Part 3 – Use of Technology for Lead Tracking and Selling
When we started our company back in 1979, the standard method of
learning about a project was either:
• You had been working with the architect for months on the
design development of the project and writing the specification for
• A former customer called you and asked you to bid.
• You found the project at the "builders exchange" or local plan
room. After learning of the project, you obtained the drawings by
• Purchasing the plans from a blueprint company and many times
they cost $500.
• Begging for a set of the plans from a general contractor.
• Hanging out in the plan room until they were available and
doing your takeoff.
• Or if the plan room was "member owned" their policy might
allow you to borrow them overnight, but you had to have them back
in the plan room by 7 a.m.
Then after you completed your takeoff, estimate and
• You had to mail the blank (without the price) quotation to the
general contractor, which meant you had to have the quotation, with
all of your scope outlined, clarifications stated and terms and
conditions listed, at least three days in advance. Remember at this
point in time all of this was being performed on typewriters and
paper and pencil. There were very few personal computers available
and those available were not very user friendly.
• On large projects, it was customary that the general
contractors and subcontractors would gather at a downtown hotel in
the city of the project and you would have a "walk the halls"
meeting with the contractors to review your quotation.
• Then on bid day you would call in your "street price" and
attempt to get feedback on where your price was in relationship to
• Then you would attempt to "skate under" the low bid and "get
With the available technology today, most of these steps have
changed dramatically and make it possible for MCM
fabricators/subcontractors to be much more efficient.
A typical project today goes something like this:
• You learn of a project just days before the bid day from one
of your electronic lead sources on your computer.
• The contract documents (only the sheets you need) are
downloaded from the customer's FTP site.
• You make your takeoff, prepare your estimate and quotation
utilizing standard templates that are housed on your computer.
• Then you email your quotation to the customer and because
there are more projects to bid, you await the announcement of who
was the low GC before you track down how your quotation did.
Because of these technological enhancements, MCM
fabricators/subcontractors are able to bid many more projects than
were possible in the past. As we explore these benefits, please
feel free to drop me an email at ted.miller@millerclapperton. com
to remind me of others.
Ted S. Miller is the CEO of The Miller
Clapperton Partnership Inc., Austell, Ga. For more information,