Electrical Contractor Problems and TurboBid Solutions


 “Do you need to find a faster way to complete estimates?”

“I spend to much time on estimating. I know it’s a necessary part of business but when I’m bogged down doing estimates, I’m not making money. It takes me away from working with the tools and/or managing my business. That’s where I make my money. The faster I can complete an estimate, the more money I can make.”

Jeremy S. – Elkhorn, WI


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid allows you to complete estimates faster and spend more time making money.

TurboBid's unique wizard format allows estimates to be completed in a fraction of the time. TurboBid will guide you through all of the steps required to complete a detailed estimate.


“I need to know that I’ve accurately accounted for all of the direct and indirect costs associated with the job. I need an easy way to  determine the material that will be needed and how long the job will take.”

“I don’t know my exact cost when I estimate a job. I feel that I’m in the ballpark, but I really don’t know and it makes me uneasy.”

Jeff L. – Camden, NY


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid produces extremely  accurate estimates. By knowing your true costs, all of the jobs that you are awarded will make a profit. Let your competition have the losers.

Ballpark estimating, unit pricing or square foot pricing simply does not work. There are too many variables on each project. The construction of the dwelling, the manpower on the job, material requirements, etc., can change from job to job. TurboBid makes sure that your estimate includes all direct and indirect costs so that you can finally start generating consistent profits.


“I need a way to determine what material is included in my estimate as well as a way to keep the material prices current.”

“I use unit pricing and square foot pricing to estimate and I’m not really sure how to account for fluctuating material prices. My wire prices seem to change week by week. Steel products keep going up and down. My GFCIs just went up. I’m not sure where I’m at anymore.”

Jorge R. – Macomb, MI


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid determines the exact material that is needed for the job.  It also includes a number of ways to keep the material prices up to date. You can rest assured that the material cost in your estimate is accurate.

You can choose to use pricing services from Trade Service, EPIC, and NetPricer. National supply houses, including Graybar and Crescent Electrical Supply, have agreed to provide TurboBid users with free price files to update your material prices. Many local vendors have also agreed to provide TurboBid users with price files that can be used to update your material prices. Each material item in TurboBid can include pricing for up to 5 vendors of your choice. A price file will allow you to update a vendors prices with the click of a button.


“I need a simple way give my customer a price reflecting exactly what is on the print as well as a price for items that need to be added to the prints to meet code.”

“I have a customer that wants me to give them a price for exactly what is on the blueprint so that they can compare apples to apples. They also want me to give them a price for a code compliant installation. I want the job but it’s turning out to be more trouble than it’s worth.”

Ronald S. – Red Hook. NY


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid gives you the power to easily generate a “Per Plan” price as well as a “Value Engineered” price.

TurboBid allows you to do one take-off “Per Plan” as well as a “Value Engineered” take-off that includes just the items that need to be added and/or deleted in order to meet the minimum code requirements. Value Engineering a print means that the electrical layout provides the most cost-effective, yet code specific, layout possible.  Devices are added to meet the requirements of the National Electrical Code (NEC) and all applicable local amendments.  Devices are also eliminated and/or relocated in order to lower the cost while still maintaining the industry standard for electrical design. TurboBid generates a Value Engineered report that shows your customer what items were added and/or deleted, on a room by room basis. Your customers need to count on your expertise in this area. The architect is not their electrical contractor, you are. If you can lower their cost through value engineering, you will have an advantage over your competition.


“I need a better way to handle walk thru revisions and change orders.”

“I am spending too much time revising my estimates to reflect customer walk-thrus and change orders. It’s bad enough revising the bid price but it’s a nightmare having to put together a detailed listing of what the revisions include.”

Scott M. – Hansen, MA


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid quickly generates revised bid packages allowing you to save both time and money.

TurboBid allows you to easily revise estimates based on a customer walk through or plan revisions. The revised bid price will display the original bid price, the cost of the revisions and the revised total bid price. TurboBid generates a Change Order report that shows your customer what items were added and/or deleted, on a room by room basis.


“I need a way to know  exactly what the inspector wants so that I don’t fail inspections or end up losing money because I didn’t include money in my bid to cover the inspectors own unique  code requirements.”

Whenever I bid a job that is located in a city that I’ve never worked in before, I don’t know what special requirements the inspector is going to have. I’ve called inspectors in the past but they have always been vague about what they want. I’ve lost money in the past by not including certain code requirements that are over and above the NEC that the inspector ended up wanting. If I budget for the worst case scenario in my bids, I’m afraid my price will be too high and I won’t get the job.”

Mike M. - Quincy, FL


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid features an electrical code section so that you know exactly what the local electrical inspector is going to require.

TurboBid’s interactive code requirement section allows you to know exactly what the local inspector’s code requirements are. You need to know what he is going to require before you complete your estimate. Without this knowledge, you can’t value engineer a print or design a code compliant electrical layout. In order to be a true professional and offer a value added service to your customers, you must know the local code requirements. TurboBid will print out a Code Requirement report that you can send to the field so that your Foreman is aware of the inspectors requirements.  


“I need a way to quickly generate highly detailed bid packages that present a professional image.”

It seems to take me longer to put together my bid package than it does to complete the actual estimate  I believe that my bid package is a direct reflection of my company. If I don’t submit a professional bid package, I will not be perceived as a professional contractor and will not be awarded the job.”

Stephen F . – Meridian, ID


TurboBid Solution:

Turbobid automatically generates highly detailed, professional bid packages and reports that are based on the information contained in the estimate.

