Oversee The Bid Process
Identify Compatible Contractors
Every project is different, as is every client. Ditto contractors. It is extremely important to identify those contractors that match most closely to those drivers deemed most important to the client and their specific project. Just because a contractor was a good match for a friend, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are right for your project. Finding likely candidates and conducting candid interviews will go a long way towards determining whether a particular project might be better served by a negotiated bid rather than a competitive bid.
Organize Bid Package
Optimally, the bid package should be as complete and thorough as possible. This would include completed/final drawings (including site plans), a comprehensive list of specifications and selections, and only minimal reliance upon Allowances. This is especially true if budget is an important decision criteria. Where final drawings and specs are not available prior to pricing/bidding, it is important to provide sufficient information (to include realistic Allowances) such that the resulting estimate(s) have some basis in reality.
Control Bid Process
If a competitive bid process is desired, creating a realistic bid schedule and coordinating contractor and subcontractor meetings such that all parties are receiving the same information is vital. This is especially true if the Bid Package is not comprehensive.
Review and Clarify Bids
Regardless of the detail included in the Bid Package, and despite best efforts to control the bid process, if a Competitive Bid process results in estimates from two or more contractors, there will inevitably be the need to reconcile apples to oranges. Even if a Negotiated Bid is conducted with a single contractor, it will be necessary to clarify many details of the estimate to ensure that the contractor’s understanding of the scope of work matches up with the client’s expectations.
Negotiated Bid or Competitive Bid? Interview first, or wait until after estimates are prepared? How many contractors to consider? What are the decision criteria to be in selecting a contractor? All these questions need to be considered when structuring a bid process.