Cost Estimating and Job Bidding Software for Landscape Professionals

Hort Scape: For Landscape Installers

Hort Management: For Landscape Managers

(For Windows-based PC's and Microsoft Excel 2002 or higher)

Cost estimating and job bidding are among the most perplexing and time-consuming tasks of landscape managers, particularly those who are new in the business and have no benchmark data on which to base their estimates. Yet accurate cost estimating is one of the most crucial elements for business success. Why waste your time with pen and paper bids, when computer software can be used to make the process more efficient and more accurate?

Hort Scape and Hort Management are menu-driven, user-friendly software programs developed by faculty in the departments of Horticulture and Agricultural and Applied Economics as a teaching tool for students and landscape professionals. Each program contains a series of worksheets for estimating overhead, labor and equipment costs, as well as bid estimators and line item contract proposals for presenting to the client.

Hort Scape streamlines the bidding process once the user builds a coded database of plants, including common and botanical names, plant sizes, plant costs, and per plant installation costs. Then, using the bid estimator, the user inputs the plant codes and quantities for the plants used on a particularly job, and the associated information on each plant is brought over from the database to the estimator. Other sections of the estimator calculate costs of bed amendments, fertilizers, turfgrass installation, grading, watering, edging, pre-kill with herbicides, plant removal, and clean-up. All these costs are then transferred to a bid summary sheet which shows labor, material and equipment cost for each task performed. The bid summary shows direct job costs, bid price, break-even price, profit on the job and overhead recovery. The software was not programmed to do irrigation or hardscape estimates, but these specialty services can be inputted as a lump sum under sub-contractor services.

HORT Management is an allied program for estimating landscape management costs. Like Hort Scape, this program assists the user in estimating labor, material and equipment costs on a particular job, a break-even price, and bid price on a job. Industry average data and time/task data is used throughout the program, such as the time it takes to mow 1,000 sq. ft. with a certain size mower and equipment cost per hour of operation. The user is encouraged to modify and tailor the program with his own data and costs.

Both programs include extensive documentations and practice tutorials. They also are easily modified to fit local costs and time/task data supplied by the user. They take the guesswork out of bidding and help you feel more comfortable in competitive bid situations, knowing that you accounted for all your costs while realizing a profit.

To order Hort Scape and/or Hort Management, click on the link below:

Cost Estimating Software Order Form