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For our latest ‘Meet the Team’ feature, we introduce Chris Beswick, Estimator for Spaceway. Chris has been part of the team for four years and explains all the varying aspects his role includes. We’ll find out why establishing close working relationships with the entire supply chain is vital to project success and the skills it takes to work as an estimator.
What does the role of a Project Estimator entail?
“Once a client has agreed and signed off their plans and drawings for their specific project, our design team supply me the complete set of drawings and requirements. Based on these drawings, I will be able to provide a quotation for all the materials and elements required to complete the project. It’s during these meetings and discussions that elements of the job are specified and agreed to the required level of detail. Once agreed I then start to work with our extensive range of approved suppliers to create the final costings.”
Chris believes, the key to getting it right is keeping close working relationships with all parties involved in the process. “Information needs to flow both ways between the entire chain; sales team, estimator and contracts manager. The salesman needs to provide the best information possible so that all elements are accounted for. In addition, you also need to nurture and develop strong and trusted relationships with the suppliers to get the most competitive price and make the quote as cost-effective as possible.”
Chris explains: “The challenge is that it has to be right first time every time. If it isn’t then it becomes an issue for both the client and contract manager working on that project. If things are omitted or miscommunicated at the design stage, then it falls on the shoulders of the contract manager to resolve it quickly and to the customer’s satisfaction, and this could incur additional costs which have not been factored into the schedule.”
What are the key skills required for this role?
“Patience and accuracy are essential. You need to be able to cater for any request and be aware of everything which needs to be included. Another fundamental skill is organisation skills because you are working on a number of projects concurrently; being able to keep track of each project at various stages is essential.
To ensure this happens, Chris has developed a process which ensures elements don’t get missed. For example, all drawings are colour coded and scanned on to a PC. “This way the contract manager can see what has or perhaps hasn’t been included and keeps the process entirely open and transparent.”
What advice would you give to anyone choosing this career path?
“Learn as much as you can! Knowledge is a vital part of an estimator’s role. Having a background in structural engineering certainly helps me when it comes to mezzanine floors, being able to see how it formulates and if something is or is not viable.
“At Spaceway we provide complete fit outs for all types of workspace, from warehousing to office space. So it’s vital to have great product knowledge and base of how things should be done. For example, you need to be aware how a partition is made up, or how a suspended ceiling is constructed, or the most suitable type of racking and shelving for that particular environment. This really helps when you need to calculate timings and the amount of labour required on-site.”
What do you enjoy most about working at Spaceway?
“It’s very much a company which has a strong team ethos, and this is what I enjoy the most. We all work closely together and pull all our combined knowledge and experience into one pot. Other companies I have worked with in the past tend to only focus on one product. At Spaceway we do the entire end to end solution, and this is where the sharing and communicating of our extensive collective knowledge really comes in to play.”
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
By his own admission, Chris admits: “I’m a big Formula One enthusiast – I collect the 1/43 scale model cars and have about 200 of them. I’ve created a novel way to keep them dust free and store them in CD cases which are anti-static and detract the dust. I’ve built several of my own models, all of which require attention to detail and a lot of patience – skills which resonate with my day job.”
Our project was finished on time and to budget in what was a very short timescale, which is a credit to the team at Spaceway!
MD, ALPMA UK
"I’m very pleased how they’ve gone through it all and actioned it and they’ve got good depth of resource, good depth of people, and good skilled people who work well and tightly and good communication. So I’m delighted."
We're very impressed with the Spaceway team and the whole project was installed without fault. We are looking forward to working with the team again.
Plastimo UK Limited
We are delighted with the finished product. The space has been turned into an exceptional working environment, which will serve us well for years to come
Thank you to Spaceway for the improvements that have been made to move Bodywise forward. You've done a very good job and we look forward to working with you again.
Another project well done by Spaceway. As before, we're very pleased with everything from concept through to completion.
It’s no good having just an empty industrial building you need a concept for space, a design, an infrastructure and someone to build it. Designing something like this from scratch with someone who’s willing to invest in your ideas, Spaceway is your perfect partner.
“I was so happy I did not get bothered throughout the extensive works and that a strict timetable was completed flawlessly. Fantastic experience all round.”
We were delighted with the service from Spaceway.
The project was challenging to say the least with the removal of 280 workstations and fitting of 400 new ones, along with collaboration areas and 400 bespoke lockers over two weekends, but Spaceway managed to complete this along with office refurbishment works on time and to an excellent standard.
Spaceway worked with us to create the perfect environment for our staff. The completed project was fantastic and utilised the space to provide practical, modern and attractive working surroundings.
The project was designed to meet our specific requirements which included fitting in 20 more additional workstations using the existing space. The design works well and has met our expectations fully, we will continue to use Spaceway, they do a good job.
The office fit out is superbly finished to the highest standards and beyond our expectations.