DOD / Federal Government Construction Sector: Save Time and Money … Create Better RSMeans Cost Estimates… Centralize and Reuse Information

Many, if not most, public sector Owners, Contractors, and AEs use RSMeans Cost Data for cost estimating and associated project management.   Unfortunately, many/most of these same organizations don’t accomplish these critical tasks efficiently, or accurately.

Here are few tips for Owners, Contractors, Subcontractors, AEs, Procurement/Contracting, Oversight Groups, or anyone relying upon RSMeans Cost Data for construction cost estimating for numerous renovation, repair, construction projects:

1.  Use the best representation of RSMeans Cost Data available.  Not all electronic representations of RSMeans cost data are the same.

Use the Best Representation of RSMeans Cost Data Available
Use the Best Representation of RSMeans Cost Data Available

2. Continuously improve your understanding of RSMeans Cost Data and how to best apply it to construction cost estimating for either budgetary or project purposes.  Attend training from experts who have not only used RSMeans Cost Data for decades, but who understand construction and project management from both an Owner and Contractor perspective.

Professional Training by Estimators for Estimators
Professional Training by Estimators for Estimators

3. Focus upon collaborative construction delivery methods that provide benefits for ALL parties involved… Owners, Contractors, Subs, AEs, Building Users, Oversight Groups, and the Community.

Collaborative vs. Traditional Construction Delivery Methods
Collaborative vs. Traditional Construction Delivery Methods

4. Leverage technology that embeds “best practices” and supports LEAN principles.  Use technology to reduce implementation costs, share/re-use information, drive consistency and transparency, and monitor performance.  Technology is a tool, an enabler…  it shouldn’t limit your capabilities.

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JOC Study Announced – Value of Job Order Contracting and Integrated Project Delivery

Industry-wide JOB ORDER CONTRACTING Study Announced – JOC

4Clicks has been in recent communications with Arizona State University’s (ASU) Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG) about a planned JOC Research Study.  We are excited about the potential to document the value associated with JOC vs. traditional construction deliver methods.

Study areas will include cost and time savings and increased flexibility among others.  Publication of the final report is targeted for January 2016.

While we are in the early stages of learning more about the study, we are encouraged by the capabilities of the researchers and the potential value of this study.

Owners, Contractors, and Service Providers experienced with JOC will be encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences.  The initial announcement and additional information  are included below for your review.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

About PRBSRG:  The Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG) is a group of researchers and educators at Arizona State University that focus upon “Best Value Models” consisting of three main phases: Selection, Pre-Planning & Quality Control, and Management by Risk Minimization.

via – 4Clicks Solutions develops and delivers a comprehensive suite of construction cost estimating and project management software to connect people, information and processes – anytime, anywhere.

Date: 11/20/2014 Subject: JOC Industry Research

The Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG) out of Arizona State University (ASU) is currently conducting an industry wide study evaluating the Job Order Contracting (JOC) delivery system. The finalized study, anticipated to be released in January 2016, will document the value that comes from JOC as a procurement method, regardless of system utilized.

PBSRG is requesting participation and support from Owners, Contractors, and Service Providers by providing project information collected while using the JOC system. Time commitment is expected to be minimal for participants.

If you are interested in participating in this study please email ( or call (480-

577-3726) Jacob Kashiwagi.

Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG)

P.O. Box 870204 Tempe, AZ 85287-0204           Ph: (480) 965-4372  Fax: (480) 965-4371

Objective of Research:   To evaluate the value (in terms of time, cost, and customer satisfaction) achieved when utilizing JOC over other traditional methods to complete projects. Previous JOC studies have been unable to identify the savings JOC brings to an owner through administration costs, time savings, and increased flexibility to achieve organizational objectives. They have also failed to identify why contractors under the JOC system are able to deliver construction for a lower cost and why they are motivated to deliver high quality to the owner. The aim of this study is to work with JOC users to identify this. The study also hopes to identify characteristics and practices of successful JOC implementations. At the conclusion of this study a report will be published through Arizona State University identifying the findings of the JOC system.

The PBSRG out of ASU will be collecting and analyzing all JOC performance information. PBSRG will keep all data collected confidential unless given permission to share with other parties.

Participation:  The JOC contractor and owner community is highly encouraged to participate in this study. Owner’s that participate in this study will be kept abreast of developments and be offered education on the findings of the study. Contractors who participate will be able to use the performance information and the education that comes from this research.

