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    Out of Town/Out of State Contractors

    I'm sure we've discussed this before but my memory has faded out.

    Even though work has gotten better since my years of being an EC, it is still a competitive market. My last couple of bosses have pulled their hair out, bidding as close as they can and still losing a lot of jobs. Yet, I see out of town and out of state EC's all the time and see them getting a pretty good share of the work.

    How in the world can a guy that far away outbid a local EC? Travel is not cheap. Fuel and motels cost a fortune, as do meals and miscellaneous. And some come from areas where I know the labor is more costly.

    Enlighten me please.
    Yes, I'll be happy to do a first class job for less than anyone else and take a dollar a week for 10 years.

    #2
    I'm in a very small state surrounded by bigger states to the north and west (try to figure them out ) that pretty much drives our local economy. I see the very same thing with many contractors coming down to work here, often coming over an hour to do large projects here. It must make economic sense to do that much traveling or they wouldn't be doing it.

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      #3
      They hire local illegals or cheap labor.

      -Hal

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        #4
        New automated warehouse nearby (new 4 - 5 years ago), the automation package was from a European OEM engineering contractor and the installers were eastern european (I asked around lightly who ran the ethernet cabling wire ducts parallel with the drive load side TC ER cable duct ... hundreds of feet parallel and on the load side of hundreds of drives and cable bundles...).

        I did not ask about licensing but someone had the idea that it was wiring of the machine and not "wiring inside the building" as the statute would say ...

        Same warehouse is going up brand new this year and 5 miles closer to me, the older one ran soooo badly that space is going to be repurposed. Might take ten minutes some times to get data through to the far away robot.


        Three months maybe to install a $25 million automation package. If they were hiring locally for it I would be looking forward to it.
        Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate

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          #5
          I wonder about it town to town. I meet competitors going North, as I head South. We had talked about trading projects once.
          Tom
          TBLO

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            #6
            Originally posted by jmellc View Post

            How in the world can a guy that far away outbid a local EC? Travel is not cheap. Fuel and motels cost a fortune, as do meals and miscellaneous. And some come from areas where I know the labor is more costly.

            Enlighten me please.
            because it's not apples/apples

            for starters, they may not be electricians at all

            ~RJ~

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              #7
              At one time in my life I ran the construction department for a pump and tank operation. We found that we made more money on out of town jobs than we did on in town jobs. What we finally understood is that when men are out of town, they want to finish and get home. They get to the job earlier, leave later, work harder.

              While in town, they need to get off on time to get home, arrive at the job later, and expand the time to complete the job to the perceived time to complete it.

              I don't know if this answers the OP's question, but I found it interesting when we discovered it.

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                #8
                The math is simple....

                A normal licensed ,permitted, inspected spark is worth $$$

                Miantenance, home improvement, handymen etc, who don't own an nec , nor are held to it are worth $

                ~RJ~

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                  #9
                  Some contractors just need enough to get their beer money at the end of the week. Sad but I have seen that scenario around here.
                  They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
                  She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
                  I can't help it if I'm lucky

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jmellc View Post
                    My last couple of bosses have pulled their hair out, bidding as close as they can and still losing a lot of jobs. Yet, I see out of town and out of state EC's all the time and see them getting a pretty good share of the work.

                    How in the world can a guy that far away outbid a local EC? Travel is not cheap. Fuel and motels cost a fortune, as do meals and miscellaneous. And some come from areas where I know the labor is more costly.

                    Enlighten me please.
                    Many times you will notice that this local job is not the first job this out of town EC has done for this GC. Experience doing a certain type of structure and working with a known GC does have advantages.
                    The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      GC may pick someone they are familiar with even if slightly higher bid, I'd probably do that as well if in their shoes.

                      Other guy may have cheap labor or even cheap subcontractors they use for at least portions of the project, or maybe have better pricing from suppliers because of higher volume of purchases and that can help keep their bid lower.

                      Not all bids are strictly chosen on cost either. Proven performance ability can be worth any extra cost in some cases.

                      You need to sell your company and not just be the low bidder. If you only get jobs because you are low bidder, you probably not making a lot, and are almost always working crappy jobs.
                      I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by kwired View Post
                        GC may pick someone they are familiar with even if slightly higher bid, I'd probably do that as well if in their shoes.....
                        That is what I have seen with hotels and big retailers, the same crews follow the GC.

                        When we did out of town work on cell sites it was because the contractor was looking for a specific skill set. The work was not hard. The skill set needed was to be very detailed and neat with your work, but more important than that it was being able to cope with the logistics and cumbersome bureaucracy of the cell companies. It was like dealing with the Federal Government.
                        If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

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                          #13
                          See it all the time and can't figure it out. I get the keeping a crew together, but I had a local guy call me for an inspection one time and I told him that it was interesting that we had never met before, he told me that it was his first job in town, he said that he had been mostly working in Riverside. I said seriously? The guys doing the job across the street are from Riverside, you guys probably pass each other on the way to work.
                          I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.

                          There's no substitute for hard work....but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to find one.

                          John Childress
                          Electrical Inspector
                          IAEI / CEI / C10
                          Certified Electrical Inspector

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by ActionDave View Post
                            That is what I have seen with hotels and big retailers, the same crews follow the GC.

                            When we did out of town work on cell sites it was because the contractor was looking for a specific skill set. The work was not hard. The skill set needed was to be very detailed and neat with your work, but more important than that it was being able to cope with the logistics and cumbersome bureaucracy of the cell companies. It was like dealing with the Federal Government.
                            And if you have already done many of the same (or very close to same) hotel, big retailer, fast food, etc. you already know how to trim some costs, may have somewhat of a working relationship with other subs and maybe even have worked out deals with plumber, HVAC, etc. where you work together somehow on certain aspects.
                            I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ActionDave View Post
                              That is what I have seen with hotels and big retailers, the same crews follow the GC.

                              When we did out of town work on cell sites it was because the contractor was looking for a specific skill set. The work was not hard. The skill set needed was to be very detailed and neat with your work, but more important than that it was being able to cope with the logistics and cumbersome bureaucracy of the cell companies. It was like dealing with the Federal Government.
                              The big box stores run crews around the country, the only time they'll solicit locally is if they need licensure/permits/inspections

                              That's the extend of them even wanting local yokels around

                              ~RJ~

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