Stephen Carr is the President and Chief Estimator at Carr Consulting Services. He has been in the electrical construction industry since 1971, and has been an estimator and project manager since 1980. His spent his first seven years at a wholesale house, starting as a truck driver and moving up to pricing and purchasing. For the next two years he was employed as a purchasing agent for the Los Angeles office of the second largest electrical contractor in the nation. This experience gave him an extensive base of knowledge regarding electrical materials. To learn the other side of electrical work, he visited job sites regularly to obtain first hand knowledge of labor and installations. He was a well-rounded estimator by the time his training was finished. From there he went on to become a senior estimator, project manager, chief estimator and lead project manager. He also held the position of IT manager at several of the companies he worked for.
Early in his career, he became interested in more complex work, which led to a preference for difficult projects. This experience led to bidding and winning some very interesting and important projects. It also led to two N.E.C.A. Awards of Excellence – McDonnell Douglas’ C17 Manufacturing Facility in Long Beach, and the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
In 1985, he was written up in the Electrical Contractor Magazine for his use of computers. That article helped launch Carr Consulting Services. With the blessing of his employer, he provided computer set-up and training on evenings and weekends. In February of 1994, He made Carr Consulting a full-time commitment, providing estimating and educational services nation-wide.
His ability to decipher complex projects turned out to be very good for the company. The first projects awarded to Carr Consulting were waste water treatment plants, subway terminal and track projects, and extensive bridge rehab work. This continues today, with much of our work being difficult, complex, puzzle-solving projects. Our estimators feel that it can actually be a nice break when an easy project comes along.
Steve has been using personal computers and estimating software since the Apple II computer came out. His first estimating software was McCormick’s on the Apple II. With 48k of memory, a 9″ green screen and dual 5-1/4″ 1 sided floppy drives, he was in computing heaven. Things sure have changed!
Carr Consulting Services works to stay on top of all new technologies that could be beneficial to our industry. This led to our adoption of an onscreen digital takeoff system in November of 2007. We immediately started saving our customers shipping and printing costs, as paper documents were no longer required. The time it takes to takeoff a project was also reduced. He moved the estimating department to auto-count and direct input digital takeoff software in October of 2012, saving our customers even more time..
Steve has also been teaching electrical estimating since 1985. Carr Consulting currently offers online electrical estimating courses. We have had great success with these courses, and their popularity continues to rise.
Steve has attended many seminars along the way to improve his skills, including courses on change orders, claims management, project management and personnel management. He also went back to college for two years, attending classes in advanced electronics and digital logic.
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