Heavy Construction Systems Specialists, Inc. Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2001 Estimating & Job Tracking Software for Infrastructure Contractors New Quote HCSS Automates the Quote Taking Process Solicitation W e are continually looking for ways to help our customers increase productivity and profitability. Our latest effort automates the quote and import the quote item details from the Internet, eliminating both the effort and errors that come from manual typing. Once imported, System in taking process between prime contractors and their subcontractors and suppliers. Extended HeavyBid/Express has features that help the subcontractor to organize their quotes and return HeavyBid 3.0 capabilities added to HeavyBid enable contractors to now take advantage of the Internet them via fax. as a communication tool. Our next step calls for automating the H eavyBid 3.0 makes it very fast for HCSS customers to select subs and suppliers and solicit them for the quote items The process is illustrated in the diagram below. The prime contractor uses the new Quote subcontractor s ability to return quotes more effectively to the prime contractor. However, we feel that the subcontractor cannot be induced to in an estimate. The new Quote Solicitation Solicitation System in HeavyBid 3.0 to select electronically bid back to the prime unless they System permits a contractor to select the items for quotation, and to fax or e-mail the see an advantage. With HeavyBid/Express, we items for quote directly from the estimate subcontractors and suppliers. The simplicity of are providing them relatively sophisticated free they are working on, and then select the this process reduces the amount of time it takes software along with an easy way to download subcontractors and suppliers to receive the to deliver the requests for quotes from hours to items and fax them back to the prime. Once both request for quote from their vendor database. minutes. subs and primes are comfortable with that The estimator can then set up a cover letter process and the Internet matures further, we can containing the necessary details of the job While not required, the FREE HeavyBid/Express work on the much more difficult task of getting and quote items, and either print, fax or e- software permits the subcontractor to then view the sub quotes back into your HeavyBid system. mail the requests for quote. Version 3.0 also gives customers the option of TM using WinFax Pro , the leader in Windows faxing software, directly from within HeavyBid to send the requests for quote. WinFax automatically creates a log of successful and unsuccessful fax attempts that can be used to support good faith efforts for MBE/DBE requirements. A complimentary 30-day trial copy of WinFax is included on the HeavyBid 3.0 CD to permit HCSS customers to try out this option. All you need is a modem and a phone line. Customers can also use a new HCSS Internet service to deliver the requests for quote. With this service, a contractor can send dozens of requests for quotation by fax and/or e-mail in just a few minutes. lacking the full power of HeavyBid, users will Announcing be pleased with this product s simplicity, ease- FREE OF CHARGE! of-use and surprising completeness. HeavyBid/Express 1.0 is available now and can be ordered in single copies from www.hcss.com H eavyBid/Express 1.0, the newest member of the popular HeavyBid family, is available FREE OF CHARGE to anyone Version 2.0, coming soon, will add a new bidding system to assist the subcontractor in organizing and submitting large numbers of or by calling HCSS at 713-270-4000. Current HCSS customers may request a special 6-pack of HeavyBid/Express to give to their best requesting a copy. Based upon the industry s quotes, a direct import quote items from the subcontractors. All orders are shipped on CD by most widely used estimating software, internet, plus the ability to fax quotes directly U.S. mail at no charge. Requests for faster HeavyBid/Express was designed specifically from HeavyBid/Express. This upgrade will be delivery will be accommodated for a small for the very small and subcontractor. Although available shortly and will also be provided shipping and handling charge. Page 2 Heavy Construction Systems Specialists, Inc. Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2001 Customer Profile: Currently, Fiore & Sons three estimators submit an average of 135 bids annually with a win ratio of 25-30%. Our philosophy is to bid Fiore & Sons smarter, not harder says Stefely. Today, at Fiore & Sons we continue to rely on HCSS for the same fundamental reasons as when we first E stablished in 1959 as Star Landscaping and incorporated twenty years later as Fiore & Sons, Inc., this HeavyBid customers does purchased the system: top notch, professional and experienced technical support, ease of use, speedy data entry and simplicity in training commercial earthwork design development, new estimators to use the software. demolition, trucking, landfill construction, and In 1997, a committee selected HeavyBid from full commercial and residential site development. among several packages reviewed. The review focused on data input speed, ease of use, report Fiore & Sons, Inc. clarity, and knowledge of the heavy/highway Founded: 1959 Estimator Ernie Stefely has used HeavyBid construction industry. Special emphasis was Estimator: Ernie Stefely for estimating since 1994. When he joined placed on software that would be a tool that Work Type: Earthwork, Demolition, Fiore & Sons at the end of 1996 the company would assist in formulating a systematic Site Development, was doing $7.2 million a year in business. In approach to building a project as it is bid. Excavation, Landfills the first two years after switching to After reviewing the estimating packages, Company Size: $15.1 million HeavyBid, the company s annual volume HCSS HeavyBid was the most professional, Number of Bids Annually: 135 more than doubled. knowledgeable, and forward thinking, making Location: Denver, Colorado it the natural choice, said Stefely. HeavyBid Customers team HCSS Trade Show Schedule up to cut time & to win Bid NUCA Feb 21-24 Booth #200 World of Concrete J erry Hamann of Keller Construction told us that HeavyBid was of particular benefit on a recent bid for the Illinois D.O.T. The joint venture of Keller Construction and Keeley and Sons, Inc., Feb 27 - Mar 2 Las Vegas Booth#11134 both of which are HeavyBid users, was recently the successful National Heavy Equipment Show bidder of the Lake Springfield Bridge Replacements at I-55 in Mar 22-23 Toronto Booth #401 Springfield, IL. This job was challenging because of the size and scope of the project and the basis of award. AGC Mar 22-24 Nashville Booth #703A -707 The estimate had 450 bid items and 30 subcontractor packages, CFMA and was based on an A+B formula, where A = contract dollars bid May 5-9 Orlando Booth #321 and B = contract-days-bid multiplied by a cost-per-day of $25,000. The two lowest bidders were as follows: Bid Amt. Days Bid Keller/Keeley $ 36,374,609 486 Second Bidder $ 35,800,351 550 While not the apparent winner on the dollar bid, when the days were factored in, the Keller/Keeley Joint Venture was awarded the job. The contract has a $25,000 per day early completion incentive, and liquidated damages of $4,300 per day. It would have been nearly impossible to manage an estimate this size using a spreadsheet product, said Hamann. Hamann tells us that starting in July of this year the Illinois DOT HCSS supported University of Oklahoma Construction Science Team will require all contractors bidding on an IDOT project to use in Associations of Schools for Construction Regional Competition by Primavera. HCSS customers will be happy to know that the providing a HeavyBid network on-site as well as a team HCSS release of HeavyBid 3.0 will give them the ability to export uniform. Three of the team members will complete their summer directly to Primavera s P3 scheduling package. internship this year with contractors that use HeavyBid! Winter 2001 Heavy Construction Systems Specialists, Inc. Quarterly Newsletter Page 3 Father and Son Talk by Mike Rydin, HCSS President Bid News Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission R ecently I had a 3-hour talk with my 15 year-old son. It went better than I expected, so I am providing my experience children hoping to get him to think, if only for a few seconds, from a parent s perspective, or at least to realize that such Cumberland County Jay Fulkroad & Sons, Inc. . . . . .$2,406,458.80 IA Construction Corp. . . . . . . . .$2,505,735.60 in case it is of value to any of you. a thing as a parent s perspective exists. J.D. Eckman Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,537,587.75 Carmen Paliotta Contracting . . . .$2,864,211.13 Upon This Rock Construction .$3,331,250.00 Part of my plan was to try to give my son He obviously knows the first point is a big picture image of his life now, and in true. He can also see that the second item Ohio ODOT 488(00) SR 259-0.42 E0CV-022 the future, letting him know that he will is true, although he doesn t have as much freedom as he would like. He therefore Ruhlin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$9,847,047.00 be more or less grown up and free when C.J. Mahan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$9,903,131.00 he is 18. By giving him a goal of should have no reason to doubt my Kokosing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$9,958,040.00 independence to look forward to, I was credibility for the remaining two items. Complete General . . . . . . . . . .