IDK what I want..

ptonsparky

Senior Member
but I want it now, says the customer.

We turned down working on a project last year because it was more than what I wanted to even contemplate. Difficult customer as well. They are now asking for a price on all the control work but can't really tell me what they want, other than they want it sometime around in or around June. No hurry. Oh, and down time limited to each motor change over from the old MCC to new. Oh, and from three PLCs to one, maybe two.

All I can see is T&M or a price so high they choke and find someone else. Right now we could use the work and are at heart, a whore.

Anyone out there that can put me together a PLC & enclosure with interposing relays on the information they have now? AB1400 or
ADs CLICK are acceptable. Cmore HMI. I'll program. More than half serious on that part.
 

MNSparky

Senior Member
but I want it now, says the customer.

We turned down working on a project last year because it was more than what I wanted to even contemplate. Difficult customer as well. They are now asking for a price on all the control work but can't really tell me what they want, other than they want it sometime around in or around June. No hurry. Oh, and down time limited to each motor change over from the old MCC to new. Oh, and from three PLCs to one, maybe two.

All I can see is T&M or a price so high they choke and find someone else. Right now we could use the work and are at heart, a whore.

Anyone out there that can put me together a PLC & enclosure with interposing relays on the information they have now? AB1400 or
ADs CLICK are acceptable. Cmore HMI. I'll program. More than half serious on that part.
Definitely sounds like a T&M job.... Or price it up and add a zero or two to the end...
 

drcampbell

Senior Member
... Or price it up and add a zero or two to the end...
Even that isn't always sufficient. I once worked in a university research lab doing computers -- microprocessors in fun, geeky embedded systems. Then we got a RFQ for a computer job, a large data-processing project. Because we were both lumped in to the "computer" category, the university administration wouldn't let us decline the bid, even though it really wasn't our bailiwick.

So we made an honest estimate of the project, then doubled the (entire) price to account for omissions in our hardware estimate, then doubled it again to account for omissions in software, then multiplied it by ten because we didn't want the job.

We got it anyway.

For that much money, we'll go ahead and do it, we decided.

One of the first things we needed to do was load a pallet and a half of Hollerinth cards into a truck, schlepp them across campus, unload them and run them through a card reader one handful at a time. Then we lost our best programmer to more-interesting work elsewhere. By the time it was done, we were dragging ourselves through the day like a team of Vogons.

Money's not everything.
 

MNSparky

Senior Member
Even that isn't always sufficient. I once worked in a university research lab doing computers -- microprocessors in fun, geeky embedded systems. Then we got a RFQ for a computer job, a large data-processing project. Because we were both lumped in to the "computer" category, the university administration wouldn't let us decline the bid, even though it really wasn't our bailiwick.

So we made an honest estimate of the project, then doubled the (entire) price to account for omissions in our hardware estimate, then doubled it again to account for omissions in software, then multiplied it by ten because we didn't want the job.

We got it anyway.

For that much money, we'll go ahead and do it, we decided.

One of the first things we needed to do was load a pallet and a half of Hollerinth cards into a truck, schlepp them across campus, unload them and run them through a card reader one handful at a time. Then we lost our best programmer to more-interesting work elsewhere. By the time it was done, we were dragging ourselves through the day like a team of Vogons.

Money's not everything.
Sounds pretty rough. Hopefully you did well on it.

I mark some quotes way up (when we are busy) just because it's gonna be boring, dirty, or otherwise undesirable work for my guys. I've been there so I know what it's like to get handed a job that's gonna suck the life out who ever does it. If we actually get those jobs and do well (because I hiked the price way up), the guys get a bonus to keep spirits high. I usually try to give them a nice job to do next as well.
 

Cow

Senior Member
but I want it now, says the customer.

We turned down working on a project last year because it was more than what I wanted to even contemplate. Difficult customer as well. They are now asking for a price on all the control work but can't really tell me what they want, other than they want it sometime around in or around June. No hurry. Oh, and down time limited to each motor change over from the old MCC to new. Oh, and from three PLCs to one, maybe two.

All I can see is T&M or a price so high they choke and find someone else. Right now we could use the work and are at heart, a whore.

