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Home / 2010 Newsmakers of the Year / Managing the bottom line

Managing the bottom line

Estimator of the Year

Adam Arndt, C.G. Schmidt Inc.

Adam Arndt

Adam Arndt’s associates swear he has a crystal ball.

Although estimators often are asked to work with limited details up front, Arndt, a senior estimator for C.G. Schmidt Inc., Milwaukee, still manages to provide incredibly accurate quotes.

He also excels at detailed cost modeling, parametric estimating and estimate coordination, colleagues say.

“Estimators are thrown into a project with very little meat,” said Marty Choren, senior associate with Plunkett Raysich Architects LLP, Milwaukee. “Adam’s able to fall back on his resources to put together realistic numbers that have proved to be spot on.”

Choren and Ric Miller, president of Ric Miller Construction/Consulting LLC, Colgate, were introduced to Arndt in 2005 when work began on an expansion of West Bend Mutual Insurance Co.’s headquarters in West Bend. During the project, Arndt demonstrated his keen sense for controlling costs, Miller said.

“West Bend Mutual was a large, complex project,” he said. “It presented unique structural and design issues and was a difficult project to estimate. With Adam’s help, we ended up under budget in the long run.”

Choren said he still keeps in touch with Arndt, who doesn’t hesitate to offer advice on small projects when asked. Arndt presents numbers in a way that’s easy to understand, Choren said, and he sees Arndt’s youth as an advantage.

“He can use new tools and not paper and a pencil,” Choren said. “Now there’s so much data available and younger guys seem better at using those resources.”

Arndt has estimated for projects across the market, including Uline Inc.’s new corporate headquarters and distribution center in Pleasant Prairie; Actuant Corp.’s corporate headquarters in Menomonee Falls; renovations for Elmbrook High School in Brookfield; and a new patient tower at Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital.

Miller said he can rely on Arndt to offer a reasonable amount of accuracy, comprehensive work and documented cost assumptions. Arndt takes ownership of the project and anticipates where the market’s going, Miller said, to help the design team make good decisions.

“Accuracy in the estimate is very important,” Miller said. “The estimator really sets the gauge as to where the prices are at during the course of the design.”

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