In relation to estimating, too many contractors do not know what constitutes cost. Overhead is just as much a part of the cost of doing business as the wages of a cement finisher or a carpenter. All too many contractors have gone broke, even though their job experience might b favorable, simply because they weren't willing to find out what it costs them for the privilege of doing business. This is overhead. We cannot hear too many times the old truism: over the years more money has been left on the table by bidding too low then has ever been made by bidding correctly. Price cutting can't always be avoided. A contractor is a highly individual animal, necessarily somewhat egotistical by nature. He may feel, having bid a number of jobs unsuccessfully, that he must be missing the boat someplace. He is then prone to abandon judgement and arbitrarily reduce estimates. Results may range from years of hardship without making money to going broke. The use of materials is important, especially in the present market. Lumber, for example, must not be wasted, especially at today's inflated prices. If scrap wood is placed behind the saw, 20 to 30 percent can be saved on this material. The saw man can cut it into cleats, stakes or other materials in his leisure time. These can be used instead of picking up a new piece and just cutting off what is needed. By diligent care in the material handling process, your material costs can be reduced as much as 30 to 40 percent. When they are, your estimates can be lowered to match. Too many contractors fail, through ego or selfishness, to build up the necessary organization loyalty. This applies not just to superintendents and foremen, but to the men who actually produce the work. Men who are loyal and who produce a day's work can sometimes reduce unit costs as much as 100 to 200 percent. It is also important in estimating to know the personality and behavior of your competitor. We have had this knowledge used against us. One competitor took a 15 million dollar job from me because he knew that I liked to end by bids in 7. He beat me by a little over 1,000 dollars by ending his bid in 6. That hurt, but I learned from it and have used it a time or two myself.