The Chief Estimator should meet with his estimators weekly. This meeting should be purposed. The following should be topics of discussion:
- Current estimates
- Future estimates
- Successful estimates
- Past estimates
- Completed projects
The Chief Estimator should ask each estimator the following questions about his current projects:
- Do you need any help to complete a timely estimate?
- Are there any special items you need to bring to attention?
- What are the risks involved in the project?
If you have estimators who need assistance with an estimate, be sure to provide him / her with additional help. The Chief Estimator must get involved early in the process. Delays can be costly.
Based on each estimator’s current work load, the Chief Estimator should assign upcoming estimates based on their skill and ability. Estimators must be given the proper amount of time to complete their estimates properly. Some may think that they are getting more production out of their staff by piling on the work, their record will bear out that this is unwise to do.
For the estimator, there is nothing that compares to being the successfully low bidder. Being the low bidder is not the objective, but a successful estimate is a price where a profit will be realized.
A review of previous unsuccessful bids will provide you with valuable information.
A contractor should want to know why profit was made or why monies were lost. Tracking a project’s labor by system, by building, and by floor, will provide valuable information for future bids.
A contractor loses valuable information for his company when he fails to track labor by categories. The categories could include: conduit & hangers, etc., panels & distribution, feeders, fixtures, and fire alarm. Without this information, you have no idea where to adjust your labor units.