Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 19

Thread: Installer Blues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,453

    Unhappy Installer Blues

    Installer Blues

    Here is a situation that frustrates any controls or service technician.

    7:30am: Receive device to be installed having never seen job site or equipment. I gave 8 hours as an example.
    8:30am: Arrive at job site to review project. Oops have to run conduit, sensor wires, make mounting brackets and etcetera.
    Make list of necessary materials and call back to dispatch to find closest supply store.
    9:30am: Arrive at local supply store in hopes that they carry all material needed. Gather materials after rummaging through unfamiliar store and head back to job site. Ok lucky here got all of the necessary materials, as you know this almost never works this way. Usually need to make multiple trips to multiple vendors.
    10:30am-12:00pm: Back to job site to begin installation. Notice 4.5 hours of the 8 used and only 1.5 actually applied to installing and again this is being nice if you consider that chances are the time used to get materials was for a part of the job that was not included in the 8 hours.
    12:00pm-12: 30pm: Lunch, Ill be nice and say lunch is in the van but bologna and chips sure gets old.
    12:30pm-4:00pm: Installation not complete. Time is up, and now I am over on labor. I still have half a days worth of work.

    In actuality most of the 8 hour projects like this end up being 16 hour or more projects. The solution to this is to NEVER send a technician to install something without having them review the project first hand, unless you are know exactly what the installation process will entail and have all of the necessary supplies ready. Even then be sure to thoroughly review your plan of attack and if the installer has questions you cannot answer, than you need to accept the fact that your project is going to go over.

    Feel free to post comments/suggestions.
    "It's always controls"

  2. #2
    John Culpepper's Avatar
    John Culpepper is offline CHANGE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS Professional Member*
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Posts
    1,779
    I think you are correct in what you are saying. In fact the Furnace, Condenser, dehumidifier what ever was ordered by someone else. If they had taken the time when they bid the job to order materials as well this wouldn't be an issue. I oversee some projects at my building and when I get a bid that just says "time and materials" I wad it up and throw it in the waste basket. Outfits that are serious about what they do and the image their company reflects will walk through and actually price out what is needed and labor needed and give me a solid bid that when I shake their hand I am comfortable with.
    Nemo me impune lacessit.

    How much blood do I have to bathe in to get clean?

    Don't look down on anyone unless you're helping them up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,453
    Quote Originally Posted by John Culpepper View Post
    I think you are correct in what you are saying. In fact the Furnace, Condenser, dehumidifier what ever was ordered by someone else. If they had taken the time when they bid the job to order materials as well this wouldn't be an issue. I oversee some projects at my building and when I get a bid that just says "time and materials" I wad it up and throw it in the waste basket. Outfits that are serious about what they do and the image their company reflects will walk through and actually price out what is needed and labor needed and give me a solid bid that when I shake their hand I am comfortable with.
    Time and material bids are blind guesses unforeseen problems should be rectified as they arrive. Contractors have to be carefull to cover unforseens in their quote. Example: "Quote assumes associated components are in good working order." I use this one sometimes you cant tell what is behind the curtain until it is open. Usualy my issues are with controlers such as VFD's and PLC's. Thanks for your comments
    "It's always controls"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    4,970
    Ya I would have to say there is a problem if someone had made a detailed bid and that there wasnt a material list stapled to the shop copy of the bid.

    Spending time having someone that has never seen the job and have to go back and figure out what the estimator should have done in the first place is a waste of time by the estimator.... take it out of his comission. He will do it right next time

    Not sure its estimated time was out of a flat rate book , but it sounds like hours being under estimate would go back to estimator ......take it out of his commission....... he will bid it right next time

    This sounds like a problem of estimating a realistic time to get a project done. Now I can see it on a new piece of equipment that has never been done being you may not have realized the equipment was in small pieces like an erector set. I have ran into that and in that case there is a learning curve that may bite you that first time.

    Now if its a case of someone that is kinda slow .....well esimator should know that in advance. ITs his own fault , if that installer is the one that was going to be sent out ...... the offfice knew it would not be done in the alloted time.

    I guess its one of those things that the esimator and installers need to set down and see where the problem is between estimating and install time.

    I can get all the jobs I want estimating jobs ....... if I dont care wether there profitable

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,453
    Quote Originally Posted by dec View Post
    Spending time having someone that that has never seen the job and have to go back and figure out what the estimator should have done in the first place is a waste of time buy the estimator.... take it out of his comission. He will do it right next time

    Not sure it estimated time was out of a flat rate book , but it sounds like hours being under estimate would go back to estimator ......take it out of his commission....... he will bid it right next time
    I agree and it should go both ways. If the estimator is to be held responsible for mistakes at their end than the installer should be held responsible at their end. Unfortunately it usually falls on the installer or lead person on said job due to the fact that the estimator is usualy asked first and oh no there was plenty of time to get that done. The problem lies in the fact you can not email me the pictures in your head. Thanks I appreciate your comments.
    "It's always controls"

  6. #6
    John Culpepper's Avatar
    John Culpepper is offline CHANGE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS Professional Member*
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Posts
    1,779
    Quote Originally Posted by skwsproul View Post
    Time and material bids are blind guesses unforeseen problems should be rectified as they arrive. Contractors have to be carefull to cover unforseens in their quote. Example: "Quote assumes associated components are in good working order." I use this one sometimes you cant tell what is behind the curtain until it is open. Usualy my issues are with controlers such as VFD's and PLC's. Thanks for your comments
    I know that there things that are uncontrollible and that is when hand shake deals are done. I would not hold a contractor remiss in his bid if he found something out of the ordinary.
    Nemo me impune lacessit.

