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This past Sunday afternoon, I went to the ER at the local hospital where I live. I had a reoccurring bump on my back.  It had become inflamed and needed immediate attention.

After I returned home, I began to think about how my trip to the ER was like a construction project.  From the beginning of my hospital visit to the end, I was attended to by five different medical staff.

1st – Triage Nurse

2nd – Primary doctor

3rd – Surgeon

4th – Wound Care Nurse

5th – After surgery care nurse

As each medical staff member performed their job, I was cared for by another down the chain of command. I never regressed in the procession.

Construction is very similar.

  1. Firstly, the company president or chief estimator will determine if a project is right to bid.
  2. Secondly, the project is assigned to an estimator and the project is bid.
  3. Thirdly, a project manager will take over the coordination of labor, materials, tools, equipment, and day to day issues to properly install the project.
  4. Lastly, the project is usually closed out by an employee who will care for as-built drawings, OEM’s, commissioning and test reports, and spare parts.

Just as each medical staff performed their responsibilities, each member of the electrical contractor’s team must perform their responsibilities. At the ER, I moved through the chain of trained professionals that cared for my medical need.

A construction project must move through a contractor’s staff to properly install the project.  Responsibilities should always move forward and never regress. After I left the office of the triage nurse, I never saw her again.

For example, the estimating team will bid the project and hopefully be the successful low bidder.  Then, the estimator will prepare the estimate and project details to be turned over to a capable project manager.

The estimator should never see the project again, if the project regresses back to the estimating department, there is sure to be confusion and loss of profit. The project manager is the one who must move the project to completion and completion is always forward.

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