The right project estimation strategy allows electrical contractors to produce deliverables on time, within budget, and according to the target objectives. By having a solid project estimate, electrical contractors can better manage costs and verify the workflow is efficient. The more accurate and efficient the estimating, the more productivity and project quality will be able to improve.
However, project estimation can be challenging, and many business owners and project managers consider it one of the most daunting tasks during project planning. Moreover, the larger the project, the more difficult estimation becomes. Large-scale electrical systems installations are made up of a million moving pieces, and involve complex and uncertain factors, making estimating even more challenging than it already is.
It is therefore important to invest sufficient time and resources into establishing good estimation practices for every project. Owners of electrical contracting businesses should consider the following best practices that will improve their approach to project estimating.
Align estimates with business objectives
Before developing an estimation document, make sure there is a clear understanding of the specific business objectives of the project. The business objectives should inform every decision and strategy implemented during the planning process and beyond.
Tailor the estimate to the business needs
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for estimating projects. An estimate should take into consideration the culture of the organisation and address the requirements of the business. Follow standard best practices, but make sure each component is customised to the specific situation for more accurate results.
Invest in proper, transparent, real time documentation
Proper documentation enables project plans and forecasts to be effectively communicated across all stakeholders. Transparency of information establishes trust and collaboration with all involved in the project, resulting in a high-performing team.
Acknowledge the presence of risks
Risk is present in any project, regardless of size and scale. A large-scale electrical project naturally requires sharper risk management. When risk mitigation systems are included in your estimate, employees are better equipped to handle any unexpected situations—and possibly even discover opportunities that will allow the business to do a better job.
Look for innovative solutions
Electrical contractors wanting to get ahead of the competition should consider new solutions that allow them to access, store, and manage estimating information in the most efficient and reliable way. A software-based estimating system, for instance, enables state-of-the-art estimating practices that will drive timely delivery, improve cost management, and ensure a successful outcome.