Winning new construction projects is often not just about having the lowest price. Don’t underestimate how important your tender submission is. This must be as professional as possible. In the past, I’ve often attended tender clarification meetings where the client has complimented us on our tender submission and they have possibly been swayed to award the project to us.
Leaving out something from your tender submission could mean that your price is disqualified or that your tender is evaluated without the client have access to all the relevant information.
Clients may have a number of submissions to evaluate and sometimes won't be bothered to read through all of your tender submission to search for the required information that wasn't clearly available.
What you submission should contain
Some or all of the following could be included in the tender submission:
1. an index
2. covering letter
3. the final price or form of tender
4. commercial and technical clarifications and qualifications
5. the tender schedule
6. a break-down of the price
7. the contractor’s proposed project management organisation chart and curriculum vitae of senior staff
8. a list of equipment and subcontractors
9. the deliverables the client has requested (which may include proof of insurances, cash flow and histograms)
10. company profile including a list of similar projects the contractor has completed
11. safety information and documentation
12. quality documentation (keep the information relevant to the project and demonstrate the company has a clear understanding of the client’s requirements and will meet and even exceed these)
13. environmental management information and documentation
14. if necessary, traffic management plans
15. the project approach, work methodologies and considerations taken into account in the tender
16. company brochures (which may include financial statements and safety statistics)
Include as much information as possible to demonstrate that the company has an understanding of the project, has thought through the construction process, and has the personnel and resources to undertake the project successfully.
Ensure sections such as safety and quality are included in their own separate divisions and aren’t spread across other areas of the submission. This could result in the reviewer only receiving, and reviewing, a portion of the relevant information.
Remember, tenders are often reviewed by a number of different people, or departments, within the client’s organisation. The tender is frequently split into the relevant sections which are then circulated to various people who aren’t even directly associated with the project but will, for instance, be requested to review all the tenderers’ safety documentation. If they don’t receive the full submission from a tenderer they’ll assume it wasn’t included and will give the tender a poor rating which may adversely affect the contractor’s chances of being awarded the project.
Many tenders are scored not just on price but are affected by other items in the submission such as quality documentation, safety plans, methodology and schedule.
Often the client has a defined method they will use to score and adjudicate the tenders which usually takes into account a number of factors including the price. This process often follows a set formula which is outlined in the tender document. The contractor must understand how this formula works, ensuring they maximise their scores. The items the client will look at should be clearly highlighted and must comply with the client’s requirements.
For instance, some clients may score the contractor’s price as 90% of the overall score with the remaining 10%, say, being made up of various factors such as the local ownership of the company, the number of indigenous employees, the amount of money that will be spent in the local community, the experience of the proposed construction team, the resources available for the project and the contractor’s safety record.
Checking your submission
Check the submission to make certain:
1. all the documentation requested by the client has been completed and is included
2. that all the pages have been printed and are included (sometimes in the binding process pages get inadvertently left out, or during printing, errors occur resulting in blank pages)
3. the documentation is presented in a logical and easy to read format (The specific documents the client has requested should be highlighted and easy to find. I’ve on occasion had clients ask for documentation which we had included in our submission but which they couldn’t find. This is frustrating for the person adjudicating the tender and can lead to them assuming it isn’t available, resulting in the tender being disqualified.)
It would be a pity if you weren’t awarded a project, despite all the work you put into pricing it, because your presentation was shoddy, the client couldn’t find a required document, or weren’t convinced you were the best construction company to construct their facility.
Other similar articles by the author:
Steps to help you win your next construction project
Don’t make a mistake when you price your next construction project
Why owners sometimes appoint the wrong contractor
(Written by Paul Netscher the author of the acclaimed books ‘Successful Construction Project Management: The Practical Guide’ and ‘Building a Successful Construction Company: The Practical Guide’. Both books are available in paperback and e-book from Amazon and other retail outlets. This article is adapted from information included in these books.)
© 2015 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
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The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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