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Articles in this section are intended to help electrical contractors grow and improve their businesses, from financial and legal advice to creating a service and maintenance department. You’ll find articles on estimating projects and more below. 

I was recently following a forum discussion about issues related to using spreadsheet software for estimating. It turned into a spreadsheet–versus–database argument and got a little heated. The truth is both systems have a place in your estimating toolbox.


The United States is undergoing a major shift in the way it generates and consumes electricity. In the midst of such visible changes, strong metrics are enlightening—even if they are, in some ways, stating the obvious.


A prognosticator forecasting the end of electric utilities as we know them isn’t news. Economists and market researchers have been telling this fortune for several years. But when the people in charge of utilities corroborate those reports, it’s no longer a tale read in the tea leaves.

One of Ronald Reagan’s famous quotes about the philosophy of government bureaucracy was, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.”


More on Your Business

 
'I Thought You Were in Charge'
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The problem of apparent authority This tale of sloppy paperwork should serve as a wake-up call:

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Restoring the Fifth Star
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In late August 2002, as he walked up to the job site at Le Bec Fin, a Philadelphia establishment that is one of the nation’s finest restaurants, Michael Kahmar, vice president of Kahmar Electric, started slightly when he noticed the sign posted at the front entrance: “Accepting reservations for Sep

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Migrating to Fiber
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Making the smart decision Before upgrading a copper plant to fiber optic cable, evaluate the alternatives. Fiber is great, but expensive. Any time a contractor is asked to pull new cable for a low-voltage installation, there are alternatives the client should hear.

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Marketing Design-Build Services
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Finding the right team is only the first step The popularity of design-build as a project delivery system continues to grow in the United States as more and more owners embrace it. There are a variety of ways that your firm can become involved in this growing market.

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Estimating Workers' Compensation Costs
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Contractors’ feedback in the preparation of NECA’s Financial Performance Report (Index #1055) indicates that project costs divide among three major divisions. In general, the job costs will generally consume about 60 percent by way of material and labor costs.

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The Proof is in the Paper
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It used to be said that the definition of a “claim” was “an unresolved change order.” That concept has been expanded because of the sheer quantity of claims and litigation in construction. Now, most contracts seek to impose restrictions and limits on change orders and claims.

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Perception of Percent
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In an attempt to simplify complex mathematical equations, the summary value for harmonics called total harmonic distortion (THD) is derived from the individual harmonic values.

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