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|How Estimating is Like a Relay Race
Just like there are four runners in a relay race, there are four core functions of a BAS:
Founder & CEO,
Team sports such as relay races are great analogies for business processes like building automation system estimating. Just like there are four runners in a relay race, there are four core functions of a BAS:
Your estimator is the first runner who is
charged with setting up the system used by subsequent staff so they can
complete their tasks accurately and efficiently. Because an accurate
estimation is vital to a cost-effective and efficient process
throughout the life of a project, the estimator must understand the
project’s objectives, determine what is and is not included in each
cost number, and ensure the commissioning is adequately reflected in
the submittal package.
Passing the Estimating Baton
In relay running, it doesn’t matter how fast or how well your second, third, and fourth runners race if the lead runner isn’t world-class. It is the estimator’s job to look at the bigger picture. And when it’s time to pass the baton, the hand-over requires accuracy and precise communication.
Failure to consider every key element before passing the baton means an estimator may miss critical components and make estimating errors that have a costly domino effect on the entire project. For example, if a part number is similar to another and the wrong one is placed in the estimate, it could substantially increase (or decrease) the estimation. A commitment to accuracy and verification is the sign of a good estimator.
The baton handoff is often a point of
failure for teams in a relay race, and poor handovers frequently
disqualify teams in world championships. In the same way, good
estimators must focus on the details, before handing over the project
and be process-driven and have experience assessing risk.
How to Run Estimating Like a Relay Team
In a relay, the team succeeds only if each individual runner succeeds. Likewise, a project isn’t successful if nine out of ten contractors are on-time and on-budget while the final one finishes six months late and $2 million over budget due to estimating miscalculations.
Estimating has traditionally been performed with spreadsheets and patchwork systems that require a high level of skill. The complexity of the process also presents numerous opportunities for errors, particularly with regards to pricing.
BAS estimating software offers a number of
advantages over conventional approaches, including increased accuracy
and decreased production time. Data is delivered in real-time, so parts
are always updated and information is coordinated in a more relational,
interactive way. The result? An estimating process with a good start
and smooth handovers that ensure a successful final project.
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