Insights and Advice for Enabling More Efficient and Sustainable Construction

Top Tips for CostX Users: LPMS Splits

31 January, 2018
4 mins read

We are continuing our Top Tips for CostX® Users series with our Product Specialists. Next, we have Product Specialist Matthew Donnison from our London office!

LPMS splits can be an extremely useful feature for CostX users. To continue from my previous blog post here, whereby I demonstrated how to create columns within rate libraries to automatically sort components like labour, plant & material, we can now take it a step further to continue this automatic sorting within the workbooks.

Firstly, we can rename some of our user columns from within the workbook properties:

This then is reflected within our workbook, allowing all users to understand what information is contained within each column:

Next, we can create a basic two level workbook, allowing us to have Labour, Plant & Material (LPM) breakdowns at an individual item level and then also at a summary level. Of course within CostX we allow up to 10 levels, so the same process would apply in whatever situation that users wish to apply it with summaries, sub-summaries, sub-sub-summaries etc.

We can then insert in a couple of example line items at Level 2, using the rate libraries that we previously created:

To populate our user columns for LPM breakdowns, we need to insert a custom formula, for example in cell I1 the formula will be =XSUMRATEUSER(1,2)*C1 where “1” is the user column within the rate build-up we are looking for, “2” is the rounding decimal places and C1 is the quantity that we need to multiply by:

In the above example, the formulas are all returning zero, because the rate build-up hasn’t yet been transferred into the workbook – the rates are referring to the rate libraries currently. To populate the rate build-ups, we need to ‘Expand Live Rate Links’ (right click on the workbook name within the top left pane to open the menu).

The cells will now automatically populate:

Sometimes there can be small differences between the total of the line item vs the total of the LPM build-ups which is due to rounding settings that may have been applied – so if you encounter this situation then just adjust the rounding until the totals are the same.

With our line item LPM build-ups now populated, we can return to Level 1 to create the summary information. For this we use another custom formula, for example cell I1 would be =XSUMUSER(1,2) where “1” is the user column within the workbook we are looking for and “2” is the rounding decimal places.

If we want to summarise this information easily, we can then just add in some SUBTOTAL formulas:

As with all user column data within CostX, this information can then be exported out into reporting formats using standard or custom reports.

While the example above has been given for LPM type breakdowns, the same principles could be applied to any type of breakdowns that users wished to apply to their workbooks.

These topics are covered in much more detail within our training courses. If you’d like to find out more then contact your local Exactal office for details here.