From Paper to Screen – How have Bid Estimates Changed?

Pat Gillis LaForce IncIt is pretty common to find a LaForce employee who has spent over 20 years at the company. But it’s unusual to find someone who has built a career in a one specific area.

Meet Pat Gillis. Pat has worked 22 years at LaForce in the job of Take-Off Estimator. This involves verification of door, frame, and hardware elements on a new project that LaForce is bidding. Pat and other Take-Off Estimators compare a building’s scope, specifications, details, and floor plans to the door schedule (itemized notes related to the product category), to verify accuracy. This requires patience, the ability to work independently, and a precise attention to detail – all qualities that describe Pat Gillis.

Over the years, plans and schedules have become digital, changing the nature (but not the purpose) of estimators’ work. Pat remembers taking a pencil in each hand as he marked up a floor plan, or using a grease pencil on microfilm plans. Today, he enjoys an oversize screen and up-to-date, fully digitized resources to aid in the estimating process. Bid assistants used to hand-write jobs on a whiteboard and photocopy physical plans, but today, everything is uploaded and submitted electronically.

With seniority comes increased responsibility and mentoring opportunities, and Senior Estimators, like Pat, take on projects that are larger, more difficult, and/or require a quick turnaround. Still, Pat is always learning, and looks forward to future advancements in technology that will further streamline his job.

How else has bid technology changed over the years? Let us know in the comments!

As demonstrated by Pat Gillis, LaForce is known for its employee retention, with over 36% of our employees working at the company for over 10 years. To learn more and view current openings, click here.

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