Our experts let you in on the tactics that help them secure great projects

Nicholas Olson

Owner
Anderson & Hammack Construction

Putting proposals together takes a lot of work, and Anderson & Hammack’s process utilizes several different strategies. Each of our projects is quite unique, so we don’t have the luxury of putting a blanket price-per-square-foot number on any job.

The first and most important step in our bidding process is making sure we are on the same page as the client by issuing a detailed scope of work. If done incorrectly, there is a costly rebid scenario.

Secondly, we get current and accurate material and subcontractor pricing from at least two vendors so that we are always being mindful of costs and so that we can keep our vendors and subs honest.

The labor portion of our bidding is always the biggest factor in whether the job is successful. We use historical data, degree of difficulty multipliers and a team discussion on the logistics of each project to determine an accurate labor cost.

With all of this information collected, we then look at where our margins are. We have a goal margin for all of our projects, but we adjust up or down depending on circumstances. Still, no matter what, a team effort is essential for us to create successful bids.

Jordan Burns

President
Lancaster Burns Construction

Being a multitrade subcontractor, it is vital that Lancaster Burns focuses on targeted estimating so that we maintain a steady book of work for our employee owners. When analyzing opportunities, we look at a multitude of factors, including project schedule, geographic location, client, scope of work and, most importantly, our current book of work, to help determine what we need and when.

Although all contractors wish we could count on a project staying on schedule, jobs rarely go as planned. So, Lancaster Burns uses the initial schedule as a temporary placeholder when reviewing our current book of work to confirm we could provide a team to complete a potential new project.

Projects that land a place on our bid schedule offer work in locations we can effectively manage, with clients we collaborate well with, doing work we are confident our teams can deliver.

Lastly, we leave room in the schedule to ensure we are putting resources toward the future, allowing us the flexibility to participate in projects with innovative construction methods, within emerging markets, and with new clients. This allows us the ability to provide safeguards from market and industry fluctuations.

To submit your question, email Associate Editor Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@cahabamedia.com.