Last minute changes, or those made in a hurry, are inherently a risk to your business. Do you manage your last-minute changes effectively or could you do more?
Inevitably people want changes made at the last minute or in a hurry. Clients request changes with quick turnaround and internal decisions require that estimates are altered. It is at these times that:
- we are least likely to double check our work
- our work is more susceptible to error and
- we are more likely to ignore internal protocols that govern how we should work
Estimates created using Excel are especially at risk. It is easy to accidentally alter formulas, delete cells, forget to include line items and make cut and paste errors. Here are a few tips to help you to think about ways in which you could reduce the significant risks that last-minute changes can pose:
- Consider in detail the way in which you manage requests for last minute changes and how that impacts your business
- Structure your estimates well so that it is easy to move systematically through them making changes
- Use kits in your estimates that can be quickly added or removed meaning you will be less likely to forget to include or remove related items
- Use a system that allows you to copy estimates and tenders, creating versions that you can easily compare and cross-check
- Use a system that allows electronic/bulk substitutions of items and see the immediate effect on your margin
- Use an estimating software package that contains formulas that are built into the system
Take a look at our previous blog about how to structure your estimates to reduce risk or find out ways to reduce risk throughout the estimating process, download our recent white paper Reducing Risk in Estimating.