trust that this answer, although lengthy, did provide the LaborPro advantages for project and program managers.



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