BUDGET ESTIMATING AND SCHEDULING
Get Control of Your Budget Process Today!
If your budget is developed using spreadsheets, Word documents, and ad hoc databases, or if your project owners are disconnected from your budget analysts, chances are that you are spending too much time, effort, and money developing your budget with questionable results that are not repeatable.
BEST Budget Automation
Making effective bugetary decisions in today's government cost-cutting climate requires high quality, real-time information. What if you could have the information you need at your fingertips with fewer people, higher quality, and lower cost of system ownership? SilTek's expert budget management team has been automating federal budgets for more than 14 years and now offers its unique, automated budgeting software government-wide: The Budget Estimating and Scheduling Toolkit (BEST) Budget Management System.
Budget = Cost Estimates + Schedules
Tools to Streamline the Budget Process
With more than a decade of budget automation experience built into the software, SilTek's BEST Budget Management System integrates both commercial and government best practices encompassing the entire budget lifecycle.
Examples of tools provided through the BEST system include:
Data capture begins at the lowest level.
Your budget is driven by people, projects, and costs that come from the heart of your organization. Engineers, program/project managers, subject matter experts, and tehnical leads all contribute years of institutional knowledge and a wealth of information that often gets lost in translation as it moves up budgetary channels.
The BEST Budget Management System allows those in charge of government programs to apply their expertise through an easy-to-use, role-specific interface. The system automatically passes key budget information to analysts for a broader view of agency-specific finanacial data. Program owners, engineers, and analysts needn't worry about how the budget process works, and budget analysts and senior leadership needn't worry about the details of each project: Quality Control is built in by default.
Cost estimates come from a variety of sources and improve over time.
Cost estimates for projects can come from inside or outside the system. The BEST Budget Management System includes a customizable cost model building component that allows internal and external experts to build cost curves or take-off models that are reusable and integrated into the project scheduling system. Models can be as simple or complex as needed, and end users don't need special expertise to operate or use them. As the quality of information improves (e.g., historical actual costs) over time, the models also improve. As a result, institutional knowledge is incrementally integrated into the cost estimating system, allowing for process streamlining.
External cost estimating systems can be used as well. Many of the existing BEST cost models were built using Commerical-Off-the-Shelf cost estimating software. Users can integrate external costs and supporting documentation into their projects, which provides a "paper trail" for supporting information--a key requirement for passing any financial audit.
How it works
Project owners develop their costs (in or outside the system) and their schedule for each project or budget element. Cost estimates are broken down and entered as line items/tasks in the schedule. Each cost is associated with a projected award and fed into a "living budget," which is a live viw of the budget at any point in time. Management decidse when changes to the source data are ready and then creates the budget "snapshot." Pre-built rollup and analytical reports are included in the system and new ones are easily generated. Budget decisions can be communicated to the estimate originators to modify their programs, which completes the cycle and feeds back up to the living budget.
BEST System Availability and Proven Success Stories
The BEST System is fully functional and operating today. Government agencies have been using the system for more than a decade with complete success and have been able to streamline their budget process while elimnating excessive techinical support, analytical supports, and travel costs, all of which add millions of dollars to a process intended to manage and save money. Certain agencies have been able to cut their budget processing by 50% to 75%, while the improved data quality has allowed them to reclaim or hold on to billions in appropriations.
The Bottom Line
Budgets should help you save money and shouldn't cost a fortune in return. Contact SilTek to see how your budget process can be automated today.