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Elements Management designs bids that are broken into logical components, (base bid, alternates, options, unit pricing, allowances, etc,) that empower owners to decide what they want and get what they pay for. We’ll recommend qualified contractors, manage pre-bid activities, respond to RFIs, issue addenda, compile bid results, and clarify the scope and schedule with the desired contractor prior to execution of the owner-contractor construction contract.

Successful bid management requires an in-depth understanding of what our client is trying to accomplish and dynamic coordination of people, plans, and information.

Bid Management is where project expectations and reality meet for the first time. The bid process starts long before bids are due. 


Plans and specifications must be clear, easy to understand, logical to price, and use for contracts and construction administration. Having an experienced project manager who shepherds the bid process is critical to avoid future issues.


Steps within the bidding process:

  • Construction documents and specifications that tie to pricing and contract documents

  • Contractor selection

  • Developing contractor Interest

  • Responding to requests for information

  • Bid form design

  • Bid tabulation and normalizing

  • Evaluation and selection

  • Preliminary contract negotiation


Effective bid management requires the ability to anticipate potential problems and be open to change. This is the time to ask the tough questions and set realistic expectations.


Successful bid management is a cornerstone of on-time and on-budget construction projects.

Successful bidding requires detailed plans, technical specifications, and general conditions that accurately communicate a project. But even with the "best-laid plans," many construction projects fail to meet quality, time, and budget expectations. During the bidding process, construction projects morph from design to reality. The project team is positioned to reaffirm the countless decisions and assumptions made to date with actual cost data, schedules, and proposed means and methods. It's a time to right-size expectations and make informed decisions before proceeding to the construction contract.


Elements Management (EM) designs bid forms broken into logical components (base bid, alternates, options) that provide owners critical cost information before making final decisions. Unit pricing and allowances (with add/deduct pricing) are called out on the bid form to help control cost escalation on variable and unknown conditions. EM orchestrates the entire bidding process to foster competition amongst hand-picked contractors bidding on the same deliverable.


Contractor Selection

To make the right choices, a project team needs the bid information from experienced and dependable sources. A projects size, scope, and complexity determine the contractor requirements and selection criteria. The qualifications, experience, and availability of project team should also be factored into contractor selection criteria.


For example, is a Construction Manager needed, or is the project such that the dominant trade contractor can be the general contractor? Is this a union or non-union job? Does the contractor have the appropriate experience, references, scalability, geographic reach, insurance coverage, financial strength, technical expertise, etc., required for the project?


EM suggests contractors with specific project requirements in mind. Once the potential bidder's list is finalized, EM contacts each contractor individually to discuss the project and gauge their interest and ability to meet the project schedule. If it looks like a good match, we share the construction documents and invite the contractor to a scheduled pre-bid site meeting. The object is to obtain a minimum of three competitive bids, which generally requires contacting many more than three contractors.


The Bid Form

The information requested in a Bid Form is critical. We design easy to understand bid forms that follow a logical sequence of components that tie back to the project plans and specifications.


The bid form starts with a Base Bid. The base bid includes the most likely scope of work, and is what is called for in the construction documents. Then, the Bid Form branches out to potential alternates, add alternates, and options. These generally involve material or system changes, but there is no restriction on what information and pricing can be requested.


The allowances and unit price section reins in costs for variable and unforeseen construction conditions. Add/deduct quantity pricing ensures that owners pay a predetermined and fair price for the actual amount of a particular type of work a contractor performs.


Request for Information (RFI's)

Bidding contractors ask questions. Excellent contractors ask excellent questions. Contractors have a unique perspective that often adds value, information, solutions, and sometimes cautionary tales that lead to changes in the bid documents. EM incorporates these in writing by issuing addendums to the plans and specifications and responding to RFI's in time for the contractors to price the changes into their bids. Timely communication and accuracy are key. RFI and addendum become part of the construction contract.


Bid Tabulation and Normalization

EM tabulates the bid results in Excel, highlighting the high and low numbers and drawing attention to outlying numbers. The project team reviews the bid results together and responds accordingly. If the bid numbers align with expectations, the low bidder is typically interviewed by the project team. If the interview goes well, the owner and contractor verbally agree to enter into a written construction contract.


If, as is often the case, there is a need for clarifications, value engineering, or price negotiations, EM is there to assist.


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