Parallel Check Estimation is a service provided to end users (normally owner-operators, financial investors, or joint venture partners) who are currently in the FEED process. A common approach is that SES is hired to perform an independent AACEI Class 3 (+/- 20%) estimate in order for the owner-operator to receive a current snapshot of the cost at a given point, usually midway through the FEED process. Then an AACEI Class 2 (+/-10%) will be completed and submitted by SES towards the end of the FEED process. Overall, as the engineering contractor provides deliverables to the owner-operator during FEED, the information is turned over to SES for continuous estimate development on behalf of the owner. The objective is to provide another cost estimating data point to compare against the EPC contractor. In such cases, it is normally desired for the parallel check estimate to be completed in advance of the owner receiving the final FEED package estimate from the contractor. That way, a review of the parallel check estimate (prepared by SES as a non-stakeholder) can be conducted with the owner, providing independent third party perspectives. Often times, a comparative analysis is developed by SES using both the EPC’s and SES’ estimate to identify and highlight the gaps.
Estimate Quality Assurance & Control (QA / QC) is a service that is typically provided as part of a comprehensive due diligence program on behalf of owner-operators, financial investors, or joint venture partners. SES would interview cost personnel (EPC) responsible for preparing the estimate to appreciate cost estimating workflows, methodologies applied, estimating tools, as well as assess the skill level of the cost estimators. Also, SES would review the estimate execution plan, the engineering deliverables, specific revisions of the input data, and other information used to build the estimate. Additionally, verification of key items such as bulk quantities (bill of material) for the project would be included for QA / QC. In some cases where the information is available, SES can use native files from Smart P & ID programs such as AutoCAD or Smart Plant (3D, P & ID) to conduct an automatic material take-off. The purpose is to check and verify against the existing bulk quantities developed in the project estimate. Finally, SES would deliver a report with findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
Project Estimation is a service provided independently to engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) companies, owner-operators, financial investors, or joint venture partners. In some cases, an owner-operator only requests SES to prepare the cost estimate in early stages of the project development process to save time and cost. In other cases, the EPC contractor would use SES to prepare the cost estimate because their owner client requires quick results and the EPC is overloaded with other projects, or the EPC does not have any internal function or capability to handle the request. In addition, it is quite common that SES prepares independent cost estimates throughout the entire lifecycle of the project from concept to construction. That is to say, there is a significant advantage of continuous updating of the project estimate versus starting from scratch after each stage gate approval. Supplementing the estimate team on mega projects is quite common, whereby SES is only requested to evaluate specific units as part of the overall plant or process facility.
Risk Analysis is a service whereby SES will lead a formal risk meeting of the project estimate in order to agree on proposed risk ranges and set the project contingency for the estimate. The objective would be to determine the estimate risks by identifying parameters (ranges) based on the likelihood of some occurrence that would impact the costs in key estimate categories. From that, SES would perform a Monte Carlo risk analysis and work with the owner to set a reasonable contingency value for the estimate using the organization’s probability of overrun / underrun point.
“Cold Eyes” Review & Benchmarking is a function where SES reviews the project estimate prepared by an owner-operator or EPC contractor through a series of benchmarks and comparisons. The project estimate will be compared against similar project types, locations, or capacities in order to identify gaps or areas of the estimate that may be out of range according to the metrics and ratio analysis. Then, SES would prepare and deliver a final report with findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
Contractor Bid or Change Order (Notice) Request Evaluations are services provided to owner-operators, joint venture partners, or financial investor stakeholders. The primary objective is to provide due diligence and represent the owner’s interest when evaluating EPC prices during contractor selection and construction execution. SES would support the owner’s project team in order to assess all the quotations received during the invitation to bid (ITB) process or while construction is ongoing. In many cases, though not required as a prerequisite, SES would have already prepared a Parallel Check Estimate, “Cold Eyes” Review, QA / QC, or other Project Estimation services with advanced familiarity of the project particulars.
Supplemental Support and Site Secondment is a solution whereby the SES cost estimator would travel onsite and join the owner’s project estimating team at their office and the goal would be to represent the owner’s interest by conducting any of the above activities for an extended period of time. In other cases, the SES cost estimator is hired out by the EPC and is temporarily assigned to the EPC’s office full time to supplement the staff during peak workload periods as needed.