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#167120 - 08/06/07 12:18 PM Lost Bid Follow-Up  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Every job we bid has specifications. Quite often, specific light fixtures are called for, or they want you to do more than 'code minimum.'
As an example, one job I am currently doing specifies steel fittings with plastic bushings - rather than the usual die-cast zinc. Some of the wire sizes called out are also larger than 310.16 would require.

So- here's the question:

Assume you've lost a bid. Do you re-visit the job to verify the 'cheap guy' is meeting the requirements of the job? Or, do you leave it to the customer to enforce his plans?


Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:

#167121 - 08/06/07 12:46 PM Re: Lost Bid Follow-Up [Re: renosteinke]  
LK  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
Originally Posted by renosteinke
Every job we bid has specifications. Quite often, specific light fixtures are called for, or they want you to do more than 'code minimum.'
As an example, one job I am currently doing specifies steel fittings with plastic bushings - rather than the usual die-cast zinc. Some of the wire sizes called out are also larger than 310.16 would require.

So- here's the question:

Assume you've lost a bid. Do you re-visit the job to verify the 'cheap guy' is meeting the requirements of the job? Or, do you leave it to the customer to enforce his plans?


Leave it to the customer to enforce his plans.

What might be done is to submit two quotes, with the second one proposing certin changes to control costs, this will usually make them aware, the cost can be controlled, and at the same time, draw their attention to the higher specs. in the bid.


#167122 - 08/06/07 01:04 PM Re: Lost Bid Follow-Up [Re: LK]  
ITO  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
Texas
Is this question related to my voltage drop comment?

One of my really bad habits, is I don’t follow up on bids with the GC like I probably should and am shameless about visiting jobs I lost to see who got it and how they are doing it if I felt my bid was good.

As an absolute rule, I never bad mouth my completion, no matter how much they deserve it and its not my place to police them either. I do however sometimes visit the job sites and see what they are doing different and either see a better way to do something or learn how they are cutting a corner to beat me. It’s an ego, thing for me for when I just know my number was good.

BTW since the price of zinc has gone through the roof, you should be only be stocking steel fittings anyway, and if you buy in large enough quantity the throated connectors are the same price as the non-throated. Right now I only stock steal, SS and Comp, in throated and they will work for any job.

Last edited by ITO; 08/06/07 01:05 PM.

101° Rx = + /_\

#167123 - 08/06/07 04:26 PM Re: Lost Bid Follow-Up [Re: ITO]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Ito, I will confess that your comment did suggest this thread to me .... and, since there's no single 'right' answer, I thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss one facet of 'business ethics.'

You are correct - at this moment - as to the pricing of fittings (zinc vs. steel). We both know that this is an unusual situation.

I'm sure we've all bid jobs, lost them ... only to return later, and see the work performed was quite a bit different from what you bid. I've had a few conversations go like this:
Cust: You were way higher
Me: What was built was not what I bid on.
Cust: Oh? How's that?
Me: You asked for X, I bid on X, and Y was done.

Now, granted, most of my work is for a handful of regular customers, who are occasionally required to put a larger job up for bid. Sometimes I lose these bids. Often I will get the change order to complete the work.

I am not assuming that the 'cheap guy' is doing anything improper. We all know prints are filled with 'mines", little details that will blow up on you if you miss them. We are also often caught in a rut at the supply house: either we take what they feel like having in stock, or we have to order, wait, and pay, pay, pay.



Some of the blame also lies with plans that include unnecessary specifications that do nothing except increase the cost of the job.




#167125 - 08/06/07 05:26 PM Re: Lost Bid Follow-Up [Re: renosteinke]  
ITO  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
Texas
Here is how mine go:

GC- Your bid is too high
ITO- Really, how high?
GC- The other guy gave me a price 50% less than yours.
ITO-Wow that is a good price, you had better give him the contract.
GC-Aren’t you going to lower your price?
ITO- My price may not be the low price but it’s the right price, and I am sticking to it.
GC- What is the difference?
ITO- Experience, one of us has more. Maybe its him, maybe its me… if he gave you that price in writing I would get him under contract fast before he figures it out.


101° Rx = + /_\

#167222 - 08/08/07 12:20 PM Re: Lost Bid Follow-Up [Re: ITO]  
Sixer  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 265
Canada
Unless I've made a gross error in calculating a bid, the price given is not up for negotiation. In my opinion, you lose credibility by lowering your price after submitting a bid. As for following up lost bids, I don't generally bother. Everyone has a different style of workmanship or what materials were used, so a lot of times it's like comparing apples to oranges. Also, there are some corners that I won't cut just to get a job.


Sixer

"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"

#167226 - 08/08/07 12:45 PM Re: Lost Bid Follow-Up [Re: Sixer]  
ITO  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
Texas
It really bites when you bid a job as per plans and specs with hard pipe, steal fittings, and up sized home runs only to find out they guy who got it is doing the whole thing with #12 MC.


101° Rx = + /_\

#167228 - 08/08/07 12:49 PM Re: Lost Bid Follow-Up [Re: Sixer]  
macmikeman  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 717
Honolulu, Hawaii
I lost a bid job a decade back that still burns me up quite a bit. It was a rooftop package exchange job- several large units. The specs clearly stated rigid 2" and 3" conduits be run out to the units. I submit my bid and hear back that I was "way too high" compared to the next company. About a year later I was back up on that same roof to do a service work job and what did I get to see? EMT conduits, with set screw fittings no less out in the weather. And to top it, I know there was a permit pulled and so therefore in theory an inspection done.....

Last edited by macmikeman; 08/08/07 12:51 PM. Reason: changed ss to set screw to clarify not stainless steel

#167240 - 08/08/07 02:05 PM Re: Lost Bid Follow-Up [Re: macmikeman]  
ghost307  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 900
Chicago Illinois USA
I get a lot of questions during the bidding period on the jobs that I design; and I try to keep a fair and level playing field.

I tell the bidders that redesign and substitute 'may' be acceptable, but that waiving any part of the requirements during bidding wouldn't be fair to everyone.

I also tell them that they are welcome to submit 2 prices; 1 per plans and specs and 1 that assumes that their changes are acceptable.

I tell the Owner during the bid reviews that he needs to look at BOTH numbers in order to make up his mind who to award it to; and I walk him through it as best as I can. This has worked very well in the past as there is a reduced incentive to make unapproved changes while whining "but I didn't bid it that way".

BTW, I answer the whines by insisting that the subsequent Change Order meeting include a copy of the bid exclusions from the initial bid. If it was listed as being excluded, we'll talk about more money. If it wasn't excluded, we have a very short meeting. I've been in far too many situations where work was actually included but the Contractor was coming up short in his profits and tried to play games.

One major job that I did came to a screeching halt when the Architect (sometimes they're pretty sharp) asked if the Bid was 'plans & specs' and got a YES. Halfway throught the meeting the Contractor said that his substitution "met the Code and that's what we bid". The next question was from the Architect who asked "So did you bid plans & specs or did you bid Code-minimum? Which one of your conflicting statements was the lie?"
WOW! Talk about a deer-in-the-headlights look.


Ghost307

#167281 - 08/09/07 10:28 AM Re: Lost Bid Follow-Up [Re: ghost307]  
ITO  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 348
Texas
With all due respect Ghost307, unless you do a site visit and verify that it was built as per plans and specs then you don't really know, and I only see engineers walk my big work they almost never walk my small retail stuff (300K and down), but an owners rep will sometimes walk it and they don’t really know either.


101° Rx = + /_\

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