We all know price is important, and everyone wants to receive a company’s best bid for a fabrication or field service project they need completed. But what you may not realize is that part of getting the best bid lies with you. The fact is, incomplete project specs can drive up costs.
So, if you want to get the most competitive pricing, you need to do your homework and be prepared to answer key questions and provide details. The best bid is an accurate bid based on knowing the details of the project. The more specific the details, the more accurate and competitive the bid.
A lack of details can result in pricing that covers a variety of scenarios that can drive up the cost. If project specifications and details aren’t clearly defined, the bidding contractor will make assumptions that typically will cover the “worse case scenario” in order to protect themselves. These assumptions can often lead to an inflated price tag.
If you’re getting multiple bids, chances are you’ll see a large variation in prices because each bidder is left to price out the project based on their own assumptions due to the lack of details provided. This not only leaves you confused about the range of bids you receive, but unable to accurately compare the bids apples-to-apples since every bidder may have made different assumptions.
To help you better prepare to get the best bid, we have a checklist of items that make up a good, detailed scope of work. The items on this checklist help to take the guesswork out of the project and allow those providing a bid to give you the best and most accurate price. If you don’t have a lot of the information on the checklist, no worries – the Fabricator often has the resources and internal capabilities needed to help customers develop a scope of work from which an accurate bid can be developed. While this may add some time to the project, it’s important not to skip this step if you want to get the best bid.
Providing a detailed project scope and using the same scope to request bids from a few different companies is the only way you can assure you are getting the best bids and making appropriate comparisons. (By the way, if you are sometimes confused by pricing information in bids and how to make accurate comparisons, you may want to read this article on Understanding T & M Rates).