Milestone Schedule:  The expected duration of this study will be 1 year (Jan 2015 – Jan 2016). The following are major activities that will be performed along with estimated completion dates and time frames:

  1. JOC Conference (to be held in Phoenix) (Organizations will also be given the option of participating by WebEx) 1/9/2015
  2. Finalization of JOC Research Strategic Plan 1/26/2015
  3. Survey and data collection (from all stakeholders)  4/3/2015 – 9/18/2015
  1. Analysis of Data and Draft JOC Report  11/20/20015
  2. Final JOC Report 1/25/2016

Distribution of Research:  The results of this research will be distributed to all participants. It will also be made available to the public at no fee.

JOC Process

What is Job Order Contracting / JOC?
What is Job Order Contracting / JOC?

Improving Cost Estimating and Project Delivery in the Public Sector – Today.

It’s all about the data, processes, metrics, and supporting technologies.

Cost Data:  What value is your construction cost data to you?  Are you able to easily and rapidly copy/paste, update, share, and reuse your cost estimates?

The answer for most cost estimators, contractors, and owner is “No”.  The result is poor productivity, rampant waste, excessive numbers of change orders, and even legal disputes.   Leveraging a standard cost database, such as RSMeans, is critical from multiple perspective.  First is the common format and data architecture, meaning Masterformat2012.  Now, image RSMeans with line items spelled out consistently in plain English, as well as individual line item modifiers which expand available RSMeans cost line items from approximatley 70,000 to well over 400,000.  Also imagine all this within a true cost estimating tool that included Contract, Project, and Document management… all withing a collaborative environment.

Technology:  First, and foremost, while we all use spreadsheets daily, they are NOT for collaborative cost estimating and sharing information with Owners, Contractors, AEs, etc.   I challenge who exclusively uses spreadsheets for doing a significant amount of R.S. Means line item estimating anytime.  Appropriate cost estimating tools can and do make the process more efficient and less costly to all parties.   Visual estimating/QTO, line item cost estimating, powerful search tools, integrated contract/project/document management and the ability to host RSMeans and custom cost data… all are available within a single software program, such as e4Clicks Project Estimator.

Time for you to provide more detailed cost estimates more productively?

Improve your Job Order Contracting Program – JOC, SABER, IDIQ …

We can significantly reduce the time it takes you to complete RSMeans line item estimates, improve accuracy, and provide you with a single program allowing your entire team to collaboratively manage multiple contracts.

We can help your team estimate not only faster, but more accurately.

  • Create Estimates in Minutes vs. Hours and Hours vs. Days:  Easily reuse and Share Estimates with our Estimate Clipboard (copy, paste, and update estimates and line items within a collaborative platform).
  • Exclusive 400,000+ RSMeans Line Item Database: Full Descriptions, Modifiers, References, and Images
  • Manage Multiple Contracts and Projects in One Application: JOC, SABER, IDIQ, MATOC, Etc.
  • Export to DOD Forms:  AF66, AF3000, AF3052, AF3064-3065, Army 4025, DOD Form 1354, FORSCOM Form 59-R, and more
  • Support for Multiple Price Guides: Integrate Any Pricing Book/Database (GSA, IDIQ’s, VA), Even Custom Data
  • Project Specifications: Automatically Link Estimates to Specifications
  • Document Management:  Stop Reinventing the Wheel with Every Estimate.  Store all of your Active and Inactive Estimates within a Single Program.  Use your Previous Estimate as a Template for your Next.
  • Approved for Government Network Installation:  Army and Air Force
  • Visual Cost Estimating:  Electronic Quantity Takeoff (QTO), Trace and Measure Digital Drawings
  • Truly Extraordinary Training Classes: Led by Former DOD Estimators and Project Managers with Decades of Experience Estimating with RSMeans.
  • Reuse an Old Estimate: Copy and Paste Old Estimates to a Project, Update the Estimate to the Newest RSMeans Data, and Remove Quantities, Notes and Calculations, All in Seconds

4Clicks Solutions, LLC is a certified veteran-owned small business that develops and markets the leading DOD construction cost estimating and project management software product.  e4Clicks Project Estimator is used by over 85% of United States Air Force Bases, a rapidly growing number of Army, USACE Districts, and other Facility Owners.  We also support thousands of Contractors, Subcontractors, AEs, and Consultants.

