Steel Advice - The Fabricator's Resource
Dedicated to support the steel fabricator with real world solutions to real world problems.
There is nothing sweeter in the life of a steel estimator that getting that call from the contractor saying that they are going to award you the project. Sometimes, that is the only thing that makes all those late night and weekend hours worth the effort. Now that the job is near being sold, the real work begins. Before you go to the negotiating table though, the wise estimator will take time to review their quote and check current pricing to be sure that the budget is sound and the labor hours made sense.
As the estimator works on creating the material take off for any project, problematic details do reveal themselves within the bid documents. Section cuts may not work for the location intended, or no details may be given where they should be. The project specifications may include unusual or special requirements. Certain materials may be in short supply from the warehouse and will need to be ordered from the mill. For the estimator, these issues may end up being someone else's problem, but this knowledge is the head of the trail towards success or disaster.
Timing is everything in this business, and it is WHEN this problematic information reveals itself that will prove to be critical. It never hurts to spread the word so that others can be proactive instead of reactive. When things get to the reactive stage they start to cost money, and may end up costing big. If the estimator kept notes during the process of doing the take off of these problematic details, it would provide an early heads up to these items in the project.
How the estimator assists their fellows in the production of the project may make all the difference with the final outcome. Since some information usually only exists in the estimator's head, it is up to the estimator to initiate any necessary conversations. If the estimator passes along all knowledge of potential delay situations and problematic details prior to project award, they will help the project move forward more smoothly.
The benefits of the estimator's first look at the project, having already spent the time and the trouble to go through the entire job, should not be wasted. Once the job is sold, the estimator should pass on all the pertinent information regarding problematic conditions and missing details to help prevent them from slowing down or interrupting production. Achieving that, it will then be up to the rest of the crew to carry the torch.
Review your projects prior to making that sale!
Words of Wisdom
Luck and timing are everything, and it is easier to lose money than it is to make it in this business.
Anything that can be done early and is helpful should be done to make each and every project work better.
Sometimes it doesn't matter whose job it is or if you have to work extra to help, it is important for the success of everyone that the job is just done right. For doing it right will prove to be it's own reward.