Handy hints – Resource Rate Change, Favourite Report List & Creating a Composite Item

The following handy hints act as a reference and handy tool for existing users of our software and assume at least a beginner’s level of knowledge of Benchmark Estimating Software.  These hints do not take you through detailed step by step instructions, and are mainly designed to provide you with an overview of various commonly asked questions.  If you have any questions on these please Contact Us

If you would like more detailed instructions on these or any other topics, simply open Benchmark Estimating Software, select HELP from the main menu and you then have access to the PDF User Manual and Online Help.  You can also access the latest PDF Release Notes from the Help menu by selecting What’s New. 

1. Using Resource Rate Change to change Resource rates quickly in a project

If you ever need to adjust the Rate of a Resource in a Project quickly, then Benchmark’s “Resource Rate Change” feature will save you significant time.  Many estimators use this feature to enter a project-specific price for Resources just prior to quote/tender submission.  This is done for many reasons; an estimator may have negotiated a cheaper rate for some Materials for example, or the work may be taking place in a remote area and you need to allow a higher rate for some of the Labour and Subcontract components.  Whatever the reason, the “Resource Rate Change” feature is a very powerful tool.

To access this feature:

  1. Open an estimate in Benchmark so you are at the Project Details window
  2. Right click and select “Resource Rate Change”

You will then see a screen which looks like below:


In this screen you simply type in your new Rate in the “New Rate” column and you can also assign a Supplier/Subcontractor to a Resource as well. When you have finished all of your changes you simply select OK.  This change will then flow through your entire Project automatically, saving you time and ensuring your estimate is highly competitive and accurate.

2. Setting up a list of favourite reports

Benchmark Estimating Software has over 120 reports for any estimate.. but who needs all 120 at any one time?  Most of our customers settle on a handful of reports they generate for every estimate as part of a standard business process.  The following steps show you how to set up a list of your  favourite reports to save you time and ensure greater consistency in your business:

  1.  Open a Project.
  2. Select My Reports then “Setup”. You will then see a screen as below.


To setup your list of favourite reports you simply navigate the report tree structure on the left and double click on a Report to add it to your favourites.

You should then end up with a list of favourites, an example of which is shown below:


Select OK to save your list of favourites.

3. Creating a Composite Item

“Composite Items” are a relatively new feature in Benchmark Estimating Software but are fast becoming very popular. This feature allows you to build up the rate for an Item in an estimate by grouping other Items below it.

They are like a parent-child relationship and offer enormous flexibility and power as you can bid Items in schedules no matter how the schedule has been set up.

One way of creating a Composite Item is as follows.

  1. In the Project Items window, right click and select Add > Add Composite Item.
  2. Enter in a Description, Quantity and Unit (as a minimum) for your Composite Item.
  3. Select OK.
  4. Now right click and select “Add Item from Library”.  Find and add at least 2 Items from your Item Library (select any Items for this example).
  5. Now highlight these two Items and right click and select “Indent”.
  6. These Items will now be indented and grouped below their “parent” Composite Item.  You will also see that the Cost of the parent Item is the sum of the Items below it and that the Rate of the Composite Item is an “all-up” Rate which is calculated automatically for you.

The screen shot below shows an example of a Composite Item.


Links to other handy hints:

  • Copy paste, comparing multiple projects side by side, preparing a budget (by cost code), recording and reporting Marketing data more
  • How to track and analyse a project under construction more
  • Keyboard shortcuts more
  • Using CEILING and FLOOR to round-up and round-down quantity calculations more