Perry Reiter is the creator of AskTheEstimator.com. The whole concept came from a life-long estimating upbringing and education in the construction and manufacturing industries.
Perry’s grandfather was a master craftsman that came from Austria back in the early 1920′s. His grandfather’s life in Canada was as a Master Carpenter that led to becoming a General Contractor which then led to Real Estate development in Commercial Properties. Perry’s father, also followed his father into construction as a General Contractor as well. It was that love of construction that runs through the Reiter bloodline.
Perry’s construction experiences started at a very young age. It was his father’s belief that you must have field experience to be a good Estimator and General Contractor, so he made it a point that his men would teach and treat Perry just as any other worker. From the time they would pick him up in the morning and return him at night, they made sure there were no special preferences for the “bosses son”. Perry’s father also made sure that Perry had to learn the dirtiest jobs construction had to offer. His feeling was that it would build character and an appreciation of construction processes. So At the age of 14 Perry was tying Rebar. Then at the age of 15, he was performing demolition within a flour mill renovation. In fact, since Perry was too young to be a union member, he was thrown off that job-site for being too young as well as taking away a job from a union member. At age 16, Perry was cleaning wood clamps with muriatic acid at his fathers furniture manufacturing facility. As Perry got a little older, his father thought that at the ripe old age of 17, it was time to learn how to go about getting a construction permit, live as well. Then he had finally graduated to the office from the age 18 and older, all to start learning about Estimating. All that had to be accomplished before Perry was off to college.
Perry went straight into the Architectural Technology construction program at Vanier College in Montreal, Quebec Canada. From there he transferred into the Architectural Engineering Program at Southern Polytechnic State University in Atlanta, Georgia. With his family and family business, all moving to Atlanta, Perry kept on working with his father. Estimating and operations were the tasks that became key skills for Perry and the cornerstone of his expertise. Perry’s credo has always been “you must know your cost before you can determine your selling price.”
In 1981, Perry graduated from Southern Polytechnic State University (back then was called Southern Technical Institute, a division of the Georgia Institute of Technology) with an Architectural Engineering Technology degree and a sub-major in Construction Management. When Perry graduated, he moved to Washington, DC to work for a large General Contractor called the George Hyman Construction Company (now The Clark Group). As a concrete estimator for the largest self performing General Contractor in the Washington, DC area, Perry accumulated a vast base of estimating expertise.
Then in 1982, Perry moved back to Atlanta to work with his father in manufacturing. His responsibilities were extensive estimating and bidding during the recession at the time, production management and project management in his fathers commercial woodworking business. From there, Perry moved on, and back into the construction world working for a real estate developer called the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in 1987. His responsibilities were assuming the position of Senior Budget Analyst. At the time, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company had four 5 star properties operating. The company plan when Perry started, was to have 50 hotels opened in the ensuing 5 years. When he started there, all estimating tasks were done the traditional 100 year old way, “Pencil, Scale Ruler & Paper”. To further complicate the matter, Perry’s senior budgeting analyst associate was retiring, and all estimating and budgeting responsibilities were on his shoulders, the old fashioned way. Perry’s first reaction to his direct reports were to inform them that there were construction estimating software programs out there that could streamline the estimating and budgeting process. Their response was to go and find a construction estimating software program that would satisfy his needs. That is exactly what Perry did. Since he had worked there for about a year, he accumulated the knowledge of the internal processes that were the requirements of the organization. It is only from there could he go forward to search out the appropriate construction estimating software program that would achieve his needs and the company goals. Perry became an expert with the construction estimating software program. Then three years later and into another recession, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company dissolved the construction development department.
Perry played to his strengths and started teaching users of the estimating program all over the United States. He also became an estimating software dealer of the program for the next twenty years. So after thirty-five years of estimating and teaching hundreds of companies and users the art of computerized estimating, Perry felt that there is an absolute need to help all kind of folks in the related construction industries regarding estimating. Perry has trained small Mom & Pop construction firms working out of their basement to large multi-BILLION dollar companies like Fluor Daniel, Turner Construction, Parson Brinkerhoff (PB), Kajima International, Florida Power & Light Company, Dow Corning Corporation, Shimizu America, etc. So over the years, Perry has accumulated a vast knowledgebase of estimating processes and has refined the estimating process that is Un-matched and not even addressed in any trade reference or construction estimating school program. Back in the late 1990′s Perry actually taught computerized estimating processes for seven years at one of the leading construction schools in the United States; Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta (suburb of Atlanta), Georgia, his Alma Mater.
Even though estimating is one word, estimating really breaks down into about 12 different estimating processes. So, in pondering on how to cleanup all the confusion in so many construction disciplines regarding estimating, that is exactly how Perry came up with AskTheEstimator.com . A Free service of information (12 independent estimating process discussions) through our interactive blog and your questions posted to any of the discussions. After a consolidation of the questions per each of the 12 processes, a free video answer is then posted by Perry.
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