Date of Award

Spring 1974

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Management Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Industrial and Management Engineering

First Advisor

Irving R. Goldstein

Abstract

The work of the distribution department of an elec tric utility involves a great deal of medium to heavy construction. This work is vital to serve the energy needs of the public. An electric utility constantly builds, reinforces, and repairs electric distribution facilities. The material and labor used to accomplish this construction is expensive. Money in sufficient amounts is seldom, if ever, available to finance all proposed construction projects. Therefore, the cost of proposed projects must be estimated in advance, so that management may decide on an economic basis which projects will be authorized.

The need for accurate construction cost estimates is imperative to the economic operation of an electric utility. This thesis delves into the problem of the design and implementation of a computer based cost estimating system to insure the accuracy and timeliness of estimates.

In order to accomplish the design, a series of eight main program modules was written in the BASIC language for use on the General Electric Mark III foreground system. These programs access individually tailored sequential and random disk files using third generation real time computer techniques. The system was made available to eight field locations via remote terminal facilities. The immediacy and flexibility of the time sharing environment proved to be valuable selling points in the implementation of the new system.

At this writing, the new estimating system has met with the approval of the field project engineers, and is well on the way to replacing the manual system. Input simplification has enabled the company to use less technically skilled personnel for the estimating function, with resulting cost savings. Results thus far far have shown the system to be flexible, timely, and accurate.

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