Suppose you are reviewing plans, preparing your bid- and you find something wrong. Do you: A) Ask the customer about it now; B) Bid as drawn, counting on a change order later; or, C) Keep your mouth shut, and do as specified?
Intresting, i wonder how many EC's that do plan jobs have E&O coverage, i bet not that many, we carry E&O and our insurance rates show it, when they put in those low bids, you can be sure they are not covered.
During the bid process if there is time, we will ask questions if something jumps out, then the Architect/Engineer can send out an addendum or clarification to all bidders.
On large jobs the Architect/Engineer and Owner should (and most times do) require bidders to attend a pre bid conference for this very reason. When a group of potential contractors bring their questions to the table, many errors and omissions come up in most plans and specs, and this will generate the corrections before the bid opening.
There will always be some problems that will result in Change Orders regardless of these efforts though.
This part of the bidding process is where a lot of game playng takes place.
It seems that there are many contractors who deliberately bid under their costs, relying on change orders to create a substantial profit later on. I suspect these guys don't inform the customer of the necessary changes before the job is awarded.
Another tack is to visit the job you lost, and look for ways to demonstrate that the guy who did get the job is in some way not meeting specs- then pointing that out to the customer, hoping to financially punish the other guy.
When I was with big blue, making and accepting bids we got hammered both ways. If the subs that bid to us missed something we ate it and if we missed something in the bid to the end customer we ate it. That is probably why IBM never really made any money with "services". I have to say I did really try to make the scope of work match the customer expectations and I would speak up as soon as I saw a problem. It saved money in the long run.
[This message has been edited by gfretwell (edited 08-20-2005).]
Darned good call John. I'd not only go back to the customer, but I would contact the person that drew the plans too. Keeping your mouth shut only ends in arguments further down the track and doesn't help anyone. With respect to showing up on a job you never got, that would be way out of line here. To start running the guy down that did get the job would not only be un-professional, but it would also be wasting your billable time. You would be losing on both fronts.
[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 08-21-2005).]
As for going back to the jobs you lost, Why not. I do it.
But not for the reasons stated here, I don't go back and try to bash the guy that won the job, I go back to see how he/she did it, what I might of missed, and what corners might of been cut. All without saying a word.
This gives me an idea of how someone else accomplishes the same task, what materials were used, and maybe some pointers on what to look out for the next time.
Everyone can nick-pick someone elses work, and that is very unprofessional, Heck if you look hard enough, I'm sure everyones work could be a little better, even mine.