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The Estimator: A Key Contact for Columbia Elevator Customers

Louis "LJ" Blaiotta, Jr. on Monday, October 29, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

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Dionne Birdsall

Contact our Director of Customer Service Dione Birdsall if you have any questions about estimating.


The Columbia Elevator Estimating team, including our Account Representatives, plays a critical role as the primary contact to our customers. While we use the word “estimate,” what this team actually provides customers with a “quote” or the price that we would charge a customer for the scope of work identified. The “estimate” is the price the customer considers final (pending any change orders).

To provide accurate quotes to our customers, the Estimating Team is armed with all relevant information needed for a successful order. Necessary information from our company and the customer includes:

  1. Knowledge of how Columbia fabricates products.
    1. This consists of the capabilities, capacities, and labor required and how to best use Columbia’s pricing tools – including our online tool.
    2. Our Estimators can best respond to questions about what Columbia can and cannot build under our existing Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label and whether a customer may need to consider code-related issues that may have been left out of the specifications.
  2. Knowledge to answer customer questions about any special materials or finishes that aren’t part of Columbia’s standard offering and current market prices for those materials.
    1. Sometimes a customer doesn’t realize that a specific finish is out of the ordinary or of a very high cost.
    2. Working with the estimator helps the customer achieve custom architectural finishes.
  3. A full understanding of the scope of work and what the customer wants and expects.

During this information gathering stage, Estimators may go beyond gathering information from the drawings or specs by reaching out to the customers directly. Sometimes it requires qualifying the information multiple times before everyone is confident that the information provided is accurate. It is a lot of work, and it must be performed quickly to meet Columbia’s internal Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of getting estimates back to the customer within 48 hours.

You can reach out to our Estimating Team at our web page or just pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-888-858-1558.




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