Developing Tools & Processes for Faster,

More Accurate Conceptual Estimating

November 5-7 | Houston, TX

Day One
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Day Two
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Improving Historical Data Collection & Benchmarking

Coffee & Refreshments

Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Chris Jackson Director of Preconstruction Services & Estimating Manager, The Austin Company

Case Study: Developing a Single Company Database for Benchmarking to Improve Speed & Quality of Conceptual Estimating

  • Roger Brady Benchmarking Program Lead, McDermott International


  • Analyzing key principals for collating benchmarking data that will ease database creation
  • Identifying common variables that can be incorporated, and discussing how breakdown analysis can be used to normalize data
  • Understanding quantity ratios and measurements preferred by each function, and how to align these metrics across procurement, engineering and construction

Streamlining Data Feedback from Operations to Keep Estimates Up-to-Date & Inform Future Estimates


  • Reviewing how project close out documents can provide key feedback to estimators: What information can operations include and in what format to help update actual costs?
  • Highlighting productivity factors that must be accounted for when analyzing actual costs and ways to manipulate data accordingly
  • Exploring tools and systems that streamline feedback from operations and project controls teams and integrate easily with historical databases

Exploring the Use of Historical Data to Determine Escalation Rates & Cost Forecasts


  • Reviewing key variables that effect cost escalation and tools available to help navigate these factors
  • Understanding how to utilize historical cost index data to develop more accurate long-term cost forecasts, and how this can be used to inform future contingencies
  • Exploring the potential to integrate information from internal and external databases to identify current trends and inflation rates that can better inform escalation

Morning Refreshments

Aligning Systems & Methods Across Stakeholders

Advancing Relationships with Suppliers to Receive Timely Pricing Updates to Inform Proposals

  • Chris Jackson Director of Preconstruction Services & Estimating Manager, The Austin Company

Benchmarking Approaches to Equipment Counting & Analyzing How to Better Align Means Across Project Partners

  • Joe Alcorn Senior Director of Estimating, Project Controls & Risk, Technip FMC
  • Pravin Gohil Estimating Manager, Fluor


  • Comparing different approaches to equipment counting used for common components, benchmarking the efficiency of each on securing cost accuracy
  • Outlining approaches and tools that can be used to normalize equipment cost data of similar projects in the bid phase to inform current estimates
  • Encouraging project partners to employ a standard approach to equipment counting and coding to ease data integration

Lunch Break

Estimating Key Project Variables

Assigning Dollars to Labor & Materials: How are Labor Shortages, Productivity Factors & Bulk Material Pricing Fluctuations Affecting Cost Forecasts?


This interactive session will allow participants the opportunity to breakout into market specific groups, and share challenges that you face on current projects.

  • Discussing how direct labor costs have changed in recent years as a result of lack of skilled craftsmen and how this affects industrial projects
  • Benchmarking tools and databases that can help to better grasp geographical variances, and how this can be compared to historical data to budget more realistic costs
  • Benchmarking costs of basic materials and discussing areas of common variance in recent years
  • Discussing different approaches to forecasting material costs in light of so much uncertainty and how this translates into sensible contingencies

Industry Review: Analyzing Future Market Trends to Stay Ahead of the Curve on Estimating Industrial Facilities


Coming together as a room, this will be the opportunity to draw together recent conversations and benchmark how construction trends, supply chain, material pricing, labour rates, and equipment buying will fluctuate and evolve over the coming years. Get a better grip on the next biggest challenge for your team, whatever your main project focus.

Chair’s Closing Remarks

End of Conference