A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN... ESTIMATOR

Another day begins with 3-5 quotes due and 2 more inbound before 10 am. I pick up a quote to get started and first I need to make sure I have all of the needed information to provide an accurate quote.  Do I have the customer, property, and location?  Do I have the floors plans, elevations, measures, specs, etc.? There is so much information to gather for each and every quote. Quoting is so much easier when all the information is readily available and I don’t have to track it down myself.

I’ve finally got it all, now the process may begin! First I’ll assign it a quote number with class and terms and then create internal folders.  From there I’ll digest all of the information provided.  Typically we have floor plans which must be trimmed down and loaded into ‘Bluebeam Revu’. Then I’ll do a take-off where I scale the drawings, measure every window in scope and place that info into a spreadsheet along with the treatment sizes and types.  From there I can request Forest's (one of our contract installers) pricing for this property. I have to place this job in context, understanding if it's a new build or renovation, and then make a judgment call based upon it's complexity to estimate how long it may take us to install. I'll need to know Forest's trip charge, number of nights per install, cost of measure, installation pricing and any other miscellaneous data. As well I'll need to collect any other pricing from outside vendors for decorative hardware, fabric,  blinds, dumpsters, storage pods, and more.  There are so many factors that must be considered! 

With all the information compiled and organized I can finally begin figuring out our costing, markups, quantities, yields, footage, trips, and so on. As I work thru the hotels floor plans, alongside the designers specifications I'm looking for anything in-congruent, anything that may not work out the way that they want. I'm trying to match their intent with what is reality. This is a constant challenge but something I also thoroughly enjoy.   

Yes I’m finally done! Now we must begin the checking process.  First, the quote will go thru an initial check that goes into everything from the RFQ (request for quote) to the specs, drawings, our takeoff, the format along with all of the math involved to figure yields, footage, markup, etc.  At this point there is always something caught that we will make note of and change prior to submittal. The proof is in the pudding there though. Once corrected, the second set of eyes will make sure all of the previously suggested corrections were made and that all of the pricing is correct. Once this process is finished, the quote can be turned back over to sales!

Fortunately, my days are not just cut and dry - pushing out quotes without interruption. Rather, in the midst of these duties, there is always a constant flow of revisions to previous quotes and questions from other departments that fill the spare moments of our days.  Happy little interruptions make our days more exciting!  Every project is different which makes it
fun and all of us estimators consider it a way of solving problems with numbers, which is what we like!


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