A unit price is a conversion factor that allows you to specify expenditures in non-monetary units. For example, if a particular expenditure will be 100 hours of labor, you need to know the price per hour of that labor to convert it into a monetary value, e.g. $80 per hour. Unit prices can be in any currency.
Each unit price is part of a larger definition that includes the price name, the quantity unit (hours, tons, each, etc.), the unit price itself, the price currency, and any comments or notes. Mandrel provides an ability to define, import, store and update price definitions.
Price Ranges (Variance)
Each unit price is actually composed of three separate values, known as nominal, high and low. This enables uncertainty in prices to be accommodated since each price can be represented by a range of values. However, where there is no price uncertainty the high and low values will be the same as the nominal value and can be ignored.
Unit price variances may be entered as percentages, e.g. $20 per ton +/-10%, or as the actual cost values, e.g. $18 to $22 per ton. Alternatively, you can specify a cost variance in terms of a pre-defined confidence level.
Each unit price can also be expanded into a time series. For example, in a multi-year project you can represent such things as labor rates with different values for different years. Since each price in the expanded series is still composed of nominal, high and low elements, you can represent uncertainty in downstream prices.
Price Storage Capacity
Mandrel can store 8191 price definitions. Each unit price can be expanded into a maximum of 64 time series elements. Each such element can consist of 3 sub-elements (nominal, high and low). The total number of unit price values that a single Mandrel datafile can store is therefore 1,572,672.
Locating a single price from a list of hundreds or even thousands can be difficult. Mandrel provides an ability to set up named groups of prices to make recall easier. Prices can belong to more than one group.
Mandrel provides an ability to import price lists from an Excel spreadsheet. Imported prices can be in any currency.
Updating Unit Prices
Price definitions, and in particular, unit prices, can be updated at any time, either by manual input or by importing an updated price list.
Since the stored data for a defined cost consists only of the number of units of that item (e.g. the number of hours or number of tons, etc.), while the corresponding monetary values are not calculated until a report is required, changing a unit price does not necessitate changing any stored cost item data.