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Don’t take off on the takeoff. Think about the customer first

This week’s blog is an exciting guest contribution from Jessica Harrison.

Jessica is second-generation flooring and part of the leadership team at DCO Commercial Floors.  Her experience is broad and, in this blog, displays her affection for the preconstruction function of the business.

Commercial Flooring Business Consulting

There is nothing more exciting to a Preconstruction team than fresh bid invites.

New plan sets, intricate finishes schedules, and details to dive into.

Before clicking download, we are already sizing up what we might find and how the project might look.:

  • How do I want to do this take-off?
  • Where do I want to start?

The complexities and challenges every project brings to my desk are what makes working in this industry fun every day. Overcoming the mountain, solving the mystery, finding solutions that make us the customer’s hero. There is always a damsel in distress, but she can be saved with a long enough list of RFIs.

This quintessential focus on self, highlights a mindset that is often missing from the preconstruction take-off process- What does my customer need?


If you are like me, your brain immediately screamed, “I know what they need!” but hear me out.

The preconstruction brain could answer that the customer needs the take-off, and often they need it in a hot rush!

A quick, efficient, and accurate take-off is any preconstruction team’s goal.


But what if there is something the customer values more, needs more? Customers often have other goals driving their behavior and values.


Instead of opening bid invites and asking, “Where do I want to start?”, start asking “Where does my customer want to end?”


The most important thing a preconstruction team can do is spend time learning about the customer's desired outcome.

For a team that does not tend to get a lot of facetime this can be a challenge, but the value of understanding the customer’s goals is how we win.


A good team understands what a customer needs.

A great team understands what the customer values.

A winning team understands the customer’s lens, where they want to end – and listens.


Understanding how the customer views a project is often much more important than understanding the scope.

Using the customer’s lens (opposed to your own) to review a project from the beginning results in building trust, clarity, and a great bid.


Hey, thanks Jessica.  Some great insights.  I took away don’t quote and hope.  Be intentional.  Try and take the customer's view so you can focus on what the customer really wants and values.

This philosophy could explain why the DCO Precon team has some of the highest conversion rates we have seen in this industry.

Go check Jessica out on LinkedIn!


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