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Lead times of major products can be an important factor in estimating. The lead time is defined as the amount of time it takes for a product or equipment to be delivered to the job site. Manufacturer delivery dates are always after an approved submittal has been received. Extra manufacturing costs may be required to expedite delivery times.

The estimator must carefully review the project schedule and the major pieces of equipment required. For example, some switchboards could have a lead time as much as six months.

The owner should be informed when the schedule and delivery dates are costly and / or impossible to execute.

Some custom made architectural lighting can also have long lead times. In certain cases, custom made items cannot be delivered timely. When the owner has a fixed date to open the facility, the electrical contractor may be required to install temporary lighting fixtures until the permanent lighting is received. In these cases, additional labor and material will be required.

Here are the important things to remember related to lead times:

  1. Review all major equipment quotations for delivery dates.
  2. Delivery times are always after engineer approval.
  3. Review the project’s construction schedule and phasing plan.
  4. Inform the owner when delivery dates and the project’s schedule are incompatible.
  5. Get in writing from the manufacturer’s representative any additional costs to expedite delivery.

Remember, estimating is expensive, poor estimating is costly, but quality estimating is profitable.