Digital Estimating

Estimating for Government and Larger Corporate Clients

Government is inefficient. If you are a contractor that wants to work with them you should always keep that statement in mind. The largest inefficiency is their bidding requirements. Let’s face it- the work is the same no matter who the client is. It’s being awarded the contract that is time consuming.

It is important to understand upfront why the government is inefficient and expensive. People in government refuse to take even the most insignificant risks. A business partner of mine was responsible for the launching of military satellites. The expected success rate of the launch was required to be 99% or better. On a particular launch they calculated just over 98% chance of a successful launch. The general responsible had the engineers redesign the rocket at a cost of millions of dollars. It is more important for his career to have a successful launch than the loss of those millions of taxpayer dollars.

Construction projects are no different. There can be no risk of failure regardless of the cost. Every duck must be in a row and no amount of time spent bidding is too extensive.

The Government Solution

RSMeans was a product that came to the governments aid in the mid 80’s. The goal was to quantify every cost of every part of a construction project. With such a momentous task, government agents were able to quantify every part of a project in this tedious process. It goes further. Not only do government agents want the cost of items, but the labor hours required with the cost per hour quantified.

When it is really considered, it is a bizarre request. I have had one drywall crew of three guys finish a house in four days. Another crew next door of three other men took six days. I paid them the same. It is impossible to estimate the work rate of each worker and the costs for each. A good project manager does not pay per hour, but by the work completed. Does the end user of a building really care how many hours was spent building it, or do they care about the final price?

We Meet Those Requirements

We considered these types of estimates as we worked on our template. Each deliverable has a line item for labor hours and the cost per hour of labor. This allows our bidding documents to meet the requirements of government bidding. Similarly, we categorize our costs by CSI codes, which is another layer of government organization.

The Money is to be Made

Governments pay. If you are looking to grow your business and have struggled with submittal documents, we can help. I can’t promise that we will fill out the packet for you- every packet is different. What I can promise is that our deliverables will me government bidding standards and give you a solid foundation. Many of these contracts will be awarded at higher than average rates netting our clients more revenue. It’s a big win for those who can get into the game.

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