Original Post Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2013

We all pull data and research from various sources when creating a project estimate.  You may pull together public CERS, internal research, subscription based data or commercial models.  In the end you want your entire estimate in one format.  If you use TruePlanning, you may have used the “Other Direct Cost Object” in the past to include costs estimated in another model.  You may have utilized the “Equation Cost Object” to include a CER with up to 5 variables, which would allow you to account for the size and complexity of an object, and insure you are accounting for the management and integration effort demanded by the object.  Another way to include established CERs is by building a custom cost object.  This would allow you to have your own object, which you can drag and drop into any TruePlanning Project, along with a CER-specific inputs sheet, and outputs.

I had the opportunity to create a custom cost object for a customer using a CER they use for Environmental Qualification Testing Activities.  They had been using a spreadsheet to perform the calculation, and were implementing the CER using the Equation Cost Object, but it was still a multi-step process.  But By building the CER into a custom cost object, we saved the users the time and energy required to work through multiple applications, and to store back up from multiple sources.  Now they can store all of the data and perform all calculations in one application.

The same thing could be done with other internal CERs, or relationships provided by the USCM database (provided by Tecolote) or the NAFCOM database (provided by SAIC).  It’s just another way to integrate the different sources you use for cost modeling into one primary platform.