Posted by Ken Carman on March 24, 2004 at 04:34:34:
On any large job (300 openings or more) there can be as many as twenty different estimators doing the same count of all of the doors, frames, and hardware sets listed on the door schedule. This translates into as many as 150 or more (collective) hours being spent gathering this information. With up to 15 to 20 different estimators doing this count, many different results can be achieved (incorrectly).
However with a carefully written database program, the door schedule can be imported from Excel and all of the quantities can be provided instantly and accurately. This would eliminate the 100+ hours being spent by the estimators collectively. (Multiply that by thousands of jobs each year.)
Here's what can happen . . .
1. With all of the time saved, distributors can bid many more jobs while contractors can spend more time on the more crucial areas of the bid . . . both making the bids more competitive.
2. Since the data is imported and can be gauranteed 100% correct (relative to the door schedule), bidders have less need to cushion their bids to guard against counting mistakes . . . again producing more competitive bids.
3. A database program is excellent at quickly identifying costly errors in the schedule. This not only saves money on change orders but also saves a lot of time by having less mistakes to be addressed (addendums, phone calls, submittal corrections, paperwork . . .)
4. The quantities could be offered by the architect to all bidders for a fee (at a cost fractional of what they would spend counting the items themselves.) This money could be used in part to cover the cost of producing the door schedule and the specs. Thus, the architect could afford to invest more time in producing a door schedule that is even more estimator friendly, providing even more of the information required to process a bid. (Few architects include jamb depth, Int/Ext, information and the hardware sets could be created in a way so that those quantities could be provided as well.)
5. For those who create door schedules by hand or in Excel, a database program can perform this task in a fraction of the time, is easier to use, and results in fewer mistakes.
Ultimately, the owner is the winner . . . and he/she is the one we are there to serve.
Ken Carman firstname.lastname@example.org
7 Caton Dr
Dayton, Ohio 45409
937-643-9633 fax 937-643-9677
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