$10,856,782.00 Becdir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$11,095,570.00 hoping that he would better tolerate He also sees that he has less than 4 years Great Lakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$11,160,708.00 short-term situations that are not to his to total freedom, and should be able to National Engineering . . . . . . .$12,209,024.00 liking. Of course, I may regret that when forecast the consequences if he handles Beaty Construction . . . . . . . . . .$12,379,243.00 he is 18. freedom poorly in that period of time. New Jersey Secaucus Road Separation I prepared an outline for us to talk about. We then discussed the subjects in my Railroad Construction Co. Inc. $23,751,614.00 It happened to be things that struck me outline which consisted of 7 major Perini / Slattery Skanska . . . . .$25,480,862.00 George Harms Const Co. Inc. .$26,859,230.00 important the day I wrote it. The content subjects with 21 topics related to girls, Anselmi & Decicco Co. Inc. . .$26,867,445.00 seems to me to be of less importance than sex, drugs, etc. I introduced them by Schiavone Construction Co. . .$31,445,845.00 that we had a number of serious subjects writing on the board, Here are some of J D Annunzio & Sons Inc. . . . .$31,617,976.00 to talk about. We then went to the office the things that may stop you from New York on a Saturday and used a marker board. having a good life: I would think that Westchester Tany most teenagers would then at least be Halmar Builders of New York $159,210,719.85 I led in by telling him that if he was lucky, curious what was on the list and my son Yonkers Contracting Co., Inc.$186,922,881.75 Defoe Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$195,209,740.60 he would live 100 years if he didn t make seemed to be. Ecco III Enterprises, Inc. . . . .$217,376,577.10 any serious mistakes, and that our job as Thalle Const / Slattery (JV) .$227,885,119.70 parents was to see that he acquires the I tried not to lecture, but rather to Pennsylvania skills in his first 18 years to insure that he engage in conversation. He thought this Somerset County has a good life for the next 82 years. was stupid at first, but after only a few IA Construction . . . . . . . . . . . .$10,837,604.11 minutes, seemed to actually enjoy the C.H. & D. Enterprises . . . . . . .$11,460,904.82 I used 100 years so that the first 18 would conversation. I did ok this time, but A & L Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$11,785,538.25 Trumbull Corp . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$11,787,785.90 look small compared to another 82 and think I can do better the next time by Brayman Construction Corp. .$13,652,076.46 therefore look like a short investment in asking him more questions and letting growing up. I also told him he would him talk more. Massachusetts Brightman Street Bridge have the same responsibility to his I assume that as a typical teenager, he did Modern Continental Const. . . $32,637,671.00 Middlesex Corporation . . . . . .$34,259,640.00 not take most of my serious subjects J.F. White Contracting . . . . . . .$34,335,232.00 I wrote an outline of his first 18 seriously; however, one thing should be Jay Cashman Inc. . . . . . . . . . .$35,621,319.00 years on the board as follows: clear to him from this conversation, and Perini Corporation . . . . . . . . . .$42,372,043.00 ¥ From birth to 12 we make most that is that we are trying to help him Illinois of your important decisions. avoid messing up his life. Thus he Edwardsville, IL. Rte 143 over I55 probably understands that the restrictions ¥ From 12 to 16 we gradually give Keller Construction, Inc. . . . . . .$1,388,556.03 we place on his life are not totally Keeley and Sons . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,392,978.00 you freedom to make your own arbitrary, and that they are there because Halverson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,516,179.00 decisions. we care about his well-being now, and in Killian Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,664,492.00 ¥ From 16 (when you can drive) to the future. I would think that is a Kansas 18 we give you a lot of freedom comforting understanding to a teenager. Decatur Co -Cold Recycle & Bituminous Overlay unless you abuse it. Shears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,139,167.00 ¥ Starting 18 you are an adult, go If you think I have made any mistakes Ritchie Paving . