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I Remember…

I remember the first time I started estimating for SABER. It was the first job, and we were a new SABER team at Luke AFB, AZ. I came in as a Plumber by trade and had some experience working on the SMART team and in the shops. I had some exposure in carpentry, heavy equipment, electrical, and painting.  We had a new Lieutenant, a seasoned civilian, and two project managers – one EA and one from the carpenters shop. We had a new SABER contract and contractor. It was fun, busy, and very crazy! Walk a job, define the requirements, take joint measurements and counts – go back to the office and create an estimate. Then we would type or write the estimates by hand, every single line item, turning the pages in the book – all 25,000 line items! Next up: reviewing the non-priced line items, add up all the priced line items, add the coefficient and wait for the contractor to finish the same and turn that into contracting. Then the fun began – negotiation time – sit down and negotiate the job with them, agree, disagree, and agree to disagree. Contracting awards the delivery order, we go to work, and during that time, we probably started 2 to 3 more jobs and monitored a half a dozen more.

That was my introduction to SABER (Simplified Acquisition to Base Engineering Requirements), what the rest of the construction business calls JOC. I quickly found out I had horrible hand writing and decided to capture some of these estimates and frequently used line items into a software program. So one weekend I invested time, money, and a lot of patience into writing the front end of the software. That’s how I remember getting started. I left the Air Force and went to work for a general contractor working in the business. A few years later, I had my introduction into RSMeans. I left that company in 2001 and started 4Clicks. Jeff Slarve (Chief Developer) and I worked hard to capture the needs of DOD owners, contractors, and subcontractors to bring what you see and use now as e4Clicks Project Estimator.

There is not a week that goes by that I do not have the extreme privilege and joy of talking to new people who are just starting to “remember.”  The first time they are bidding on a JOC, or they’ve won a contract that requires the use of RSMeans. Some have come from using the book, some used spreadsheets and others used competing software tools. It’s humbling that they have chosen our team to help support their work efforts and growth of their company.  We get it! We understand and appreciate you and will continue to develop the solutions and tools you need today and tomorrow.  You may be a new SABER Project Manager or the Contracting Officer in the middle of September with fallout hitting your team hard. Whether you are the contractors wondering, “How can I walk another job?”, or the subcontractor who is helping the prime build estimates from RSMeans…we wish you all well!

Now we are launching our second product line: CEASEL. We’ve written about it and created a CEASEL website that we would love for you to check out: www.ceasel.com  What I can tell you is, “With CEASEL, anything is possible!”  This is a cloud based solution our customers want and need, and will hopefully be something everyone will remember.  It is, has been, and will continue to be, a true honor in serving you and the memories along the way!

–Michael Brown, CEO

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