materials work area templates templates assemblies production rates estimates labor calculator faq prod rates expedite estimating Can I set up LMN Estimating so that materials have a labor factor with standard installation times?

Yes, you can, and Work Area Templates are what you'll use to set this up.

You'll notice that there is no labor factor on materials themselves.  This is for good reason.  Different crews have different costs and we need to assign a specific crew on the estimate.  Secondly, labor times vary greatly - the job site, the location of the material, the access, what equipment is being used, the experience level of the crew and foreman.

That said, you can setup a template to give your estimators a baseline number.  Here's how to set up a simple template that will help you calculate plant installation times.

  1. Create a new Work Area Template
  2. Name the new template "Plant Install Template" (or something similar)
  3. Click the Items tab
  4. Use the Add Items button to add a crew (e.g. a planting or installation crew from your labor catalog) to the template
  5. Repeat Step #4 for the number of different plant types or sizes that you want to calculate install times for.  For example, if you calculate your labor times by shrub sizes (e.g. 1G, 2G, 3G, 5G, 7G, 15G, 25G), then add same crew 7 times.
  6. Close the Add Items panel so that you are back to your template with the same crew listed 7 times.
  7. In the Description box for each line, enter the size of the plant material for which you want to specify an install rate (e.g. Install 1G).   
  8. Click the Prod Rate button to enter a labor install time
  9. When the rate calculator screen opens, enter the production rate or time you want to use for plants of the size you entered in Step 7.  For instance, we'll specify that our crews can install 1 1G shrub every 6 min (or .1 man hours)
  10. Now repeat Step 10 for each different plant size.  As the plants get bigger, it should take more hours to install each one.
  11. Click OK when your template is complete


When you're building an estimate for planting, do the following:

  1. Create a new work area (e.g. Garden Bed Installation)
  2. Use the Add Items button - Add any/all labor/equipment materials you need for the bed preparation (excavation, disposal, soil installation, etc.)
  3. Use the Add Items button - Add the specific plants to be installed in the garden.  Count the total number of plants/shrubs by size.
  4. Click the Templates tab in the AddItems panel
  5. Add the Plant Install Template you created in the earlier set of steps.  It will add a labor item (a crew) for each plant type you entered in your template
  6. Click the Calculator button beside the Qty field on the right hand side beside each the labor for each plant size, and the calculator screen will pop up.
  7. Enter the number of plants for that size, and LMN will use the installation the rate you specified in the Work Area Template to calculate the total labor hours required to plant all the plants of that size      
  8. Click OK to update the labor hours on the estimate
  9. Repeat for each plant size
  10. Save your estimate

Your estimate will end up with a few different labor items, one for each size of plant.  When this estimate gets exported to LMN Time, it will combine all these hours into one simple goal for the crew.


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