New Guide To Tendering And Estimating


A new guide has been published which is specifically aimed at providing electrical contractors with a short and concise introduction to pricing larger electrical contracting projects.

Pricing work is engrained in the everyday life of an electrical contractor. To gain work you generally have to provide a price for it in the first place. And that price is important. It will form the basis of the works going forward and the profit that is ultimately made – or lost.

Most electrical contractors will be comfortable with pricing smaller jobs, however what about making the transition to projects of £10k plus?

For an electrical contractor who is only experienced in pricing small jobs, the step to pricing large projects and entering the world of ‘tendering and estimating’ can sometimes be quite daunting.

It is true, there are additional skills and techniques which are required when pricing these larger projects, and a lack of experience can often result in works being priced incorrectly. Items being missed, documents being interpreted incorrectly or tender submissions not being qualified sufficiently can all result in a loss of profits and even soured relationships with clients. The quality of workmanship may also be effected leading to further issues of compliance and safety. There really is a domino effect, and therefore ensuring a project is priced correctly in the first place is essential.


So, what help is out there for a contractor when they want to grow and start pricing larger projects? Well, there has been very little – mainly just a handful of cumbersome and outdated textbooks, some of which do not even directly relate to the UK electrical contracting industry. However, this has now changed.

The new guide, titled “Electrical Contracting Tendering & Estimating: An Introductory Short Guide”, is aimed at helping electrical contractors to compile professional tender offers to clients as well as correctly estimating the costs for works with values in the region of £10k to £1m. Topics covered include: How to source tender enquiries; Determining which tender documents are relevant; Compiling & issuing RFIs; Drawing take-offs; Evaluating specialist subcontractor quotes; Inputting; Applying labour costs; Mark-ups; Submitting the tender; Value engineering; and many more.

Speaking about the release of the publication, author Jonathan Willson says: “For an electrical contractor who has not priced large projects before it can be pretty intimidating and they will often, through no fault of their own, approach the costing of the works in the wrong way. This can result in mistakes being made and the process taking a lot longer than it should. As such, this new guide aims to address the issue by helping electrical contractors to develop their skills in the electrical tendering and estimating processes and learn how to compile costs in a structured and logical way. Potentially meaning costly mistakes are avoided, risks are reduced and efficiency savings are made.”

The guide covers the step-by-step basics of electrical tendering and estimating in an easy to follow format, including tips and pointers to help the electrical contractor relate it to their own work.

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