Eric David

Freelance Writer

Eric David is a professor of electrical technology at Long Beach (Calif.) City College, a consultant and an expert witness. He can be reached at 562.597.1877 or at

Articles by Eric David

August 2002
Most of what project estimators work on resembles what they will be working on in the next six to nine months. But what of those longer-term projects? How can labor and material predictions be sufficiently accurate to cover such periods and ensure that the project will benefit the contractor? Obviously, predictions are always risky, but their risk can be lessened with readily available databases. READ MORE
July 2002
Most contractors fail to assert their rights on projects when added costs are incurred. Instead of commencing the change order process, most contractors hope to reach an amiable agreement after the job is completed. Often claims are delayed to preserve or establish reasonable business relationships. READ MORE
June 2002
It is frustrating for an estimator to come up with a meaningful number to include in an estimate for an item that has not been encountered on previous estimates. While NECA’s Manual of Labor Units has listed many varying labor units, there is no way that all probabilities for future products or assemblies can be included. READ MORE
April 2002
Recent events require some further precautions to be taken when preparing an estimate. Safety has always been a concern that contractors have had to cover as far as a cost basis, productivity and worker morale. Allowances for safety training have taken on much greater cost portions of the overhead and direct costs of a project. READ MORE
March 2002
This column’s headline might initially turn many people off. Estimators will probably mumble that accounting has nothing to do with estimating. The realities are that understanding some accounting principles is essential for providing an all-inclusive estimate and producing a bid document. The need for understanding the basics is even more important for negotiations involving the bid. READ MORE
March 2002
Improving the estimating process is not altogether dissimilar from improving performance in any other profession that requires sound judgment and productivity. A recent LA Times’ “Executive Roundtable” column in its “Business” section tackled the question of the effectiveness of the sales team, which could be equally applied to an estimating department. READ MORE
February 2002
To avoid costly surprises, a complete estimate is just one part of the equation. Uncertainties must be covered with a cost factor, albeit at times information is scarce. Many plans seem to increasingly lack the information needed for an intelligent, error-free bid, yet this is what people seem to want. READ MORE
May 2001
A survey states that electrical contractors buy over 90 percent of electrical materials.Cooperation between these parties is required to get these materials to a project. Electrical contractors determine the type and brand of about half the materials purchased. READ MORE