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Leaving Time On The Table

Leaving time on the table may be as important, if not more important, than leaving money on the table. When bidding projects, contractors wonder whether money may have been left on the table. “Leaving Money on the Table” means you may not be getting fair value for your work. One of the best ways to stop leaving money on the table is to STOP competing on price. On bid day the contractor must follow good principles of bidding, if not, he may win a project that he wishes that he had never won.

However, before that final bid price is submitted, contractors are “Leaving Time on the Table.” Time is either used wisely or unwisely. Wasted time can never be recovered.

How estimating departments and estimators leave TIME on the table:

  1. Estimating manually with pencil and paper
  2. Not having an estimating sequence for estimators
  3. Bidding just to bid
  4. Bidding the wrong project
  5. Untrained employees – just because an employee is eligible to be an estimator, doesn’t make them qualified for the position.
  6. Writing takeoffs on drawings and / or takeoff sheets
  7. Not using quality estimating software – There is a myth in estimating and it is this, that all estimating software does basically the same thing.
  8. Estimator not proficient using estimating software
  9. Failure to provide company standard reports for all employees to use
  10. Failed “in-house” training

Working late and long hours is not a badge of honor due to poor company structure and bad processes. Accomplishing more in less time should be our goal. You can always make another dollar, but you can never make another minute.

Organization and establishing non-negotiable guidelines that provide for efficiency is vital in order to stop leaving time on the table. Providing quality, professional training can pay huge dividends to the company’s bottom line.

Quality, professional training will increase estimating productivity and efficiency by 25% to 40%. This would provide huge savings to the company’s bottom line. See the chart below to determine the ROI in quality training.

Estimating Payroll Potential Overhead Savings
25% 30% 35% 40%
$100,000 $25,000 $30,000 $35,000 $40,000
$125,000 $31,250 $37,500 $43,750 $50,000
$150,000 $37,500 $45,000 $52,500 $60,000
$200,000 $50,000 $60,000 $70,000 $80,000
$250,000 $62,500 $75,000 $87,500 $100,000
$300,000 $75,000 $90,000 $105,000 $120,000
$400,000 $100,000 $120,000 $140,000 $160,000
$500,000 $125,000 $150,000 $175,000 $200,000

Estimating departments should be well organized to provide maximum efficiency and production.

Remember, you can always make another dollar, but you can never make another minute.

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