Management Information
Electrical Estimating and Project Management

Extracted from Mike Holt's Electrical Estimating Book
© Copyright 2002 Mike Holt Enterprises



A great percentage of electrical work is acquired through the estimating process, and most jobs are awarded to the contractor who has the best perceived price, but not necessarily the lowest.

1.01 Estimating Versus Bidding

Determining the selling price for a job is actually two separate components. The first component is the estimate, which determines the cost of the job. The second component is the bid, which determines the job's selling price.

1.02 A Good Estimating System

A good estimate system should help you quickly and accurately determine the cost of a job, and includes all anticipated costs. The system must be efficient, accurate and attempt to prevent common mistakes. It should have a method to verify that the estimate is accurate.

1.03 Objectives And Purpose Of An Electrical Contractor

The purpose of an electrical contractor is to make a profit. To be successful as an electrical contractor, you must provide a quality service to your customers at a competitive price that is greater than your cost.

1.04 Why Are So Many Electrical Contractors Unsuccessful?

Many electrical contractors have worked their way up through the trade from apprentice electrician. They have plenty of hands-on experience in installing electrical systems, but lack management skills.

1.05 The Estimate Must Provide The Information For Project Management

The actual cost of any project is significantly impacted by how well the job is managed. To properly manage a job, the project manager must have a job budget (estimate). The job budget must have information as to what material is required, when its required, and the labor required to complete each phase of the job.

1.06 Job Management Ultimately Controls The Cost Of A Project

Proper project management is often the difference between profit or loss and you must realize that effective job planning, labor scheduling, and material purchasing are all factors in determining the ultimate cost of a project.

1.07 Can I Be Competitive?

In order to be competitive, the contractor must offer the customer a quality service at a reasonable price. To accomplish this, the electrical contractor must control the job costs so they are within the estimated budget. It is also critical that the contractor control overhead expenses to keep them to a minimum. Other factors that affect a contractor's competitiveness include:

  1. Competition
  2. Cost of materials (buying power)
  3. Experience
  4. Labor cost and productivity
  5. Management skills
  6. Overhead
  7. Selling the job at your price
  8. Tools and equipment

1.08 The Market

The electrical industry is in constant change, new markets are developing and some are dying. At times you local market will be expanding or contracting depending on technology, the economy, and customer needs. Consider every estimate request as an opportunity to monitor the markets direction.

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I hope you find this short summary helpful. If you want to know more about estimating, please attend our seminars, order the book or the home study video program today.


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