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Shop Talk with Steve
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Steel Advice - The Fabricator's Resource
Dedicated to support the steel fabricator with real world solutions to real world problems.
October 2011
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Creating QC Standards
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Frustrations within the industry are dealt with numerous ways. In the end, most of us are just glad to have work.
"If you only do what you know you can do - you never do very much."
"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing."

 __________ Abraham Lincoln
There has been lots of steel work out there to bid this past year, and the estimators have been busy trying to make the best of every opportunity that they can. This is a time when keeping people busy is almost more important than profit. Everyone is doing their level best to work smarter and be more efficient in order to keep projects in the black.

On bid day we put our best number forward after working hard to get there. After bid day we often find that having the low number is not good enough. The low bids are used as the starting point for further negotiations.

When we think about this, it is no different than it has been at any other time. Everybody is always looking for the best deal and it is a very rare thing when you are not asked to lower your price or to include something that was specifically not in the scope of work. It just bothers us more right now because it feels like adding insult to injury.

Companies are operating on half of the work they are used to. Employee salaries and benefits have been cut. The hope and opportunity to have these things restored to normal is beginning to fade. We try not to think about that, we can't think about that. To make the decision that this is a permanent condition is unacceptable.

What do we do about all of this? We keep on pushing forward. We make the decision that nothing is going to hold us back or get in our way and we double our effort. If we missed a job, so be it. Focus on what is next. Keep looking for opportunities, and create new ones. This is the key to survival in any economic shift.
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