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We recently heard from a company that took over a $200,000 hit (spread over several jobs) because of actions the job superintendent took. The job super had the opinion that the company was making heaps and gobs of money, so there must be lots of slop in the estimate. He assumed he could give things away and be a hero to the customer.

You can’t deal with this after the fact, other than firing the individual. But you can address it ahead of time.

When you hold your pre-job conference (as you should always do when the job is transferred from sales to production), give the super the estimate sheet with your budget numbers for the job. Include the labor hours calculated for each item of work. Explain that it is their monetary and hourly budget for the job and they had best bring that job in within those budgets. Check the job once or twice each week to be sure the budget is being followed and the freebees, giveaways and extra work for nothing should go away.

You must be diligent as an owner to be sure that the budgets are kept on each job. If you don’t, it can be an expensive mistake.

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