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Building Customer (and Estimator) Confidence in Electrical Contractor Bids

How One Contractor Went Faster and Won More Bids with Accubid Anywhere

In the high-stakes world of commercial electrical contracting, precision and speed are critical. 

Meet estimator Alex Sabatka, who knows this balancing act only too well: He maintains the Accubid Anywhere database for all of the estimators and project management team.

Sabatka works for Jamerson & Bauwens Electrical Contractors, Inc., a Chicago-based contractor specializing in healthcare construction and high-end residential projects.

Read on to see how Alex Sabatka used Accubid Anywhere to modernize and speed up the company’s estimation process.

Consolidating Estimation Tools

Prior to integrating Accubid Anywhere into their workflow, estimators at Jamerson & Bauwens used an array of tools—from Accubid Classic, Change Order Pro, Bluebeam, and of course, pen and paper (sound familiar?). 

This fragmented approach to estimation worked for a while, but coordinating estimations for large-scale bids was tedious and often required manual merging of individual estimates, which took a lot of time and was prone to mistakes and discrepancies.

A Transition to Remote Work Reveals More Reasons to Change

“We were physically driving paper drawings to people's houses, in the early days of the pandemic.”

When the pandemic hit in 2020, the team transitioned to remote work, making their processes even more inefficient. “One of the biggest difficulties was operating on a server based environment. We had to make sure everybody had access to the server through a VPN. 

“We were physically driving sets of paper drawings to people's houses, in the early days of the pandemic,” he says.

And when the team got to the point of putting the estimate together? 

“Some of the some of the material items didn't line up between the different estimates. We had a lot of repeats of similar products in our bill of materials, which didn't help with getting pricing from our suppliers.”

Making the Leap to Real-Time Digital Workflows

Jamerson & Bauwens Electrical decided to adopt Accubid Anywhere.

“Now we can put an entire submittal package together in about a dozen clicks,” Sabatka says, “instead of spending multiple days for someone in our office to put those together. 

“We also get real-time pricing right in the estimate, through Supplier Xchange. We can compare who's got the best package, when it's time to go in—especially on our big competitive bids that we're going after, like big public bid openings, where really the only thing that matters is the bottom line.”

A Competitive Edge with Streamlined Submittals

Since adopting Accubid Anywhere, Jamerson & Bauwens has won several public bid openings over the past year, which they didn’t typically used to pursue. 

“That just reinforces the fact that our material pricing is accurate. We're not sandbagging the material just to cover ourselves. We actually have a real price that we're confident in.”

“Our takeoff to estimate timeline has decreased by about 50%.”

On average, Sabatka estimates the company’s takeoff to estimate timeline has decreased by about 50% (!). ! “That’s just from not having to get quotes on stuff, and not having to do much manual entry, since there's so much in the database already.”

It’s also helpful that the team can have multiple users in the same estimate at the same time without needing to combine estimates at the end. 

Going digital is good business, Sabatka says: “It tells our customers that we have a lean approach to things, and that we're gonna make the right decision from the beginning about what to install.

“It also shows that we're really thinking about their project. We're not just slapping a number together. And that gives them the confidence to choose us—we can deliver the project that they're expecting.”

Jamerson & Bauwens Electrical Contractors, Inc., was a Customer Award Winner at Trimble’s Dimensions event in 2023.

Learn more about Accubid Anywhere