A Parting Note From The First Elected CERT President

A Parting Note Fr Fellow CERT Members,

Just about a year ago, we held our first election of Board Members for the newly formed Consulting Estimators Round Table, or CERT. For me at least, this was uncharted territory and a new adventure, my first in more than 20 years, and I had no idea what we would do, other than take those first baby steps. We had already spent almost a year sharing ideas about what we wanted the CERT to offer its member firms, as well as the industry we all serve. There was much to do and it seemed overwhelming.

Fortunately, the election provided a Board that proved to be some of the brightest, most dedicated people I have been honored to meet in a very long time. It was because of them, and the continuous guidance of Executive Director, Ed Walsh, the task at hand proved to be less daunting than expected because of that focus, dedication, diligence, and communication. Thanks to them and the support of all our members, I can proudly say that we accomplished more than I could have hoped for.

i) One year ago, we had 18 member firms; sadly, we lost 4 of those due to changes in their status. The good news is that we have added 21 new members for today’s total of 35 firms.

ii) We’ve had articles published in national publications Design Cost Data magazine and the AGC National e-newsletter.

iii) We’ve encouraged and promoted the networking and collaboration efforts, and had a number of members sharing work and opportunities.

iv) We have fined tuned the CERT Validation (VCEF) process, a peer-to-peer review of the member firms, which confirms that they among the best of the best. Nearly 33% of the member firms are now Validated.

v) We’ve actively worked on developing the Best Practices program which shares ideas among members through twice monthly conference calls, and are putting that information into a Best Practices Manual that will be made available to member firms along with regular updates.

vi) We’ve started to work on a format for a multi-purpose newsletter that will be used to share articles and information among the members, but also can be used either individually or as a group to keep your clients and/or the industry at large up to date on our activities.

vii) Finally, over the past several months, a strategic alliance between CERT and ASPE has been in discussion, and the formal agreement is expected to be signed at the conference in Philadelphia.

During the conference, your new Board of Directors will be sworn in, and I have every confidence in the continued dedication and leadership of the new team. Your new Board President is Dan Frondorf who I’m sure you’re all familiar with; I’m pleased to turn the keys over to Dan.

There is still much to do.

Every new organization will encounter bumps in the road, but with the active participation of all the members, and the continued focus and dedication of your elected officers, you will have the opportunity to be a part of CERT, the premier association strictly for the independent consulting estimator. Thank you all for your support and your confidence.

John Forgos, 2012-2013 CERT President

Feeding the Beast – Creating “Buzz” & Marketing your practice.

Feeding the Beast – Creating “Buzz” & Marketing your practice.

I learned about marketing many many years ago and thought I knew the rules, then the internet happened and all the rules changed.

Most folks in business struggle daily with the fundamentals of just doing what they firm claims to do- how then does the business keep moving forward and grow?

Is your business worth 30 minutes per week of marketing? Twenty four hours per year?

Ponder this- there are four basic ways a consultancy can market itself:

1) Referrals [partnering up as with CERT- you are already doing this]

2) Networking [working the room- if you aren’t doing this you need to]

3) Advertising [spending money- ugh- the least effective most often]

4) Feeding the beast [promotion, “virtual” networking, public relations and goodwill]

Ed Walsh will explore the concept of “Feeding the Beast” where “the beast” is your need to market the business. This call is open to all current full members of the CERT.

Are not yet a CERT member? Join now and don’t miss this important call!

Upcoming- Incoming CERT President Dan Frondorf CPE To Present at ASPE National Convention

Incoming CERT President Dan Frondorf CPE to offer Ethical Bidding Considerations seminar at ASPE National Convention this July in Philadelphia.

Daniel Frondorf, CPE is the owner and operator of Cincinnati based DG Frondorf and Associates LLC, VCEF – a consulting estimating firm specializing in civil and site cost estimating services for contractors, designers, CM firms, and owners.

Dan is a national board member of ASPE, serving as the Central Plains region Governor from 2009-2013, and his firm is a member of the Consulting Estimator Round Table. (Dan is the 2013-2014 President of the CERT).

He is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati, teaching heavy highway (civil) estimating, and is a faculty member at Cincinnati based Allied Construction Industries, a trade association for contractors, teaching estimating fundamentals and ethical bidding practices in their contractor education program.

Dan is the author of “Ethical Bidding Practices – Why ASPE Promotes Them” in the October 2010 edition of Estimating Today, and has presented seminars on civil estimating and ethical bidding practices at ASPE regional and national estimating academies.