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Integration to ConstructJob Part I

Products Covered: Trimble ConstructJob

For every project, job costing starts at the estimate. Using the Integrator utility, you can easily transfer data from your Accubid Estimating program to the ConstructJob project management system. We will walk through this process which involves the following 5 steps:

  1. Entering cost codes and cost types in your estimate
  2. Sorting the Extension
  3. Launching the Integrator
  4. Reviewing your settings
  5. Completing the transfer

Entering Cost Codes and Cost Types in Your Estimate:

In the estimating file, you have the ability to enter cost codes in a number of tabs (Takeoff, Direct Labor through to the Final Pricing). These codes will be used to identify the Group Codes, Subgroup Codes, or Cost Code in ConstructJob.

Fig1: Entering Cost Codes

Fig1: Entering Cost Codes

It is not required to enter this into the estimate, but it does save the effort of doing so in the Integrator.  Typically, most of the cost codes could be entered into the default job.  Since these cost codes are typically companywide, all projects would be using them.  Entering them into the default job would mean that any new estimates would be using these codes automatically.

Sorting the Extension:

ConstructJob can manage job costing data using up to three levels of breakdown.  It is required at least one level of sorting is applied to the extension screen before sending the data to Integrator. This can be any of the Takeoff breakdowns (Labor Factoring is not recommended) or any of Sort Codes 1 through 8 (using Sort Codes 5 through 8 is recommended).  As well, up to 3 levels of breakdown can be applied to the Schedule of Values.  Although these do not have to be the same as the breakdowns for job costing, logically there should be some overlap.

It doesn’t really matter in which order the Extension is sorted.  Extra sorts can be done giving you the ability to select which combination you want to use – the only impact is that the export file will be larger and it will take a little longer for Integrator to build the data it needs, so we suggest you limit the sorting to the breakdowns you need.

Fig2: Sorting the Extension

Fig2: Sorting the Extension

Launching the Integrator

If you are using Accubid Estimating software, launch the Integrator by selecting the Export via Integrator option from the Job menu, or the Export via Integrator quick select icon in the tool bar, with the sorted job open.

Reviewing Your Settings

The remainder of the process involves reviewing your data settings in the Accubid Integrator utility before finally transferring the data to ConstructJob. The Integrator divides the data review process into 7 steps.

  1. Step 1 – Data Source and Destination
    The source application and data source settings will already be defined for you.  You will be required to specify the destination application – the program that will be receiving the estimate data.  When you select ConstructJob as the destination application, fields will appear where you can enter your company’s ConstructJob URL address (typically companyname.constructjob.trimble.com), as well as your user name and password, so that the Integrator can access your website and transfer the data.  To transfer the data to ConstructJob, you must be connected to the Internet.  Once the appropriate information is entered, click the Next button to continue.

    Fig3: Integrator
    Fig3: Integrator
     

  2. Step 2 – Project Information
    Fields can be edited if desired but it is not necessary. This information will appear on the Job Info tab of the Estimate module within ConstructJob.

    Fig4_Integrator_Project Info
    Fig4_Integrator_Project Info
     

  3. Step 3 – Selecting Breakdowns
    This is a critical step.  You must select at least one breakdown to proceed.  The more breakdowns that you select, the more detailed the cost tracking breakdowns will be.  ConstructJob can manage up to three levels of information (equivalent to a three-level Extension sort) and report in various ways on those three levels.

    Fig5: Integrator_Selecting Breakdowns
    Fig5: Integrator_Selecting Breakdowns
     

  4. Step 4 – Schedule of Values Breakdowns
    Here, you can use a different combination of breakdowns for building the Schedule of Values data.  Level 1 must be selected, while Levels 2 and 3 are optional.  It is not necessary to use the same order of breakdowns or even to select the same breakdowns as you used for Cost Tracking.  If the schedule of values module in ConstructJob has already been populated, this information will not be imported into that module.

