The Art of Bidding

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Steps 1-12 of 33

Step # 1 Maintain an Internal Bid Board

Step # 2 Maintain a Simple Bid Log or Numbering System Three Things an Estimator Does with Information

  1. Collects
  2. Organizes
  3. Distributes

Step # 3  1st – Collecting Information

  1. Invitation to Bid
  2. Plans and Specs
  3. Bid Documents
  4. Contract Documents
  5. Site Conditions
  6. Your Own Experience
  7. The Experience of Others

Collecting Information From the Notice Inviting Bids and Instructions to Bidders:

  • Due Date and Time
  • General Scope of Work
  • Description of Project
  • Where to Send the Bid
  • Bonding and SCOOP Requirements
  • Prevailing Wage
  • Pre-Bid and Site Visit Information

Collecting Information From The Plans:

  • Title Sheets and Index
  • Key Information
  • Legends/Symbols
  • Plan Views
  • Quantities
  • Elevation Views/Profiles/Sections
  • Depths, Obstructions, Perspective
  • Details
  • Materials and Methods
  • Items Shown as TypicalContractor License Required

Collecting Information From the Contract Documents:

  • Soils Reports (usually in an appendix)
  • Time to Complete
  • Environmental Impact/Permits
  • General Conditions
  • Special Conditions
  • Liquidated Damages
  • Measurement and Payment

Step # 4 Take Notes During Site Visit

Collecting Information From Your Own Experience:

  1. Use Field Experience to:
  • Establish the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • Apply labor and equipment production rates
  • Recognize conflicts
  • Use Previous Bid and Company Cost Data to:
  • Shortcut the bidding process
  • Combine company experience with current estimate

Collecting Information From the Experience of Others:

  • Use Cost Data to Compare
  • RS Means
  • Sweets
  • National Construction Estimator
  • Read trade journals and newspapers
  • Listen at Association Meetings
  • Listen at Bid Openings
  • Attend Seminars
  • Watch Others Work
  • Visit sites close to the one you are bidding

2nd – Organize the Information

  • Leads to a Basis of Understanding
  • Defining/creating the work breakdown structure (WBS)
  • Creating Bid Packages
  • Leads to a Basis for your Bidding Procedure
  • Forms/Spreadsheets/Software
  • Bid Calendar
  • Conditions
  • Special Requirements
  • Bid Bond Form
  • Takeoff Forms
  • Request for Quote forms
  • Invitation to Bid forms
  • Analysis forms
  • Schedule
  • Leads to a Basis for Prioritization
  • Bid-related activities
  • Resources required to get the bid out the door

Step # 5 Organize the Information Log or Post Key Contact Information •

  • Owner
  • Project Manager
  • Construction Manager
  • General Contractors
  • Agencies
  • Municipalities

Key Information Log

Step # 6 Organize the Information Get a Firm Grip on What You are Bidding The Order of Learning

  • Familiarize yourself with the plans and specifications
  1. Addenda
  2. Specifications -Emphasis on Special Conditions
  3. Plans

 Step # 7 Bid Bond Request Form

Step # 8 Organize The Information Log and Distribute Addenda

  • Tape revisions over: – Spec. Sections – Material Schedules/Tables – Plan Pages
  • That have been changed – Details » Added » Deleted

Step # 9 Organize the Information Maintain a Plan Holders List – GC

  • Obvious reasons – Are all the trades covered – Can update and distribute plans – Suppliers – Sub
  • See GCs
  • See competition
  • See major vendors/suppliers

Step # 10 Organize the Information Log Your Special Bid Requirements

  • Elements of the bid that require special attention Examples Might Include:
  • – Bid must be submitted on their form
  • – Insurance Pricing
  • – Pricing for Bonds
  • – Schedule to accompany Bid
  • – Phasing-Bid per phasing
  • – Qualification forms/letters
  • – Due prior to or with bid

Special Insurance Requirements

  • Copy requirements from specs.
  • – Owner-Controlled Insurance Program applies to Water Authority Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects under the Emergency Storage Project (ESP)
  • Additional training on insurance requirements is provided in the “Doing Business with the Water Authority” class
  • Send to internal parties of interest
  • – Accounting/Office Manager/Administrator

When In doubt ?

  • – Ask Your Insurance Company
  • – Notorization

Step # 11 Anticipate the Construction Schedule

Having Access to an Approximate Construction Schedule Provides Answers to Questions

  • Will the project fit into our schedule?
  • Will additional crews and equipment be required to meet the schedule?
  • Will there be overtime required to meet the schedule?

Sample Questions & Answers:

  • Q: What is the most basic construction schedule at our disposal? A: Time to complete as shown in the specifications
  • Q: Does the time to complete allow for optimum pricing? A: Yes/No

Optimum Pricing Relative to “Time to Complete”

Optimum time to complete = The longest time necessary to complete the project for the lowest possible price

Step # 12 Identify Liquidated Damages