Unveiling the Power of Electrical Estimating Training

November 1, 2023

By Melvin Newman, Co-Founder, President and CTO of PataBid

In the world of electrical contracting, precision and accuracy are paramount. From the smallest residential project to the largest commercial or industrial endeavor, electrical estimates are the lifeblood of a successful contracting business. Without accurate estimates, projects can quickly spiral out of control, resulting in financial losses and a tarnished reputation. This is where electrical estimating training comes into play: providing a foundation for electrical contractors to understand every aspect of project estimation and how it relates to project execution.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the importance of electrical estimating training and how it is relevant when contractors go to bid electrical work. We will also discuss the value of learning the process of estimating so that electrical estimates can be produced in a systematic and methodical way.

Why Electrical Estimating Training Matters

1. Precise Electrical Estimates

Accurate electrical estimates are essential for contractors to secure projects and remain competitive in the market. Electrical estimating training equips professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to produce precise, methodical estimates. By accurately assessing material costs, labour requirements, and overhead expenses, contractors can submit competitive bids, increasing their chances of winning contracts. Whether a contractor plans to use pen and paper estimating methods or digital estimating methods to bid electrical work, there is abundant reason to consider taking an electrical estimating training course.

Estimating training allows contractors to learn how to systematically put together an accurate bid – from take-off through to closeout. By learning the basic components of an electrical estimate (takeoff, labour, material pricing, overhead and closeout), contractors can improve their estimating precision. Accurate estimates are not merely a matter of fiscal prudence; they are the cornerstone of a construction project’s viability and long-term sustainability.

2. Maximizing Profit Margins

Electrical estimating is not just about creating precise estimates to win bids; it’s also about ensuring profitability from those bids for your business. Investing in some form of electrical estimating training teaches contractors and estimators how to dig deep in an electrical estimate to unlock cost saving solutions. A foundational basis of understanding about the components of an estimate and their relationship to project execution is vital and will lead to healthier profit margins. Learning thorough estimating practices can help contractors to assess project scope, and therefore, identify areas to reduce cost and improve profits.

3. Mitigate Job Risk

Estimating electrical projects in construction entails navigating inherent risk such as fluctuating material costs, labour dynamics, regulatory changes, unforeseen site conditions and more. Advancing your skills with an electrical estimating training course can help to reduce these risks through learning to identify the risks in the preconstruction stage of the build. For example, electrical estimating training courses discuss risk mitigate strategies such as creating an opportunity matrix prior to starting to estimate a project. An opportunity matrix is a pre-determined set of questions to grade whether opportunities are worth bidding on or not.

Another way that training helps to reduce risk is through teaching a step by step approach to estimating projects. A systematic estimating process, whether digital or manual, ensures that no piece of the project cost is missed in the estimate. Failing to accurately mitigate risk during the preconstruction phase of construction can lead to cost overruns, project delays, and potential financial losses for both contractors and clients.

4. Adapting to Technology

The electrical estimating landscape has evolved with technology. Contractors and estimators who have undergone electrical estimating training are better equipped to leverage electrical estimating software into their pre-construction workflows. Grasping the foundational elements of methodical electrical estimating practices can help facilitate the adoption of an electrical estimating software. Electrical estimating software options, such as PataBid Quantify, streamline estimating workflows using methodical methods like those taught in training courses by industry professionals. Electrical estimating courses provide the knowledge and skills necessary to use estimating software effectively and take full advantage of the digital features.

Where to Find Electrical Estimating Training

There are essentially two avenues to find information on electrical estimating training:

1. Electrical Estimating Courses

Suderman Estimating Systems Inc. is a well respected business that teaches electrical estimating to contractors. Incorporated in 1984, the professionals at Suderman have taught the fundamentals of electrical estimating to over 4,000 contractors. Suderman is one of only a handful of businesses that offer specialized electrical estimating training to contractors across North America. Contractors also have the option of taking Suderman estimating training courses in conjunction with their local Canadian Construction Association to get course discounts and also earn Gold Seal points.

2. Online Resources

If taking a formalized electrical estimating training course does not match your schedule or budget, there are many resources that offer a wealth of information on estimating practices. PataBid has published several other blog posts that discuss estimating fundamentals, as well as Youtube videos that delve into digital estimating basics specifically. Procore has also published a guide for electrical contractors with step by step instructions on how to bid electrical work systematically. Additionally, some colleges are now offering online electrical estimating training courses like NAIT and George Brown College which both offer virtual training courses that focus on estimating fundamentals and practices.

Conclusion: Empower Your Electrical Estimating Skills

Electrical estimating training is not merely a choice; it’s a necessity for professionals in the electrical contracting industry. It’s key to ensuring precise estimating, maximizing profit margins, mitigating job risk and adapting to estimating technology. Whether you choose formal courses or online resources, investing in your estimating skills is an investment in your overall business success. With electrical estimating training, you’ll gain the confidence to bid electrical work accurately, secure profitable contracts, and remain at the forefront of the industry.

Whether you use electrical estimating software or pen and paper methods of estimating, having a firm understanding of the fundamentals of estimating is essential to illuminating the path to a brighter and more prosperous future in the electrical contracting industry.

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