The simPRO Blog

Business tips & tricks

Efficiently estimating large projects: factoring in labour costs

by Erin Haywood
October 6, 2015

To ensure that your business remains competitive and profitable, it is essential to learn how to estimate projects, especially large ones, efficiently.

And in order to arrive at an efficient estimate, several factors need to be accounted for, including the price of materials as well as the labour costs.

When computing labour costs, several variables must also be taken into account. Otherwise, the risk of over-computing the hours necessary to complete the job becomes greater which, ultimately, can hurt the bottom line and the business's reputation.

Consider the job site when making estimates

One of the key factors electrical contractors need to consider when making estimates is the size and shape of the building they are working on. The rule of thumb to bear in mind is that the larger the building, the higher the likelihood that manpower will be less efficient. How does this affect a particular workforce?

For example, if a team is working in a building that is over four storeys high, they will spend time getting to the floor they need to work on. Additionally, it may take longer for them to get back from their breaks and from trips to the storage area for tools and materials.

The same goes for projects that span a large area; electricians will spend more time getting materials and tools from designated storage areas.

Key factors that affect productivity

The location of a project can sometimes be detrimental to the productivity of electricians. For example, a project in the central business district poses problems with parking and with the storage of tools and materials. This should be factored in from the start.

Sometimes, a project entails working in an occupied building. This, too, can result in labour inefficiency. Here, it is crucial to make the necessary adjustments in drafting an estimate to account for these inefficiencies, as well as the need for the electricians to work during different hours.

Assigning the right personnel to a project is crucial for electrical firms. Simply put, a large number of electricians assigned to one work area can adversely affect productivity due to the restrictions that happen in a cramped working environment. An electrical contractor must consider the optimum number of electricians to work on a project to ensure its prompt completion without undermining the quality of work.

In order to efficiently address these challenges and facilitate the faster completion of estimates, it is vital for electrical contractors to invest in the right systems. This provides them with the ability to respond to the unique qualities of individual projects.

Writer, bookworm, and travel enthusiast. Writing and editing daily as Copywriter for the simPRO Software Group.

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