One of Einstein’s most famous quotes defines insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” In our industry, it’s often referred to as working hard and not smart. When your Operations team accuses sales of grossly underestimating jobs and Sales attacks the crews for being “worthless,” it’s a symptom of the insanity that Einstein described.
Before I developed our estimating formula, I used to hate to go to work because I often got caught in the crosshairs between these two adversaries. Sales would tell me that they’d been trying for months to get this “big customer” to let us do a test move for her so that we would have a chance to win a lot more of her business. However, after the lousy job “we” did for her yesterday, we’ll never be invited back. When I talked to the crew, they wanted to know which sales person did the estimate because they weren’t taking any more of his jobs out. According to them, there was a lot more volume and work to do in a ridiculous limited time frame.
Since I was not willing to use drugs or alcohol to deal with our constant chaos, I examined other service industries to see how they estimated their jobs. To my surprise every other industry—except ours—based their cost estimates on man-hours along with a clearly defined Scope of Services.
When I finished my analysis, I took Einstein’s advice and changed the way we estimated jobs. Instead of using the flawed household formula of cube and pounds, I used man-hours and a Scope of Services to estimate moves. The results were amazing. Seemingly overnight, 97% of the time jobs finished on time for the price quoted and suddenly the Operations vs. Sales infighting stopped. If a job did run over, the finger pointing went away because the formula enabled us to identify if the job had been underestimated or if it was a service failure.
I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that this 73-year-old man still does not use drugs to calm his nerves.
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For more information on our online office moving training, please visit
http://www.officemoves.com/training/index.html or call Ed Katz at 404.358.2172.