It’s one of a construction company’s worst nightmares: your best estimator quit.It’s a bigger problem than you might realize at first. Not only are you now in need of an estimator, but you’re also faced with finding and hiring a new one. In case you haven’t noticed, estimators are in short supply, and the projected 11% job growth by 2024 isn’t helping things.
What’s a construction company to do?
Losing an estimator (especially your best one!) is a significant loss, but companies can minimize its impact with these three best practices:
If you’re using a estimator that follows their own process for producing estimates, they’re harder to replace because you’re dependent on an individual. That won’t be the case if you have a systematized approach to cost estimating.
This ensures that if an estimator jumps ship, your road to recovery will be shorter and less bumpy. Costs can still be produced quickly and efficiently because a process exists, taking much of the guesswork out of estimating (pun intended).
It’s a good idea to create a standard estimating process anyway. That way, it’s already in place if you ever find yourself down an estimator.
Part of your standard estimating process can be simplified with a centralized cost database. This database should contain things like repeatable formulas, fixed costs, and the variety of items needed to perform a job or task. You’ve already done the work in figuring out certain costs and it doesn’t make sense to continually calculate fixed costs project by project.
This is a huge time saver when cobbling together your final estimates. It can help to reduce your error rates and ensure your estimators include all necessary components in their estimates.
Again, it’s a good idea to create this database before you “need” it. You’ll be able to reap the benefits regardless of whether an estimator quits.
Employees come and go. Roles and responsibilities change. It’s a natural ebb and flow of business, so don’t expect your estimators to be with your company forever.
Rather than relying on individuals for estimating projects, approach each one with a team mentality. Assign teams to work on projects to avoid relying too heavily on a single individual. This allows each estimator to contribute their own skills and knowledge to projects while gaining new insight from others’ expertise.
As a result, you’re equipped with several powerful estimators that can help fill in the gaps when one decides to leave. It can greatly help reduce onboarding time of new hires and integrate them quickly into their role.
Losing a great estimator is never easy, but your projects don’t have to suffer as a result. Using construction estimating software can help alleviate some of the burden left behind by a now-former employee. It reduces your need to rely on a single individual and makes it easier for other estimators to pick up the slack.
Because software uses a standard, data-driven approach to estimating, users can quickly slide into projects left behind by others to prevent costly delays.
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