Continuing to Build Organizational Synergies with ASPE

By Renee L. Hoekstra, CVS – RHA, LLC

The value profession is like many professions – there are many other societies that we need to help us, our clients and our projects to succeed. One of those special and needed relationships is with cost estimators.

I never knew about the ASPE (American Society of Professional Estimators); I only knew about the one with the same acronym but for professional engineers. I would like to thank SAVE International member Rick Wyly for introducing me to the organization. It just so happened that ASPE had scheduled their annual national meeting in Chandler, Arizona. As many of you may recall, one of my goals when I was President was to develop organizational alliances to expand our networking, educational and certification opportunities, expand the knowledge of the Value Methodology (VM), and hopefully get others excited about being a member.

I was given an opportunity to have a free booth for SAVE and I personally manned it for two days. I had numerous individuals stop by – and guess what, some were already members of SAVE, some were already certified, and many were interested in educational opportunities and membership. Additionally, Rick made a presentation about VM and estimators. A big WIN!

We need each other! This organization represents certified cost estimators and value practitioners use cost estimators in all our studies. What a perfect alliance! This is a different group – it includes many construction cost estimators and some consultant cost estimators. Contractors who chase design build and other construction delivery methods besides hard bid work are interested in finding ways to help owners find value in their proposals to help win work. The VM tools can do just that.

By the way, one individual from the Philippines was so excited, they have already joined SAVE and stopped by the booth to tell me. Let’s keep Spreading the Word…

The day before the conference, a spin-off group, the Consultant Estimators Round Table (CERT), had met for two days and asked me to do a presentation. This group is comprised of all consultants that are certified cost estimators and provide consulting services. The presentation I gave was “Value Engineering and Cost Estimators, We Need Each Other.

Cost estimating for value studies can be a tricky thing. Cost estimators are detailed-oriented and always want to focus on accuracy. This presentation allowed me to share with the attendees that our cost estimating needs for value studies is quite different. I was able to share with them the definition of value, what a value study looks like, and the expectations of their involvement for pre-study, study and post study efforts. Some even learned that not all cost estimators are cut out to be on value study teams.

Our practitioners know how important the cost estimator is to producing value outcomes and I believe that this can truly be a great alliance between our two professional organizations. I will continue to work on developing a cooperative agreement to allow both memberships to expand this relationship into the future.