TurboBid saves you considerable time by automatically generating highly detailed bid packages and reports. In addition to saving time, the professional looking bid package gives your customers confidence in your company. If a potential customer has confidence in your company, you don’t have to be the lowest bid.


“I need a way to automatically apply the correct labor units based on each floors construction.”

I realize that it takes longer to do a rough-in on a floor where the ceiling is constructed of 2 x 12s than it does on a floor where the ceiling is constructed of open web joists or open roof trusses. The problem is that I don’t know how to easily, and accurately, adjust my bid to reflect the different types of construction.”

Daniel B. – Laurel, IA


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid will automatically assign the correct labor units based on the construction of each floor (level) of the project.

The construction factors of a building make a difference on installation times. Example: The 1st floor's ceiling is constructed of dimensional lumber (2x12). The 2nd floor's ceiling is constructed of open roof trusses. A ceiling outlet will take longer to rough-in on the 1st floor than it will on the 2nd floor. TurboBid's residential electrical estimating program automatically adjusts the installation times based on the construction factors of a building on a floor by floor basis.


“I need a way to automatically assign the correct material quantities, as well as the correct labor unit, to each assembly based upon if I am running under the floor or above the ceiling.”

I have to use conduit in a house that we’re bidding on. The 1st floors ceiling is solid 2x12s so rather than drilling the ceiling joists and coupling 16” pieces of conduit together, I’m stubbing the conduit down into the basement, connecting the stub downs and strapping the conduit directly to the bottom of the basement ceiling. The 2nd floor ceiling is open roof trusses so I’m running the conduit above the ceiling. My problem is that the amount of material required for a receptacle on the first floor is considerably less than the same receptacle on the 2nd floor. I don’t know how to accurately account for the different material and labor requirements of each floor.”

Craig H. – Southlake, TX


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid automatically applies the correct material quantities and labor units based on if you are running your romex or conduit below the floor or above the ceiling.

If you’re serious about producing consistently accurate estimates, you need to account for all possible factors. Construction factors, including how you’re running your romex or conduit, make a big difference in your ability to generate consistent profits. You can’t afford to be right just part of the time.


“I need to be able to determine how many additional hours an apprentices skill level will cause the entire crew to work.”

“I have apprentices and helpers that I pay less but I’m unsure of the effect that their lower skill levels have on the labor budget for the job. I know that their lack of production is causing the more expensive employees to work more hours in order to make up for their lack of production. If I cannot accurately determine the additional hours that the entire crew will need to work, I will end up losing money.”

Mark R. - Jersey City, NJ


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid automatically calculates the effects that that an employee’s skill level has on the entire crew. The additional hours that the crew must work to make up for the employees’ lack of production is added to the projects labor budget.

Use adjusted hours if you have workers that perform at less than journeyman production. This might be the case with an apprentice or summer help. For example, if the apprentice is producing half of what a journeyman produces, the entire crew is going to have to work more hours to make up for the apprentices lack of production.


“I need a way to accurately calculate how much money to add to all of the units in the project in order to account for the pay rate increase that will take place part way into the project.”

“We’re estimating a multi unit project that will last approximately 10 months. Our employees are scheduled to receive a pay rate increase two month into the project. I’m not sure how much money to add to each unit in the estimate in order to offset the pay rate increase.

Gary G. – Amherst, OH


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid will calculate the amount of increase to add to all of the units in the project to account for any upcoming labor increases.

Example: The project is scheduled to start in April and you have a labor rate increase that will start in June. You don’t want to have to go back to your customer and ask for an increase two months after you have started the project. You also do not want to add the full labor increase to the units that will be built prior to the increase. If you do, your price will be too high to get the project. Based on the number of units that are in the project and how many units are built per week, TurboBid will calculate the correct amount to add to each unit to offset the labor increase.


“We would like to have an easy way to give our customers a list showing what is included in each room.”

“Our customers would like to see what our estimate includes in each room. We currently do a total count from the print. It would take way too long  for us to take-off each room separately.”

Richard T. – Castaic, CA


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid allows you to generate quantity take-offs on a room by room basis.

Take-offs in TurboBid are completed on a unique room by room basis. The take-off spreadsheet is pre-loaded with the rooms that are on the blueprint along with the required assemblies. Take-offs are not only incredibly fast but they are also extremely accurate and detailed. This room by room method allows you to submit a proposal to your customer that lists the assemblies that are included in each room.


“I need an easy way to calculate my overhead expenses.”

“I have a hard time determining how much money to add to my estimate to cover my overhead. I’m worried that I have either too much overhead or not enough.

Dean L. – Sheridan, WY


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid includes two different overhead cost calculators to help you determine the cost of running your business.

It can be difficult to determine your company’s true overhead costs. TurboBid includes two different overhead cost calculators. One to calculate your overhead cost as a percentage and one to calculate your overhead cost per hour.


“I need a way to allow an employee to enter data without having access to our bid price information.”

“We have multiple employees involved in our estimating department. I have an employee who enters the basic information as well as taking off the prints. I don’t feel comfortable with them having access to our sensitive pricing information.

Tom W. – Hillsboro, OR


TurboBid Solution:

TurboBid allows you to assign security levels to employees and restrict sensitive pricing information.

To open TurboBid, your employees need to enter their user name and password. You have the ability to restrict access to individual projects to specific employees. If you would rather keep the bid price and other sensitive data restricted, you can set up an employee with data entry only restrictions. This means that you can set up an employee to enter data into the estimate while restricting them from viewing any of the pricing screens.



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Advanced Electrical Technologies, Inc. - 24721 Kingston Street, Plainfield, Il  60544 - Toll Free: 888-417-2458