We have great packages starting at $895.00 for e4Clicks Basic Project Estimator with the RSMeans Building Construction Cost Database, while many of our clients upgrade to e4Clicks Professional Project Estimator, eTakeoff Professional, and the 2014 RSMeans Facilities for $2,430.00.

Job Order Contracting Process Diagram
Job Order Contracting Process Diagram

Job Order Contracting – JOC – An Ideal Project Delivery Method

Job Order Contracting as a Project Delivery Method

The design and construction phases of a project consist of a sequential series of interrelated processes that are influenced by time, cost and quality. The choice of project delivery method can directly affect the overall time line and cost of a project—and has the potential to influence the working relationships among project participants, thereby affecting the quality of their performance.

An owner chooses the project delivery method that is most advantageous to a particular project. The selected method is a contracting “tool” that will be used to administer the project’s construction phase and, with some methods, the design phase.

Until recently, most project delivery methods fostered only process-oriented and, in a sense, distant relationships among project participants. These traditional methods involve selection and award of professional design services (to develop comprehensive, complete design documents), followed by a separate process for construction services to accomplish and deliver the project to the owner. These are commonly referred to as design-bid-build type methods and are still in use today.

Currently, owners have several options other than traditional design-bid-build methods. These delivery method alternatives promote interaction among the owner, the design phase participants and the construction phase participants. These approaches have gained popularity in the construction industry, primarily because they can accelerate preconstruction time lines, but they offer other attributes as well. Job order contracting (JOC), which also is referred to as delivery order contracting or DOC, is one such method.

JOC is well-matched to meet many of the project delivery needs of today’s facility owners—particularly owners involved in public education; municipalities; local, state, or federal agencies; and the military, as well as other entities with facility project needs, both public and private.

JOB is an ideal project delivery method for minor construction, renovation, rehabilitation and maintenance projects. The quality of work performed is usually equal to or greater than any other project delivery method currently in use. Project costs are usually equal to or less than other methods, and the criteria used for pricing are typically firm, objective and consistent.

JOC’s pricing structure provides consistently accurate and predictable project cost estimating, and the method can be used for construction work as well as for facilities maintenance or specific trade groups. In addition to these attributes, JOC contractors are service-oriented to the owner.

JOC is a perfect match for owners who have the need to complete multiple small- to medium-size repair and renovation projects easily and quickly. Once a JOC contract is in place, the owner simply identifies each project with a brief description and notes the desired or required dates and times for performing the work. The JOC contractor is notified by the owner, who requests a design (if necessary), a detailed scope of work and a price proposal for the project. This process is commonly referred to in JOC as a Request for a Job Order (JOC) Proposal.

The owner, JOC contractor, and designer (if necessary) work closely during the site visit to identify site characteristics and decide on the most economically advantageous means and methods needed to perform the work. The design (if needed), along with a detailed scope of work including the project’s performance times, is then submitted by the JOC contractor to the owner for consideration. Once these submittals are mutually agreed on, the JOC contractor submits a detailed, lump-sum fixed price proposal based on the defined scope of work.

JOC Process

The combination of these submitted documents is referred to as the JOC contractor’s job order proposal. The owner reviews the price proposal for accuracy in accordance with the JOC contract provisions. When the JO proposal approval process is completed, the owner signs off on the proposal and the project can proceed as scheduled.

With JOC, numerous projects can be in progress concurrently under one contract, allowing the owner to complete a high volume of projects as the need arises (subject to the contractor’s capabilities). The method is a good candidate for projects that require phasing to accommodate operations and/or budget constraints, and is particularly well-matched for projects with critical performance times. Additionally, having a JOC contractor already mobilized at a facility or in the surrounding area can give owners the capability of almost immediate mobilization for emergency projects.

Adapted from Job Order Contracting: Expediting Construction Project Delivery, available through RSMeans,  via – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software solutions for JOC, SABER, IDIQ, MATOC, SATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA, BOS … featuring an exclusively enhanced 400,000 line item RSMeans Cost Database, visual estimating/automatic quantity take off ( QTO),  and collaborative contract/project/document management, all in one application.   Our technology is currently serving over 85% of United States Air Force bases and rapidly growing numbers of other DOD and non-DOD (United States Army Corps of Engineers,  Army, GSA, Homeland Security, VA..) federal departments/agencies, as well as state/county/local governments, colleges/universities, healthcare,  and airports/transportation.  RSMeans Strategic Partner.