CEU class Charles Vander Kooi

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by FIMCO-MEISTER, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. The Dallas Irrigation Assoc. brings in a guest speaker once a year to provide the opportunity to get 8 ceu credits. Pays for the membership. This year the speaker was a bidding expert by the name of Charles Vander Kooi. If you ever want to become an expert in bidding this guy is a great start.
    How many use man production hours in their bidding?
    Can you estimate how many feet of pipe can be laid in man hours of production? (mhp)
    Valves in MHP?
    Heads in MHP?
    How many add overhead to bids?
    How many include their salary and profit as one and the same?
    Equipment hours?
    How many know actual material takeoff?
    How many include lost man hours? (Time spent standing at the shop, vacations, sick pay, rain days, etc.)
    I could go on and on but he smashed the per head or per zone bidding method. Real bidding takes a lot of time. No shortcuts in doing it right.
    I was trying to relate it to the by the hour billing method (T&M) but I'm going to go over my books very carefully and determine the actual cost and profit factors in percentages for each hour of billing.
  2. No Rush

    No Rush LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    Does he have a web site? Is he here in Texas? Sounds like he left your group with alot to consider when bidding.
  3. No Rush

    No Rush LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    I looked over is web site, lots of great information. I don't see any stops in Texas on his calendar but, it may be worth the trip to go to one of his seminars.
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I went to his seminar about 5-6 years ago. great stuff. Learned a lot. It was put on by UGM (now JDL). I think it was titled Bidding with Confidence.
  5. His hardscape mag is free I believe. the seminars are taught by his associates. He also has books and videos I believe. He is a very entertaining and LOUD speaker. But his emphasis is on the bidding pyramid. Most contractors I assume take what they believe to be the marketplace going rate then go backwards from there. He uses the opposite pyramid gets real costs of material/labor/office/salary/overhead/equipment/fudge factor/risk factor/ then profit to finalize price. Once these parameters are determined then the factors are put into each bid to determine price. I suspect most per head or per zone contractors are clueless as to all those above mentioned costs. If you do not include your owners salary which you shouldn't the avg profit margin in our industry is about 5%. Contractors who think they have a 20% profit margin and can't figure out why the are so cash strapped don't carefully analyze the small but numerous real costs involved. He also made the point that equipment costs should be factored at todays new replacement cost not your purchased price. Also that there is no real savings in buying used because of downtime and maintenance risks. It was an 8 hr class so obviously I'm leaving out a bunch. The big issue we all face is at what salary would you want somebody to pay you to do your job now? Living in Dallas, TX which has no real natural beauty I would not do my job for somebody else for less than 90,000.
  6. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,979

    Thanks for sharing the shuck....he's been around forever..doing zip.
  8. sprinklerchris

    sprinklerchris LawnSite Senior Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 281

    Jim Huston is one of Vanderkooi's competitors. A little easier system to use and less BS upfront. Great book

  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,979

    :gunsfirin:gunsfirin Jim Huston..same shuck.

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