Estimating and cost control. They are the two most important tasks a contractor performs to improve profits and reduce risk. The estimate sets the profit target and cost control enables a firm to realize the profit. Excessive differences between estimated and actual costs can stem from either an inaccurate bid or a weak cost control system. In most cases it's some of each. One way of narrowing the gap is by using a microcomputer to improve estimating accuracy.

HOW COMPUTERS IMPROVE ESTIMATING ACCURACY

Computers help you to use information from the past when estimating current projects. Data from completed jobs is your best source of information for predicting future costs. Labor productivity data is especially valuable.

HOW COMPUTERS IMPROVE JOB COST CONTROL SYSTEMS

You can still lose money with a well-prepared estimate if there are cost overruns. Controlling job costs as the job progresses is the only way to protect your estimated profit. Computers let you record and analyze job cost information rapidly so you can detect a problem before it gets out of hand.