Process for Competitive Bidding
Most clients begin seeking a General Contractor (GC) or Construction Manager (CM) after the bulk of the architectural design and engineering activities have been completed. We are enlisted to compile detailed project cost estimates for execution of the construction work based on a “For Pricing” or “For Construction” set of construction documents. The competitive bid process is initiated by the Owner, Owner Rep, or Architect with a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Invitation to Bid (ITB).
Upon receipt of the RFP / ITB package we immediately begin an in-house review of the provided construction documents and any ancillary details. We identify which subcontract trades need to be approached and which subcontractors are best suited for the job, based on its size, product type, and any special conditions or niche products. Many subcontractors are organized around a specific product type, be it commercial buildings, restaurants, residential, large scale developments, or so forth; selecting a subcontractor that specializes in the product type results in better pricing and performance. Unless the trade is very specialized or a specific brand is required, a minimum of two (2) subcontractors, typically (3), are approached for pricing.
We quickly distribute a bid package to the selected subcontractors. Pre-Bid instructions are provided to clearly explain the project requirements, going beyond the specifications of the construction documents, to ensure complete and accurate proposals from bid participants. Instructions include a detailed scope of work to eliminate scope gaps and requirements for supervision, insurance, quality, cleanliness, and safety. In short, we require subcontractors to price the project in accordance with our standards for execution. Sometimes it may cost a little more, but the lowest price is rarely the best value.
The bid process typically takes 2 – 3 weeks to complete. Over the course of this period we act as an agent of the Client and competitively negotiate with subcontractors. We clarify scope of work, construction methods, and submit and distribute Requests for Information (RFI’s). Our goal is not just to solicit multiple bids, but to solicit qualified bids based on the same parameters and assumptions from qualified contractors. A low bid from an unqualified contractor is dangerous.
A low bid from an unqualified contractor is dangerous.”
Our Value Engineering Review and Constructability Review are incorporated into the bid process. We actively look for ways to save the Client time and money. Any deviations from the RFP / ITB are clarified separately and submitted as ADD or DEDUCT alternates.
Our proposal will clearly communicate our General Conditions costs, Supervision and Overhead, and our Project Fee. We’re not hiding anything, just offering straight-forward, high-quality construction management services. Competitive proposals are subject to additional discussion and negotiation. We are not interested in being the lowest price; we want to be the best value.