Teaching the Principles of Landscape Bidding with an Electronic Spreadsheet

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  • 1 The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

An interactive spreadsheet program was developed to demonstrate how a landscape bid is estimated. Information from a profit and loss statement, entered periodically, is retained for succeeding bids. Machine and labor costs are determined separately. For an individual bid, inputs include cost of materials, overhead, labor and machine times, contingency, and profit. Labor costs are automatically modified to reflect crew efficiency, and materials costs reflect storage, freight, and other charges. Overhead is based on the relationship between annual direct and indirect costs. The calculations section displays intermediate steps of the final bid estimate. Summaries from calculations include a final bid estimate. A printing option allows the user to selectively print any of the sections, a customer's copy, or the entire bid. The program uses an Apple Macintosh computer, was written for Microsoft Excel software, and uses macro programs. Its concept can be adapted to any electronic spreadsheet and can be protected to allow entry of only certain input data. The program can be used for small landscape businesses, classroom instruction, and/or extension instruction in which higher-order thinking skills are emphasized.

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