Electrical estimating is a science and embraces a large variety of types and size of jobs and projects, is a complicated business, and takes years of diversified training and experience to enable one to become familiar with all costs involved.
One should keep in mind at all times that establishing material and direct labour costs are only one part of estimating. One should also keep in mind that, as in all other parts of estimating, those costs if not properly set up with defeat the purpose of the work.
In general, here are five tips to help you on your way:
Tip 1. Analysis of the job or project
Analysis is necessary to determine the desirability of taking on the job or project. A preliminary study of the drawings and specification usually gives the estimator a pretty good idea of the job or project as a whole, and can determine without going any further whether or not the job or project will fit the business current market niche of where you want to go.
Tip 2. Provision of notes and records
Records of Drawings and specifications must be kept for future reference.
Drawing and specification notes are needed for propelling and checking the estimate.
Records are necessary for establishing quantities and costs.
Tip 3. Establishing estimated quantities and costs
A systemised method of establishing quantities and costs will reveal many important items such as:
- Material quantities and costs
- Direct labour hours and costs
- Overheads and operating costs
Tip 4. Providing marketing aids
Electrical estimating is seldom thought as having anything to do with marketing.
A careful study of electrical contractor’s activities shows that a properly prepared tender or quote has a great deal to do with good marketing.
It should also be stated that a tremendous amount of business has been lost to the electrical contracting industry because of the misleading methods of portraying costs.
Tip 5. Training
The electrical industry pays a heavy penalty, year in and year out, because so many people attempting electrical estimating have not been properly trained.
Electrical contractors pay a penalty for labour overruns on faulty estimates and for numerous mistakes in estimated costs.
Electrical contracting is a much-diversified industry, and is almost impossible for one to become an all-round estimator without the benefit of training received at the hands of a competent veteran in the business.
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