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Follow the Money

Follow the Money - croppedMy dad used to say to me, “Don’t chase pennies with nickels” – a phrase that can be applied to several areas of our lives.

When preparing cost estimates for customers, estimators are accustomed to looking closely at details to be as accurate as possible. Sometimes they need to take a step back and understand their role in reaching the ultimate goal. As an estimator, it’s not about getting every penny correct; it’s about making sure the larger dollars are accounted for.

One common example seen in the electrical industry involves branch wiring. The engineer doesn’t usually detail the branch wiring connecting electrical devices with electrical panels to the level our estimators need. This leads them to invest additional time to determine how much is required. But does it matter what specific conduit support you plan on using when the cost difference is pennies?  A better use of time is in the analysis of larger dollar items, such as lighting packages, feeder routings, or finding alternate sources for required products.

Too often in our jobs, and private lives, we go down inconsequential paths, instead of putting time towards areas of higher importance. Keep this in mind and invest your time proportionally in the things that will make the biggest impact on the outcomes.