You may or may not believe that successful bidding (winning projects) is mostly science, not luck. Somehow, young construction professionals believe that an innate gut feel allows a construction company to win work. That is, to know what the price on bid day should be to be low or in the running. That is absolutely not true.
We first have to agree that any work should be costed based on logic. The first driver of cost is quantity or count. How much product to install tells us the first piece of a logic chain that extends to labor pricing and, subsequently, all the way to the summary sheet. From opening the plans to proposing the work, there is little room for luck. It is largely based on science. On any project, the truth is not told on bid day but at project close out. Connecting the two is hard for the unsuccessful bidder. He or she does not know the outcome or the final result. The successful construction contractor does.
Only from a conversation with that company (or a former employee) can the estimator be confident that he or she had the right number. Being low is not success, being right is. Since the quantity takeoff or count is the driver of the final cost, you can see why we strongly conclude that estimating is largely a scientific or logical exercise. No voodoo needed.