I would like to suggest that you consider asking the following five questions of all of your current and future jobs. Your answers to these five questions are critical to all of your present and future clients’ satisfaction, business profitability and future business efforts.
Why is it critical that every job estimate is done exactly as estimated?
The estimate is specific as to what your company has agreed to do to restore the policy holder to their pre-loss condition - no more, no less. The policy holder has agreed to the estimate as to what is going to be done to restore them to their pre-loss condition. The insurance company has agreed to pay for the work that the estimate has specified. It would seem logical that the job needs to be done exactly as the bid specifies it be done. If there is any additional work to be done, it needs to be paid for with either a supplement (paid for by the insurance company) or an additional work authorization (paid for by the policy holder).
Why is it critical to know exactly what is scheduled to happen on the jobsite?
Let me give you an example that I see happen a lot around the country. The production department never looks at what the estimate says to do. They instead go to the job and repair it the “right way,” which also happens to be “their way.” I guarantee you that doing it this way will cause it to be a different job and a different price than what has been bid. Worse, it stands a good chance that if the job is re-inspected, the re-inspection person will write a report that will be unfavorable to the company, per their own estimate. If the job has been estimated in Xactimate, the estimate could be printed as a work order. This would give a breakdown of work for each room by hours, material, subs and any other odd ball items. Indeed, one might consider using the report as a time card for anyone doing the work. It can also serve as a checklist as to whether or not the job is on time and on budget.
Why is it critical to know exactly what is happening on the jobsite?
All parties involved in the loss need to be communicated with as to how the job is progressing. Everyone involved in the relationship has a date in their mind as to when the job will start and when it will finish. Not to mention, that each entity’s dates are different. What about the idea of telling all concerned what the correct plan is before the job starts. If the job has been estimated in Xactimate using Sketch, the estimate can be exported into MS Project. Using MS Project, you are able to know if you have the labor available to complete the job as it has been estimated to be done. You are also able to share the plan with all concerned electronically. Even more important, you can pause the schedule for whatever reason you need to (i.e., weather, slow pay, material delay, etc.) You are again able to communicate the actual progress of the job and its potentially-revised completion date to all participants.
Why is it critical to know that the job is being completed exactly as bid?
The first reason is that your company has entered a contract with at least two entities, the policy holder and the insurance company. The second reason is that you are running the risk of losing money on the job. If you are doing progressive job costing of the job, it will give you time to correct the problem in real-time and hopefully in time before it goes sideways. In order to get timely job costing, the job has to be totally subbed out or the job has to be internally job costed. In order to do internal job costing, three things have to be done:
- Any labor done on the job requires a daily time card to be submitted with each line item having any time expended for the day allocated against the line item.
- All purchases need to use a purchase order system that tracks and compares prices of estimated to actual.
- The job manager needs to review the progress of the job weekly, based on the job costing report of comparing the above two points to estimated vs actual costs.
Why is it critical that that all future estimates are adjusted based on completed job results?
It gives you information to revisit your estimating process as to where all future estimates need to be adjusted. If you review the estimated job costs against actual job costs on a weekly basis, it will allow you to know what estimate item is correct and which item is not. The existing job though is not nearly as important as making sure that all future estimates are correct based on how the company work force is actually producing their prior estimates. The goal is to be on time and on budget. If you are doing weekly job costing, you will get the opportunity to achieve this
Your answers to these five questions are critical to all of your present and future clients’ satisfaction, your business profitability and your future business efforts.