The "TOTAL COMPANY INTEGRATION" Program (TCI)
The Sales and Estimating Function of TCI
The Sales Function
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or call 719-322-2725.
Nothing happens until something is sold. In many companies this function is combined with estimating. To define this role under the sales function, we are listing the key TCI factors within the sales function.
1. We work with the production manager, create, revise and audit the production schedule for peaks and valleys in production hours, projecting 24 months into the future.
2. We develop a sales plan to fill the schedule to 120% of production, and execute the plan.
4. Pre-sell the features and benefits of your company to contractors, focusing on projects that fit the requirements of point 2 above.
5. Establish relationships with project managers and pre-con managers.
6. Offer box-lunch sessions with architectural and GC offices.
7. Pre-qualify the company with owners and architects.
8. Review and update bonding capability regularly.
9. Audit Suretec and D &B for changes in ratings.
10. Obtain approval in specifications on specific projects, through relationships with specification writers.
11. Audit the financial statements confidentially for changes in ratios in comparison to the competition.
12. Know the competition and offer a steady flow of competitive information to management.
13. Assist estimating in itemization.
14. Achieve all goals through SMAC objective planning.
The sales department is the beginning of everything. They must have a great understanding of the shop production level, the equipment and the skills of the employees. If they sell projects that are not in the mill-house of the company, two things must happen:
1. Hours and profit must be adjusted up, and,
2. Management must understand and agree to the new project.
The Estimating Function
No employee can be an island unto him or herself with TCI. Island mentality is not good and does not fit with TCI methodology. Good estimators are the hardest positions to fill in our industry. It is critical to continually be looking for good estimators, which are the backbone of your company. And, it is equally critical that TCI methodology be taught and used by estimators.
2. Estimators must understand the requirements of the company. If the estimating department is bidding projects that will be in production when that production is already at 120%, this is not acceptable. Or, if estimating is bidding work that the labor force would have difficulty with, that is also not acceptable.
3. Estimators must understand contract law, review contracts for landmines, and advise changes with the GM, prior to signing a contract. If a LOI has been issued, it must not be accepted unless there has been a thorough review of a standard sub-contract, which every GC has. This is taught under the TCI system.
4. Every estimator must have an airplane understanding of the equipment in the shop and how it functions. Through observation and training, estimators should know hours needed to perform functions. Along with this, there are two items that they must learn:
1. Know set up times
2. Know what happens between machines
5. The most important function of estimating is itemization. Without proper itemization, the entire process of TCI falls apart. Please note the definition of itemization in the definitions section. The estimator, once itemization is completed, is determining with few exceptions, the sequence for purchasing, drafting, production, installation and close-out.
6. Itemization usually is adjusted once the project estimate is completed, and the project is negotiated.
7. Itemization requires talent in all departments. The senior estimator must learn the total functions throughout the company. This is accomplished by:
A. Shadowing each department; sales, purchasing, drafting and engineering, production, loading, unloading, and installation.
B. Assigning values in hours to everything he or she sees.
Assigning dollar values to any materials with numbers that he or she can apply to other projects.
8. The senior estimator must keep a database of suppliers with unit costs as able. This must be updated regularly. This database is created by the purchasing department. Both departments must keep in close contact with each other.
9. Working with purchasing, the estimator must assist the purchasing department in entering buying programs for advantageous purchasing. This includes:
A. Off-site storage agreements with specific commodity suppliers. These agreements would be for a term guaranteeing purchase at an agreed to price for a specific period.
B. On-site storage agreements with specific commodity suppliers. These agreements would be for a term guaranteeing purchase at an agreed to price for a specific period.
C. Pre-payment agreements for commodity items.
D. Post-payment agreements for commodity items.
Proposal writing classes are a part of the TCI methodology. Within the TCI program we will teach ways of writing proposals that solicit a response, thus showing the architectural millwork company that the price quoted is within the budget.
Value Engineering for advantage – During the estimating process the estimator must be taught to identify items for voluntary alternates. Providing voluntary alternates, when communicated to trusted customers only, increases the ability to close the project up to 100%. Identifying voluntary alternates is a taught skill, and is part of the TCI system.
Contract negotiation – Contract negotiation is taught as part of the TCI program. We teach starting high and going up in profit.