# cost/use for resource

• ### Question

• hello

I have a small doubt in cost/use in resource sheet.

can anybody explain me the application of cost/use for work & material resource.

ANIL KUMAR MAHAPATRA INDIA
Monday, November 28, 2011 11:31 AM

• Anil,

This is in fact something I have used in many projects.  While I agree with Jan's scenario that this could be a use for this field, plane fare is a cost resource and should be treated as such.

Many times in my industry, we have fixed costs associated with equipment.  For example, each time a piece of equipment is assigned to a project task, there is restocking, cleaning and maintenance costs associated with the equipment.  To capture that cost, a cost per use is added to the equipment.  Now, on each assignment, this cost is added to the total cost of that resource.

You cannot add cost per use with any sort of timeframe, i.e. \$25 per use/day.  If you want to do that, calculate the costs into the standard rate of the resource.

Hope this has helped.

Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series
Monday, November 28, 2011 1:52 PM

### All replies

• Hi,

It's indeed mysterious, and I have in fact never seen anybody actually USE it

You can describe it as the fixed cost for using such a resource.

Say you need 3 American consultants on a job, and for each of them you have to pay the plane ticket. You could set that as cost per use. The resulting cost is the per use *3, independent of the duration or the work.

For material resources the resulting cost is the per use cost regardless of usage.

Good luck!

Monday, November 28, 2011 12:31 PM
• Anil,

This is in fact something I have used in many projects.  While I agree with Jan's scenario that this could be a use for this field, plane fare is a cost resource and should be treated as such.

Many times in my industry, we have fixed costs associated with equipment.  For example, each time a piece of equipment is assigned to a project task, there is restocking, cleaning and maintenance costs associated with the equipment.  To capture that cost, a cost per use is added to the equipment.  Now, on each assignment, this cost is added to the total cost of that resource.

You cannot add cost per use with any sort of timeframe, i.e. \$25 per use/day.  If you want to do that, calculate the costs into the standard rate of the resource.

Hope this has helped.

Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series
Monday, November 28, 2011 1:52 PM
• thanks a lot

ANIL KUMAR MAHAPATRA INDIA
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 5:49 AM
• Anil,

You are most welcome!  Thanks for the feedback.

Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 2:00 PM
• Gregg --

I want to thank you for your clear explanation of a "real world" use for the Cost Per Use field for resources.  In the Microsoft Project and Project Server classes I teach, I usually explain that Cost Per Use value is like the trip charge that you pay the plumber to come out to your home and do plumbing work.  Every time you call the plumber to do a plumbing job, you must pay the trip charge, plus the plumber's hourly rate for work.

Truth be known, I am like Jan; I have never used the Cost Per Use field in any real projects, nor have any of my students used it either.  But is very nice to know that someone actually uses this field, and for a good purpose. Thanks for sharing!  :)

Dale A. Howard [MVP]
VP of Educational Services
msProjectExperts
http://www.msprojectexperts.com
http://www.projectserverexperts.com
"We write the books on Project Server"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:47 PM
• Hallo,

"Should be treated as such"? When I wat to relate the travel cost to that particular resource cost/use is the best solution. No reason for a dogmatic "should". Could is more suitable.

Greetings,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 7:48 PM
• Dale,

Thanks for the feedback.  Coming from you, I am humbled.  I trust you got the book in the mail.

Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 7:02 AM
• Jan,

I am sorry if you took offense at my choice of words.  However, plane fare being a fluid and ever-changing cost, I see this as an improper use of the Cost/Use field when you have to change it each time the airfare changes.  The reason the cost resource was developed (or so I have been told by MS) was so that items we spend cash-money on during projects can be categorized, summed up and reported on.  You cannot easily figure out how much you have spent on airfare when you bury it in the cost/use field.

As experts in this software I agree that sometimes we disagree on how to best use the software.

Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 7:10 AM
• Anil,

I encountered your question while looking for an answer to something entirely different, I hope you have been able to make use of Cost/Use in your projects.

I always advise that it is a "non-time dependent cost for using a resource" you will incur the per use cost figure each time you use the resource regardless of how much work they actually do.

As an example an engineering manufacturer could have a Test Rig that is used to test prototypes to destruction, the rig will cost a certain amount of money to prepare for running the test irrespective of how long the test lasts. The longer the test runs the less per hour the rig costs but you can never avoid the cost of preparing the rig to run the test.

Another example I encountered on projects was hiring equipment, there would be a charge for delivering the equipment and for removing it from the project (a Tower Crane on a multi-storey construction project) - this charge was the same no matter how long the equipment was used for on the project.

In Jans example of allowing for flight costs for a consultant you would incur this cost each time you assigned them to a task in the project even though they may only take one flight each. As Gregg suggested Cost Resources would be a much better way of modelling this as apart from anything else you would be able to see how much you have budgeted or spent on that resource when viewing the Summary Table in the Resource Sheet view.

Dominic Moss MAPM Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Wellingtone Ltd - Your Project Management Partner - Certified Microsoft Partner Specialising in EPM/PPM - Corporate Members of the Association for Project Management [APM] - Members of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation [REC] www.wellingtone.co.uk http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/blog Subscribe to The Wellingtone Project Management Newsletter Join the thousands of project management professionals who receive practical, straight forward advice, templates, tips and expert articles every month.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 10:16 AM