How do you price estimates and how do they compare to my current pricing?
Do you contact vendors for buyout pricing?
Will you coordinate with my subcontractors?
What happens if you miss something?
Outsourcing seems expensive; how can I afford it?
The benefit-cost ratio is different for every business. In our experience we have found that our customers are spending less with us than they would hiring an employee. When you hire an employee, you pay salary plus payroll taxes and benefits, and you generally pay for 40 hours a week. Out of the 40 hours you pay for you pay for direct estimating labor (time spent on an estimate) and overhead labor (time spent in the shop, on the phone, reading emails, going to meetings, etc.). When you pay us hourly typically the clock starts when the estimator sits down to do the estimate and the clock stops when the estimator is finished. You only get charged for the direct estimating hours. So, you may pay a little more per hour, but you pay for less hours overall. When a small company hires us “full-time” we typically only spend 20-30 hours per week working on their projects.
We also offer fixed prices based on the overall job cost. This is offered when we provide the pricing for the project. Full price schedule available here. This is not offered when we provide takeoffs only. This allows you to plan for how much you will be spending on your projects. We assume the risk of not completing the project within the allotted hours. You assume the risk of paying a little extra if we complete the project in less time than allotted. With this system average customers are still paying less than they would for a full-time employee.
This is all assuming the customer is not bidding every job they can get their hands on. Best results come from having a more selective approach to who you’re bidding to and what you’re bidding on. It’s good practice to have someone focused on sales. If you send us every job that hits your desk you will waste a lot of time, effort and money on estimating.