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The Estimating Sequence

An estimator should have a systematic sequence in preparing estimates.  The use of standardized estimating procedures is essential for speed, accuracy, and consistency. Consistent procedures will produce consistent results.

The following are benefits in having an estimating sequence:

  1. Estimators will have increased confidence in their work.
  2. Increased speed and greater estimating departmental production
  3. Increased organization
  4. Increased estimating accuracy
  5. Reduced estimating omissions
  6. Confidence during the bid summarization 

Each company should establish a sequence that is ideal for its own company structure and organization. Most employees will be more productive if they have a systematic list to guide them through the process of preparing an estimate. Various projects would require a different sequence. 
The estimating sequence should list a step by step order of the tasks that are to be completed to provide an accurate, complete, and detailed estimate.
This sequence should be broken down into three parts:
1st Part – Estimate Preparation
2nd Part – The Takeoff
3rd Part – The Extension – Review and checking of the takeoff. 
In the typical contractor’s estimating department, there should be at least ten to fourteen steps that should be completed before any counting and measuring takes place.  A typical estimating sequence may have as many as 25-30 steps from beginning to end.

I provide consulting for estimating departmental organization and establishing negotiables and non-negotiables for estimators. Please give me a call to discuss your departmental needs.  

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