POI’s organised estimator and project manager
What does an average week look like for you?
A typical day starts with a team huddle, where we prioritise communications from clients and plan the estimates that need progressing that morning. Every project has a deadline, so everyone in our team is aware of their part in the delivery process. Thankfully, we have a great team that is used to very tight deadlines.
I’m responsible for half of the estimating work that comes into the business. I could be liaising with contractors, getting in prices, and putting together drawings and tenders across multiple projects. This element of my role is exceptionally intense and highly detailed.
I also completely manage some projects – these start with an initial site visit with a client to assess the requirements of the job. Then I’ll visit the site regularly to oversee the progress of the whole project. By checking in regularly, I’m able to identify issues before they arise and create plans to ensure the projects continue to run smoothly, on time and on budget.
I love having the opportunity to see a project from the drawing board through to completion, which is unique for a project manager. In some businesses, only the project manager visits the site and meets the client, but we do things differently. I get the opportunity to build a great working relationship with our clients from the very start of the tender process, which is excellent and has been a great developmental tool for me in my role.
Of course, being incredibly busy doesn’t get me out of the office tea rounds – everyone takes their turn.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
I love the fact that we work so well as a team. The atmosphere is really supportive, and we get to sound off ideas to one another regarding projects. I know that everyone writes on their CV that they love working alone, but I really love being part of a team. It’s why getting on the road and seeing our projects is so important; it’s a chance to have a bit of banter with our onsite teams. It all helps with the relationship side of things, and it’s great to feel fully involved and part of a wider team, not just stuck behind a desk.
What is the most valuable skill you’ve developed as a POI estimator?
As mentioned, I have moved on to managing projects, so gaining skills as an estimator gave me this opportunity. I think being involved with the tenders from the start helped me to develop my project skills in terms of understanding the phasing of projects, managing budgets, and people. Liaising with contractors and negotiating prices and products has afforded me the ability to develop my people skills, and I would say my leadership skills. All of this has also helped me to have a very calm approach to my workload. In that, my scheduling and planning skills have become far more critical than in any previous role.
What is your primary focus in 2019?
This year I am undertaking a course at Wolverhampton University “Construction and the built environment.” I am hoping to use this course to give me a better understanding of my role within the business. Of course, this is my parents business, so in time, I am hoping that I can take a more active part in the broader business functions. To be able to support the business growth and development plans and bring in new clients and business.