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,140,871.00 off to college, and are on your here, e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org Venture Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,154,314.00 own unless you wish to ask us and I may publish them in the next for help. newsletter. HeavyBid Customers Noted in Green Page 4 Heavy Construction Systems Specialists, Inc. Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2001 UserTips Renumber Activity Codes activities in the same biditem with different codes Show Calculation You can renumber activity codes by using the Copy using this method. If you right-click on a detail item in any entry screen, Biditems/Activities screen. Select the codes you want there is a Show Calculation option. Choose this and to renumber just as if you were going to copy them and View Costs While Pricing you will see how the labor, equipment or material costs click the Change Activity Code/Desc checkbox on Right click on any item in the bid pricing screen and were calculated. With labor, you can even click the the window that opens after you click the Copy there is an option to View Item in Entry Screen . button next to the burden cost and see how the burden button. You can change the activity code when moving Selecting this option takes you to your default entry was calculated. the activity to another biditem or create duplicate screen and that item. Points to keep in mind when selecting a handheld Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) for HeavyJob/Pocket by Jim Spence, HeavyJob Programming Supervisor Any device with Palm OS Version 3.0 or higher will work for The extra speed of USB HotSync is not really necessary. A greater benefit HeavyJob/Pocket. Over the last year, we have tested machines from is that it frees up the serial port. Some computers only have one serial port, Palm, Symbol, Sony, and Visor. All are able to run and HotSync and that may be already taken. HeavyJob / Pocket. Color is not worth it. HeavyJob / Pocket does not use color, nor do most 2MB of memory is enough. HeavyJob / Pocket has a small footprint of only applications for the Palm platform. We avoid color devices - they are more 160kB. After loading it up with lots of setups and transactions for three expensive, have far less battery life, and can be difficult to see outside. jobs, memory usage increases to no more than 250 kB. Processor speed differences are not that significant. Keep with one manufacturer. Be aware that you are creating a standard for All manufactures are using the Motorola Dragonball processor. Several of your company. Different vendors offer slightly different version of the the high end devices have 20 MHz processors instead of the normal 16 Palm OS and HotSync software, which are often incompatible. You MHz. You will notice the increased speed if you work with many setup cannot, for example, HotSync a Sony Clie to a desktop that normally records (100 employees, 100 pieces of equipment, 300 cost codes), but it communicates with a PalmIII. is probably not worth the extra money. Minimize the different cradle types in your company. Not all devices from Ruggedness. None of the standard Palm OS PDA s is built for the abuse the same manufacturer use the same HotSync cradle. The Palm V, for they will see out in the field. Metal cases are an obvious solution, although instance, uses a different cradle than the Palm III, which is different than they can be cumbersome. Our recommendation is to buy inexpensive the m100. You can purchase extra cradles, so this in not a big deal. But it devices, and be ready to replace them when they fail. We have deliberately can be an annoying to reach behind the computer, unplug the wrong cradle, written HeavyJob / Pocket to run on the slowest, low-memory, grey-scale plug in the right one every time you HotSync. machines, just to keep replacement costs low. (We have found a PDA insurance company at http://www.palmslostorstolen.com. We have no USB is only slightly better than serial for Hot Syncing. Visor and Sony comment on its credibility.) offer Universal Serial Bus, but Palm does not. It will typically take only 30 - 45 seconds to transfer HeavyJob / Pocket data using a serial HotSync. To learn more and to see our recommendations go to www.hcss.com. Quality Estimating & Job Tracking Software BULK RATE For Infrastructure Contractors U.S. POSTAGE www.hcss.com 800-683-3196 PAID 6200 Savoy, Suite 1100 Houston, Texas Houston, TX 77036 Permit #3917 (713)270-4000 Fax (713)270-0185 6200 Savoy, Suite 1100 Houston, TX 77036 This newsletter printed on recycled paper.