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A lot of people here may have employees like this, or themselves be like this, but I wanted to see if I could get a little assistance or advise.

I have been in estimating/sales for a Drywall/Gypcrete/Concrete-Waterproofing contracting computer since 05. I've mainly been an estimator and partial salesman for my company. I know the ins & outs of our computers, our software, estimating quickly and efficiently our trades so we meet due dates on time.

However, I have personally never worked out in the field, and I feel that is holding me back a little bit for our company due to lack of knowledge on specific items in regards to selling jobs or helping people inquiring about information regarding our work. I can measure the lines, input the data, maintain a bid schedule... But in regards to 'putting a picture to the puzzle' I feel like i'm held back because I do not completely understand the ins and outs of the trade like someone who has worked on the field does... And I would like to know more. Our company is having server issues, so I feel like I have the time to actually branch out and do more research.

Anybody have any suggestions? Websites? Books? Anything?
 

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Finishing Carpenter
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I applaud you for doing this. You will gain an understanding of the practical issues that face the trades guys every day, and as a result will be head and shoulders above any other estimator out there.

You will also be able to help your company become more efficient, due to your field experience.

If I was your boss, I'd say Hell ya!
 

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Contractor of the Month
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Read all of my posts on CT...Prepare yourself for an inundation of pure genius. :shifty:
 

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Read all of my posts on CT...Prepare yourself for an inundation of pure genius. :shifty:
:laughing:

I'll admit that Inner may be a genius, but I'm CERTAIN he's not very pure. :whistling

I agree with the others though.... tell your boss you want to spend some time in the field. Maybe he/you can set up some type of internship where you actually work as a laborer for your biggest customer on some jobs where you did the bid schedule.

It would really help you bring all the parts and pieces of what you do together into a bigger picture of what's going on.

Good luck!
 

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Premium Member
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I worked as a laborer one summer hanging gutters. The company I worked for did EVERYTHING from flood damage to renovations. We had a know it all engineer that wouldn't even speak to me, he had a degree and I didn't. The boss made him follow ME for a week and MADE ME ( I was 15) instruct the 26 year old engineer how to do such complicated tasks as park a truck, clean a gutter, where to find the breaker panel, etc. By the end of the week he taught me the basics of how to read plans, explained what a total station was and how it worked, I even managed a little survey work. At the end of it I got a massive bonus, and I mean buy a nice used car in 1999 massive for teaching him perspective. Walk onto one of your projects and ask the laborer for his tool belt. Give him your cell phone and let him be the boss for a day. You will learn a lot about yourself, the company, the employees and the project. The laborer will learn how to teach...and laugh.

Edit: remember the phrase, "what's next Pedro?".
 

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The Dude
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It depends on what's practical for your schedule. You can't just give a laborer your phone, since you've probably got customers that need answers that only you can give calling you. This also may preclude you from grabbing a nail bag.

With a laptop, mobile internet, and a cell phone - you can do a lot of office work in the field. Maybe instead of hanging out at the office doing that work, hang out on a job. Spend as much time as you can with the guys - particularly when they are doing something you want to know.
 
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