End of Year 2020

End of Year


As the much-anticipated end of 2020 fast approaches, I thought I’d take a short minute to reflect on a very different year.

We all know and have our own personal experiences with the pandemic.  It impacted our health in more ways than just its known symptoms.  We have missed out on many family activities, everything from sharing baby’s firsts to grandparents lasts.  A very terrible situation for all.

This year marked the start of my retirement.  In my past I worked for two of the largest companies in the world GM (and its subsidiaries) and Johnson and Johnson.  I am enormously proud and happy to have worked for such great companies.  If it were not for these two companies, I would not have been able to see the world, learn what I have learned and most importantly move on to this next chapter.

As many of you know, I had this dream of a professional organization for Cost Engineers back in in 2003 when I became a Cost Leader for Delphi Automotive.  This is also where I made a lasting friend and co-founder for the Society of Cost Engineers, Leo Hernandez.  Together we agreed that there needs to be a place / organization that Cost Engineers can go to to get the assistance they need and to promote the discipline we both grew to appreciate.

Although I started the organization several years ago by taking out the name and putting a weak attempt at a webpage, 2020 was the year of taking it seriously.  As I approached my retirement, I noticed the demand on my initial webpage.  At the same time, Christian Hutchings reached out to me to see if I was interested in learning about SEER/Galorath.  Unfortunately for Chris, I was winding down my corporate life and embarking on this new journey called Society of Cost Engineers.  Fortunately for me, Chris not only had an open ear but an open mind.  I shared with him my vision for the Society and he was all in.  I owe him for his push and being really the first unofficial board member and sounding board.

I then quickly sought help and reached out to one of my college roommates, Jeff Ghilani.  Why Jeff?  Jeff has been a trusted friend since college, he is a Chemical Engineer with a wealth of experience on the sales side.  I wanted to bring that side of the equation to the organization.  Far to often Cost Engineers do not know the tactics good salespeople use to get the best price for their products.  Jeff will assist us in sheading light on these tactics.

With the base board established, I set out to bring in industry experts.  After reviewing FACTONS product offering, I reached out to their team and secured a Rüdiger Stern as Board Member.  We are incredibly pleased with the passion and direction he is bringing to the Society.

Makersite reached out to us to demo their product.  After reviewing it we quickly saw it is very powerful.  We took this time to explain our vision and goals for the Society and Makersite quickly agreed that there is a void that needs to be filled.  They committed to adding Niki Inglis to our board.  We look forward to working very closely with Niki.

If you have anything to do with Cost Engineering, you have heard of aPriori.  No Cost Engineering community would be complete without basking of aPriori.  Thanks to some members with contacts within aPriori, I was able to meet Rick Burke.  Rick and I had a few calls to discuss the plan for the Society.  We are very pleased to have Rick as a board member.

While I was a Cost Engineer, I experienced the same problems most or the members face.  To me, one of the biggest obstacles is good data.  In an effort to share with you my experience, I reached out to one of the data sources I used multiple times in my past, SiliconExpert.  SiliconExpert is a great source for electronic components pricing as well as sustainability.  We secured them SiliconExpert as a sponsor.

I am thankful to all the sponsors and board members to helping me make my dream come true.

If you have not yet read our previous blogs, I suggest you do so and comment on them.  We’ve covered a multitude topics including “5 Buckets of Cost”, “Accuracy of the Cost Model”, Debunking the Complexity of Cost Models”, “Quote vs Transparency”, “Difference Between an Openbook Supplier and an ALL Secrecy Supplier” and “How to Defend Your Price in Front of the Customer” and may more.

Next year we are hoping to expand the list of corporate sponsors.  These sponsors offset the costs of the Society thereby allowing this to be free to its members.  If you want to be a sponsor, please contact me directly.  We are also in discussions with universities to improve their coursework and creation of recognized and approved certification process.  This would bring more credibility to the discipline.  We are hoping to have an impact in 2021.

Next year we are looking to hold townhalls and joint webinars.  If you have suggestions of topics you would like to discuss, please use the comment section on the site.  We will also be doing a series of blogs as to the value Cost Engineering can bring to any organization.

The only way for us to serve you better is to get feedback from you, our customers.  Please use the comments on the webpage to express your concerns and wishes.  Please tell us how to improve.  Please take advantage of the forum to ask for assistance from fellow Cost Engineers.  If you are looking for a new position, please submit your resume for posting on the site.  If you have a open position that needs fill, please share on our site.

Looking back, 2020 was a trying year for all but it has also been the year for new beginnings and partnerships.  On behalf of the Society of Cost Engineers and it Board Members, we’d like to wish everyone a happy holiday season and hopefully an easier 2021.


Jerry Collins

Owner and Founder

Society of Cost Engineers