    How much blood do I have to bathe in to get clean?

    Don't look down on anyone unless you're helping them up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    1,801
    8:00 Stagger in, only 30 minutes late, load job
    8:30 Get gas. Van needed it yesterday, but it was happy hour
    9:00 get to job, tattoos and sleeveless t-shirt make a big impression on someone's Grandmother
    9:30 Make duct drawing and parts list on installation instructions, send them back to shop, never to be seen again
    9:45-2:30 HAlf assed installation as usual
    2:30:00-2:30:07 Clean up
    3:00 Buy cigarettes and iced tea at gas station while NOT getting gas
    3:30-4:00 Hang out at time clock, waiting to punch out
    4:01 Go to bar to drink, smoke, and ***** about being poor

    10:00 No heat call to service department. Installation instructions and installer nowhere to be found.
    Jason

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hells Kitchen, Phoenix Arizona
    Posts
    318
    In the situation the OP talks about I would be looking to the person who bid/sold the job that said it was 8 hours and gave you nothing to go on...You can't possibly go to a job with 1/10 of the materials and a set time limit...If the job requires legitimately 8 hours of actual on site labor to do the job and whoever didn't tell you what to expect and what you would need thats on them if it runs over...

    I remember once having to change 16 bearings on 21500cfm evap coolers it took forever to get the bearings off, clean up the shaft, find the right parts, replace what was broken, clean and re-coat the pan of the cooler, install the pumps, wait for the paint to dry, fill the cooler, change the pads, replace the bad panels...it wound up being like 6 hours per cooler and they figured it would be like 1 - 1 1/2 days total...It wound up taking a week...All I heard was how we lost so much money, the job was a waste...

    Bottom line is don't work for someone that doesn't know what they are doing...

    Quote Originally Posted by skwsproul View Post
    Installer Blues
    In actuality most of the 8 hour projects like this end up being 16 hour or more projects. The solution to this is to NEVER send a technician to install something without having them review the project first hand, unless you are know exactly what the installation process will entail and have all of the necessary supplies ready.
    Its a riot how companies never have the 1/2 hour or hour to send someone to look over a job but they sure have the same amount of time available to bring you in there office to ***** you out for not getting it done on time...
    "Overkill is an often underrated achievement", Will Hayden -- Red Jacket Firearms

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    steeler nation
    Posts
    2,074
    Quote Originally Posted by bja105 View Post
    8:00 Stagger in, only 30 minutes late, load job
    8:30 Get gas. Van needed it yesterday, but it was happy hour
    9:00 get to job, tattoos and sleeveless t-shirt make a big impression on someone's Grandmother
    9:30 Make duct drawing and parts list on installation instructions, send them back to shop, never to be seen again
    9:45-2:30 HAlf assed installation as usual
    2:30:00-2:30:07 Clean up
    3:00 Buy cigarettes and iced tea at gas station while NOT getting gas
    3:30-4:00 Hang out at time clock, waiting to punch out
    4:01 Go to bar to drink, smoke, and ***** about being poor

    10:00 No heat call to service department. Installation instructions and installer nowhere to be found.


    IV IV IX

    use your head for something other than a hat rack.......Gerry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    35

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by bja105 View Post
    8:00 Stagger in, only 30 minutes late, load job
    8:30 Get gas. Van needed it yesterday, but it was happy hour
    9:00 get to job, tattoos and sleeveless t-shirt make a big impression on someone's Grandmother
    9:30 Make duct drawing and parts list on installation instructions, send them back to shop, never to be seen again
    9:45-2:30 HAlf assed installation as usual
    2:30:00-2:30:07 Clean up
    3:00 Buy cigarettes and iced tea at gas station while NOT getting gas
    3:30-4:00 Hang out at time clock, waiting to punch out
    4:01 Go to bar to drink, smoke, and ***** about being poor

    10:00 No heat call to service department. Installation instructions and installer nowhere to be found.
    Typical non-union workday

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    newton,mass.
    Posts
    6,109
    Quote Originally Posted by hvamimi View Post
    Typical non-union workday

    Nice way to introduce yourself...just what we need, another small minded person.


    .
    "Nothing else can poison our culture, corrupt our society or ruin the character of our people like unearned money or unearned opportunity." -- James R. Cook

    "Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever." Thomas Edison, 1889.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824
    Wanna see this get worse? Sit down one day with all the cell phone bills. Block out all the time spent on calls during the 8 hours you are paying the employee. It's more than you think.

    How did you get this job?

    Did a tech go out first to fix, and couldn't, then came back to you and said you need to re-do a bunch? A simple drawing or sending the tech back to double check the bill of materials may be worth the time in some instances.
    Always here

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,453
    Quote Originally Posted by energy star View Post
    Wanna see this get worse? Sit down one day with all the cell phone bills. Block out all the time spent on calls during the 8 hours you are paying the employee. It's more than you think.

    How did you get this job?

    Did a tech go out first to fix, and couldn't, then came back to you and said you need to re-do a bunch? A simple drawing or sending the tech back to double check the bill of materials may be worth the time in some instances.
    Would it be nice to get paid for the time we spend on the net or on the phone or talking to people about the buisiness we do. I know that my company makes out on the extra time I spend, I just wish it could be more visable or at least a way to track it better so I could get paid for it. I am still hourly and for now I guess in light of this I would not want to change that yet but will very soon.
    "It's always controls"

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event