Hidden dangers lead to hidden costs Contractors don’t normally involve the estimating department in safety concerns except for those that affect the actual work of the estimator such as job site visits and the like.
Estimation, training and planning put you in the black What helps make your electrical contracting business profitable? Is it your estimating prowess? Is it your ability to buy your project equipment at the best price and sell it at a good profit? Is it your ability to find and keep good people?
Many overloaded contractors have uttered something along these lines at one point or another: “I wish I could find someone that’s as smart as I think I am to share some of the load.” But if that load is to support the estimating needs of the company, maybe what they are really looking for is someone
Construction software has changed the way many contractors do their jobs. But the choices can be daunting and confusing to the first-time buyer, most of whom start out looking at estimating software. Some couple with digitizers (see sidebar), others are AutoCAD-based and one uses scanned drawings.
As was pointed out in last month’s column, when an electrical contractor expands to a new area of work such as school construction, a new set of parameters enters the estimating picture. Perusal of the specifications becomes a lesson in caution.
June in Southern California means that the weather is usually cloudy most mornings; residents have come to call the period “June gloom.” This summer’s industry publications brought a different kind of gloom to estimators, no matter what the geography.
One factor in learning a new occupation or system is mastering the language being used, or at least the basic meanings of words. Word confusion affects every industry. Take the computer instruction to hit any key.
Summer is here, bringing plenty of distractions. Don’t get sidetracked, as this is the time to consider added training if you are an estimator. The hectic pace of change in our industry is virtually predictable.
Growing numbers of electrical contractors are trying out new technology to increase their efficiency—some products with more success than others. But the CAD (computer-aided design) system has become a staple that contractors cannot ignore.
A good schedule saves time and money The site for a new, multibuilding high school project was on a hillside requiring massive grading and rock removal. The buildings were of wood and steel construction and housed six classrooms each.
The last line of the estimate is the most complex Picture this: The estimate is complete, including all direct and indirect costs, and overhead and net profit have been calculated as well. Any applicable additional taxes have been added to the bid.