By: Mark Fly on April 23rd, 2021
BidCoach: Managing the Same Project From Multiple Sources
As a contractor, organizing your bids sure can be a pain. As a subcontractor, you may get the same project sent to you by more than one general contractor and as a general contractor, you have to be sure the proposals you receive are based on all of your documents for the project and not someone else's. Even though the scope is primarily determined by the official construction documents released, a general contractor may choose to add a narrative, or an RFI log, or a number of other variances. So the struggle is real. We just kind of .... go along with it.
You need to be able to isolate, analyze, and quickly note any differences in documents. And how it may affect your bid to the respective receiver. Trust me, I know this is a stretch but it happens more than you think. In my position at ConstructConnect for the past several years, and also a decade at SmartBid, I have seen this far too much. Of course, it is not rampant and doesn't happen all the time. But when it happens to you, it's a big deal.
From a general contractor perspective, the evaluation of the inclusions and exclusions, or listed quantities on a subcontractor's proposal may shed light on something that seems, well, just off. A call to the sub who explains this was a narrative, or other instructions given by another general contractor quickly explains it. But now you may have some doubt about your scope. And if this info is correct, then you may have an ace in the hole.
From a subcontractor's perspective, you have decisions to make to include or exclude any foreign instructions. And decide if you need to also verify this with the other GCs.
Either way, both parties have to deal with it, organize it, and decide what to do.
Managing your projects efficiently can be easier than you think. If you are a general contractor then using a bid management solution can help by reviewing who downloads plans and also, where and when. This data can be crucial in choosing the right proposal.
For example, "Subcontractor A" sent you a proposal and never downloaded, nor viewed anything from your planroom. He certainly got plans from someone. Chances are someone else has his same number too. Does he have the right info? Also, evaluating the major differences in quantities by using a digital takeoff can save the day too.
A subcontractor can use a bidding board that they can collaborate on with their team to help weed out these differences as well. And using a digital takeoff overlay feature can show any differences between sets.
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About Mark Fly
Mark Fly is a Product Evangelist at ConstructConnect. He is also known as the Bid Coach to subscribers of his popular video series. Mark has 40 years of experience in construction, rising through the ranks from a labor position in high school to play a key role in the development of SmartBid software. He has also provided multi-faceted outsourced estimating services for many years, working directly with owners, GCs, subcontractors, suppliers, and more.