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Job Bid System


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My next task is to come up with a simplistic way to bid jobs.


I have seen some creative stuff done with repeating fields for bidding, but was wondering if anyone has any examples they can share.


For example, We dont always know what the ITEMS will be, but if we enter an item name, a quantity, a cost per, and then want a total, it should be pretty straight forward no?


Except I have never done anything like that.


If there are any examples (other than the templates in FMP) that anyone can share, I would love to see how some others have accomplished it.



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We dont always know what the ITEMS will be, but if we enter an item name

I don't understand what you mean by this. It seems to contradict.

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well, I would like to build it in a way that the line item that we are billing/bidding can be anything the user types in. Then they enter a price and a quantity to get a total cost.


As opposed to having. The line items we are billing for coming from a value list or a a joined inventory table for example.


The big problem for me would be created a job breakdown report that would total each user entered line item across several bids. So if 2 related records had the following line items:



labor $500.00

materials $150.00



labor $200

travel costs $450.00


The job break Down report I am speaking of would report


Job total

labor $700

materials $150

travel costs $450


Total costs. $1300


I think, i would be able to do this by hard coding the line item types per record, but that is what I am trying not to have to do.



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You can just use a line items system like you would with invoice line items, only without the lookups for item price.

Then creating a report with sub-summaries from the line items table would be easy.

I strongly advise against using repeating fields for this.

I'd suggest however to consider how you would tie this in with your actual invoicing and/or projects system. With a separate job bids system you're going to need to enter stuff twice. You'd have to tell more about your procedures to get more help on this.

I am assuming that you know how to set up a line items without item price lookup :)

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I guess the line items could be a look up, but I want to make it flexible enough that if the proper drop down is not available for the Item, that they can add one just by typing in the field instead of selecting one from a value list or related table.


What I dont get is how to create a summary report based on the contents of that field that is allowing the user to type in an item. Does it Just WORK, when the field they are typing in becomes the field in the report that you are sub summarizing in the report layout?

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Well I guess if the sort-by field does not contain a lot of identical items, not much will get grouped. This is true especially if you allow free user entry. You might consider adding a few simple categories such as you suggest above (labor, materials, travel costs) in a value list and use that as sort-by, and then give a description field where the user can be as wordy as he likes. No lookup is ever necessary except when you work with fixed prices. You might consider a lookup though, to give the user a guidance price he can then change if he so chooses.




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