    Fig6: Integrator_Schedule of Values
    Fig6: Integrator_Schedule of Values

    The next 2 steps are designed to define default settings that typically do not change from job to job after they have been established.  If you have previously defined these settings and are confident, then no changes are required, you may opt to click on the Last button to skip ahead to Step 7.

  5. Step 5 – Setting Default Values
    Provide information about the structure of the Code field as it has been used in the estimate (all screens after Direct Labor), and for default values to be used when fields are blank or the Group and/or Subgroup is not included in the job file.  If the Code entered in the available fields in the screens after Direct Labor represents a combination of Group and/or Subgroup and/or Cost Code, you need to define which combination has been used (It is assumed that a Cost Code is always included and it is assumed that all tabs use the same combination).

    From there, you need to enter the number of characters that makeup the Group and/or Subgroup portions as applicable and then provide the default values that should be used when portions are missing.  Your settings will be stored for the future since these typically do not change.

    Fig7: Integrator_Setting Default Values
    Fig7: Integrator_Setting Default Values
     

  6. Step 6 – Additional Settings
    In this step, the option to record Material Tax as a separate line item for Cost Tracking purposes or to spread the Material Tax to all Material rows (Extension Material and Quoted Material).  You also have the option to record Labor Tax as a separate line item for Cost Tracking purposes or to spread the Labor Tax to all Labor rows (Direct Labor, Incidental Labor, Labor Factoring, and Indirect Labor).  Finally, you have the option to record each Labor Factoring item as separate line items for Cost Tracking purposes or to spread all of the Labor Factoring items into the Direct Labor items.

    Fig8: Integrator_Additional Values
    Fig8: Integrator_Additional Values

    If the Distribute Overhead Line by Line option is not checked, the Total Overhead will be reported as a separate line item at the Schedule of Values tab (future) on the Estimate module.  Likewise, if the Distribute Markup Line by Line option is not checked, the Total Markup will be reported as a separate line item at the Schedule of Values tab.  Otherwise, the overhead and/or markup will be distributed based on the method used within the estimate (Labor Overhead to Labor rows, etc…).

    You also have the option to record default Cost Types for items that may not have been defined in the estimate. For Material Tax through to User Defined Adjustment 3, there is no provision within estimate to provide default values (there is no Type column at Final Pricing).  Values from the estimate are always used if they are not blank.  ConstructJob currently does not use Cost Type information.  All of these settings will be remembered for future use.
     

  7. Step 7 – Final Review
    Here you have the ability to insert any codes that may be missing (i.e. Total Overhead does not have a Cost Code), to adjust any descriptions, or even make changes to the amounts that we have calculated. The Cost from Estimate value is the total as produced by the estimate and found in the export file. The Total Cost value is the sum of the Integrator calculated values.  There can be a small variance (probably less than a dollar) due to rounding issues.  The prime reason for showing both values is to allow you to balance the numbers out if you need to manually change values on line items for some reason.

    Fig9: Integrator Final Review
    Fig9: Integrator Final Review

If you have used the Modified $ column on the Final Pricing screen in Accubid Pro to produce a selling price, your changes will be reflected in the baseline numbers transferred to ConstructJob.  Any Labor Escalation will be automatically redistributed back to the Direct Labor, Incidental Labor, and Labor Factoring values. Similarly, Material Escalation will be redistributed into the material costs that do not have a Quoted condition.  In this way, the values transferred to ConstructJob may not match the values that appear in the estimate.

Completing the Transfer

After the final review, you can click on Finish to transfer the data to your ConstructJob website.  You must be connected to the Internet for the transfer to take place.  After the data has been sent, you will be notified that the ‘Source data has been converted successfully.  Would you like to close the Integrator?’  Click “Yes” when finished.

In ConstructJob; the information imported into the site will be located in two locations:

  1. Under the list Projects icon – where the BOM can be used when creating the project
  2. Under the Estimate module – If the project already exists the BOM can be applied easily

In part 2 of this document we will cover how to bring this information into ConstructJob from the Autobid software