Do you know why you’re estimating?
Besides the obvious reason to win work, Estimators have a large role to play in many areas of their construction business. So, with such valuable company knowledge why don’t more construction companies leverage Estimators’ capabilities and provide the needed feedback for Estimators to improve processes and tighten estimate rates? The short answer is most Estimators work in isolation because they don’t have the technology to receive or impact other ends of the business.
Who are you?
Let’s start by debunking a common myth. An Estimator is not a Quantity Surveyor. There are many accomplished Quantity Surveyors working for construction companies as Estimators. These educated professionals have been schooled in many disciplines including estimating. Conversely, Estimators working for contractors who self-perform work are putting their company at risk if Quantity Surveyor disciplines are being used.
A good estimator intimately understands the type of construction services provided. They are able to match how estimate rates are developed, organised and reported that reflects construction sequencing, labour/equipment productivity and generate a budget and scheduling programs. This means the type of construction company and services provided will drastically impact the approach the Estimator uses and the technology capabilities required.
Does your company self-perform work, do you use productivity norms to calculate labour and equipment hours?
Do you subcontract the majority of work out, rely on historical rates or request and compare trade pricing prior to your submission?
Does your estimating methodology include baseline rates for quick assessment of baseline to estimate variance?
Has your company standardised a process that will easily breakup the claim and budget structure independently, develop a construction program and procurement strategy using WBS Codes from estimate?
Do you use overheads independent of profit margins and can you easily determine break even costs vs. sell price for each cost or composite rate?
How are you currently managing tendering processes – tender register, takeoff, estimating, sub and supplier cost comparisons, quoting in a single networked technology?
Build the platform – stop the headaches
If any of the above questions caught your attention there is much work to be done. Today’s construction industry is as competitive as ever. Forward thinking companies are using technology to support new estimating strategies. They are tying up loose ends of what have historically been independent estimating processes and in doing so they are achieving deeper knowledge of the services they provide, building awareness while creating a competitive advantage.
Quest ProContractor is a unique multi-discipline estimating technology. It enables businesses to reduce estimating time through collaboration and integration of estimating processes. Incredibly flexible – ProContractor will adjust to any trade or industry. Quest ProContractor is backed by leading technology and support professionals that will take your business to the next level.