The National Accounts team is one of Aspen’s newest divisions. This hardworking team works with our commercial clients, and has brought Aspen great success and expansion since its inception. Matt works as the team’s Estimating Coordinator, providing bids and proposals for commercial jobs. A recent college graduate, Matt jumped in headfirst and has seen tremendous growth since joining Aspen. Find out his strategy below.
How did you get started with Aspen?
Matt: One of my good friends is an estimator for a different company. He enjoys it; it’s challenging and there’s always something new every day, which made me take interest in it. I took business and accounting classes during undergrad so I had a good idea of how it worked. I’ve been with Aspen for 8 months. I learn through trial and error each day, but I’m always able to work through it.
What is your job title? Have you held any previous positions?
M: I’m the Estimating Coordinator. I was just an Estimator before that. I grew into the position and picked up all the processes pretty quickly.
What does a typical day for you look like?
M: I communicate with clients and sales reps depending on their daily needs and what’s on the schedule to be due that day. I do a lot of plan reading and specifications, including blueprints, project specs, detailing what components will go into the roof system, etc. It is very time-consuming. I have to sift through 700 page documents, but usually the information’s on the same spots with each document. It’s organized into sections that make it pretty easy.
I read CAD’s; they pretty much do my take-offs and let me know how big the roof is to allocate costs for. The CAD’s operate via satellite and it makes my job so much easier. I put together pricing and proposals for national account commercial jobs for each of our sales reps. Sometimes I’ll order products for siding for larger jobs, too. Since I know how to read plans, I’ll help out with that. Trying to stick to the plan, communicate with different contractors and stick to details can be tricky.
What would you say to someone seeking an Estimating Coordinator position?
M: You need to be very detail-oriented. You have to be numerically inclined. Everything you do involves numbers. Quantity takeoffs, pricing for labor and materials… you have to be patient. Trying to decipher what architects want to do can be tough. Their drawings are not always clear, so you have to be patient. You have to be an effective communicator. You’re dealing with sales reps and estimators from other companies. You have to be respectful of other people’s time. In this industry nothing ever goes as planned, so you have to be able to make changes on the go. You have to be able to prioritize work. Let’s say I’m working on a 1.2 million new construction job, whole exterior. We’ll be in the middle of another project and I’ll have to drop what I’m doing for that job and go give a client we’re in production with information. You have to rank how important the job, the client and the need are.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
M: Starting a project and seeing the production, ordering installation and seeing it become profitable. Knowing that my attention to detail and everything I did to go toward that job was done right. Seeing my division make money on it is the most rewarding.
How would you describe the company culture or culture within your department?
M: It’s like a family. We all communicate well and have each other’s’ back. If something were to go wrong, we’re always there to help each other. We’re not afraid to ask for help. Everyone is always willing to give each other advice on different projects. It’s nice because we’ve built a lot of trust. We talk about things more than just work, which is always a good comradery to have.
How has Aspen helped you grow professionally and as an Estimating Coordinator?
M: It’s taught me a lot about how to communicate with people I may not be familiar with and those who have a higher role in different organizations. It gave me confidence in trusting my knowledge and being able to communicate well. I’ve learned to trust my skills and keep in mind that just because someone has a higher position doesn’t mean they know more. People in the industry are more experienced and older. I’m this 23 year old guy that just graduated and got into the industry. I don’t let that get in the way of me speaking up if I know what’s right. It makes me feel appreciative of my education to know that I can utilize the skills I gained. I’m thorough, professional and clear with my language. They don’t have to ask me what I meant so many times. I need lots of information from people and they need info from me. You don’t always have time to talk to people for 10 minutes a day. I can definitely see that without communication things would fall apart.
How has Aspen evolved from your perspective since you’ve been with the company?
M: It’s been cool that my team members and I have developed processes that helped smoothed out things that weren’t put in place when this division started. It’s made our lives so much easier. We’ve been servicing more clients. The start to finish job process has gotten so much cleaner and less troublesome. Now that we’ve been through the obstacles, we have a more fluent process for opening and closing jobs.
How would you say your role is influential in Aspen’s growth?
M: I would say it’s influential because I put out all the bids and National Accounts is dependent on me to be profitable. My team is dependent on me to allocate costs in the right places and provide large enough margins so we can continue to be profitable and service our clients on a repeat basis.
What can we find you doing when you’re not working at Aspen?
M: Playing golf. I started back in college and it was a good leisure activity to get away from school and stress. I’ve definitely taken advantage of the getaway aspect of golf. I play 1-2 times a week. It helps me escape reality. I golf with my coworker Scott and the competitive nature is always fun and friendly.