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Effective Estimating that leads to Bullet Proof Proposals

10. May 2018 13:12

By: Bobbo Buckley, Software Developer: Cabinotch Innovative Solutions

Effective Estimating that leads to Bullet Proof Proposals - BMG10

In addition to what we discussed in Part 1 of this series, we will be spending some time working on a couple models in Excel (it's not rocket science, but there is a learning curve) so we can learn to not only take our costs and build bullet proof Estimates and Proposals, but also be able to play incredibly valuable 'What If' scenarios.

What if we use this wood specie instead of that wood specie?

What if we use this door instead of that door?

What if we use this drawer type instead of that drawer type?

What if I outsource my doors and drawer fronts?

What if I outsource my cabinet components?

What are the financial implications of Outsourcing in general?

Your Estimating system must be bi-lingual, it must speak two languages equally well. It must speak cost and selling price. There must never be a discrepancy between what you tell a client an item will cost, and the reduction made if they opt to not purchase that item.

Seeing IF statements used in Excel models is the first step in learning to use these incredibly useful tools (it's always easier to learn a new thing when it is used in the same context you want to use it in). My life experience tells me that the primary objective of an Estimate is to sell a project, but the secondary objective is absolutely no less important, and that is to Create Right Expectations.

Managing expectations just might be the second hardest thing about cabinetmaking (managing employees claiming the top position for most cabinetmakers). Since there are no second chances at first impressions, then I'm thinking we should put our very best foot forward when it comes to the systems we use to produce our Estimates and Proposals, and let these two instruments of communication be our primary method for managing those expectations. Verbal communications are subject to forgetfulness and/or misinterpretation, so they need to be our last resort for managing expectations.

In this session, we will look at the mechanics of making just such a system a reality.





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