Anyone out there that can put me together a PLC & enclosure with interposing relays on the information they have now? AB1400 or
ADs CLICK are acceptable. Cmore HMI. I'll program. More than half serious on that part.
We would absolutely T&M or same as you, one heck of high bid with a lot of inclusions, exclusions, terms and conditions.

That usually separates the wheat from the chaff.

I finally realized a lot of these customers are just incredible time wasters. Their time and everyone elses time that they come in contact with. It's far simpler to put everything on them unless they are paying us for design, consulting, etc to come up with the plan that takes their hairbrained idea and actually makes it work. This isn't a free design service just so we can get the electrical contract that follows.

Once you separate the BS from the actual work, they are usually decent jobs. It's just the PIA factor that it takes to get there that often times makes it not worth it.

The guys see what I deal with to keep them in the work, and realize some days it's better to be able to just show up, do some electrical, and go home. Life is certainly a lot simpler.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
The universal axiom is good/fast/cheap

Pick two, anyone telling you can have all three is either lying, or willl be out of biz soon

~RJ~
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
but I want it now, says the customer.

All I can see is T&M AND a price so high they choke and find someone else. Right now we could use the work and are at heart, a whore.
your sentence was broke. i fixed it for you.

markup on material should be 41%.

your hourly rate should be set at $255 per hour.
4 hour minimum per man. afterhours rates apply.

weekly invoicing. net 7. stop work if payment not
received net seven. wire transfer preferred.
don't forget to put your wire transfer information on the estimate.

hope this helps.
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
CEO called and had no problem with T&M but needed an estimate. He didn’t like the number of zeros.
that's a damn shame. he can work it out in therapy.

he also needs you to do it. you aren't the first girl he has flirted with,
i'm willing to wager.
 

Cow

Senior Member
I always HATED that crap. It's either T&M or a quote. Nothing good happens giving an estimate and then working T&M.
We give rough budget numbers all the time for T&M jobs. We're getting started on a remodel of a historic building and I gave a budget number for $160k just for power, lights, and receps. No data, fire alarm, elevator, etc.

It's much easier when you don't know what you're going to run into or what changes the customer is going to make. I'd rather t&m on these projects, than try to nail the customer down on exactly what they want with lots of inclusions and exclusions and change orders every time they go off course. Which is the position Tom sounds like he's in.
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
We give rough budget numbers all the time for T&M jobs. We're getting started on a remodel of a historic building and I gave a budget number for $160k just for power, lights, and receps. No data, fire alarm, elevator, etc.

It's much easier when you don't know what you're going to run into or what changes the customer is going to make. I'd rather t&m on these projects, than try to nail the customer down on exactly what they want with lots of inclusions and exclusions and change orders every time they go off course. Which is the position Tom sounds like he's in.
I understand, but still hate it because the customer starts changing things and although he knows the estimate was just that, an estimate, the customer doesn't want to understand why it ran over, you know you're the expert and should have known. Then there is all that paperwork to keep up with everything you use on the project.

I understand that it has to be done sometimes, but ..... I still HATED it. :)
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
I usually hear they are ‘over budget’, then the request for pricing.
yeah. when i was getting ready to finish up the backyard, pool, pavers, yada, yada, i was gonna get a
couple prices.... i stopped after one, and got an extra blade for the tile saw.

the guy came out, we discussed the scope of work, and he scampered off, promising a number.
when i never heard back from him, i finally called, just out of curiosity, to see why he blew it off.
he said when he sat to crunch numbers, he stopped at $115k, as it was pointless to go further.
he knew he couldn't sell that.

i never even bothered to tell jill... just saddled up and planned on doing it myself. knowing that
there would be unforeseen things that rear their ugly head.

like the crack in the pool shell that has to be fixed, that showed up.

another $500 for epoxy crack injection goop. gooping yesterday, using the spiffy doodle milwualkee
18v. caulking gun, which has become my best friend of late, the cartridge blows out the o ring, and
floods the inside of the $250 caulking gun with structural epoxy.

so, $500 became $750. i went and looked this morning. the caulk gun now needs to be chipped
off the bond beam where i sat it.

i got most of the epoxy off my hands. when it runs out of the inside of the caulk gun, it gets on stuff.

yep. that epoxy sticks right nicely. you may be a redneck when instead of a loofah in the shower,
you have a scotchbrite pad.
 
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