The simPRO Blog

Business tips & tricks

How to avoid estimating mistakes for large projects

by Erin Haywood
October 9, 2015
Estimation electrical contractors

Inaccurate estimations can cause drawbacks in the process of important projects. An electrical contractor who ends up buying more materials than is truly needed, for example, might waste a lot of money. And, inversely, an electrical contractor who purchases less than the job requires might miss lower prices offered by wholesale arrangements, and waste time procuring all the necessary items for the completion of the project.

Needless to say, estimation mistakes should be avoided, especially if a business is to maintain its competitiveness in a fiercely competitive electrical industry.

The question, then, for many electrical services business is this: How can human error be minimised or eliminated when developing a project estimate?

Eliminate surprise costs

One way to minimise human error is to create a document, such as a checklist or questionnaire, which covers the small and big components of each project. By listing all the project requirements in one document, the expenses that need to be addressed become clear. This eliminates unknown variables (and therefore surprise costs), making the estimate more accurate and transparent.

Have a follow-up system

Another smart strategy is to have a follow-up system; this will determine the accuracy of the information already provided by the clients, as clients often present the wrong information. Personally seeing the scale of the project (the equipment to be used as well as other variables), and then comparing your findings with the data provided, will allow you to carry out the necessary adjustments before anything is purchased, or before the project actually commences.

Use outside resources

Using outside resources is also helpful, especially in verifying the prices of materials, labour costs, and many other related expenses. Product prices are now available online, and easy access to the work rates of similar companies is also available.

Project management software

Using advanced technology is an extremely effective method for avoiding estimation mistakes. Digital programs can organise all information regarding the project, and even confirm that tasks will be covered according to specified dates. Nowadays, many types of project management software can store a bounty of information; they can accommodate adjustments requested by clients, record these requests, and make sure that the changes can be seen immediately by the right people. Because of all the information that project management software can store, contractors can have reliable references for costing according to the project scale.

Estimation blunders can be effectively avoided. The key is to be meticulous and, at the same time, make use of available management solutions that not only automate processes but also store valuable information for future use.

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

Liked this article? Read more!

We won't spam you and you can easily unsubscribe.

Find us on these social platforms

simPRO Facebook
simPRO Google Plus
simPRO Twitter
simPRO Youtube
simPRO Linkedin
Latest simPRO update: track your activity

Our next update to simPRO Service and Enterprise, rolling out from 18th of February 2018, will provide new features to...

Latest simPRO update: improve your workflow

Our next update to simPRO Service and Enterprise, rolling out from 4th of February 2018, will assist you to improve...

Latest simPRO update: Go the extra mile with formatting

Our next update to simPRO Service and Enterprise, rolling out from January 21st, is one of the most requested features...

Latest simPRO update: Get flexible with receiving payments

Our next update to simPRO Service and Enterprise, rolling out from January 7th, gives you more flexibility in selecting...

Latest simPRO Update: Connect collects the signatures while the UK enjoys auto-populated Gas Safe forms.

Our latest update gives users the option to populate Asset Record forms with signatures which are collected from...

Building new foundations becomes key to award winning business growth

It was in 2011 Scott Aldridge decided to go it alone as a Sole Trader electrician. Around the same time, Christchurch...