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Contractor Notes for Building a Defendable Price Proposal

Steve Adams has been involved with the ezIQC construction procurement process for four years. He has been directly involved with hundreds of individual ezIQC projects.

A detailed Price Proposal is one of the cornerstones of ezIQC—Gordian’s managed Job Order Contracting process. It gives a comprehensive rundown of the tasks, materials and their quantities that will be used to execute the project, and provides owners with an accurate cost for the project. Building the Price Proposal often requires meticulous attention, but when completed, the proposal is a thorough and specific document that both the facility owner and contractor can rely on. We asked Steve Adams to provide some tips for building a defendable Price Proposal – one that stands up to audits, eliminates confusion and lays out the project to expedite those next steps. Here are his tips:

1. Listen

Once the facility owner identifies the project and is ready to move forward, the contractor, owner and Gordian representative meet to discuss the details of the project at the Joint Scope Meeting.

“The most important thing is to do right off the bat is listen,” Steve recommends.

The Joint Scope Meeting allows the facility owner to express the details of the project and all nuances involved. The owner often has a lot of information and ideas, and to start the project off on the right foot, make sure all of those details get conveyed at the meeting.

Steve also suggests making sure the Joint Scope Meeting includes all necessary people, but is not too overcrowded. When several subcontractors are involved, it may be a better practice to attend the meeting without subcontractors to get the lay of the land, and then come back at a later date with one or two subcontractors at a time.

Remember, everyone involved has the same objective for the project.

“At the end of the day, the goal is to put to paper exactly what the owner wants,” Steve says.

2. Communicate

Make sure to communicate with the Gordian representative and the facility owner if the Price Proposal is going to take longer than the expected amount of time.

“Knowledge is power and the faster you let someone know something, the better off you are,” Steve says.

Express to the other parties involved if the Price Proposal will be delayed and make sure the owner stays in the know about what’s going on. A large benefit of the ezIQC process is the collaboration between all parties, so open communication is necessary to make sure everyone has a handle on the status of the project.

3. Clarify

Steve recommends using the notes section to fill in as many details as possible when building the Price Proposal.

“Show your math,” he notes.

Filling in details such as quantities, room numbers and room sizes illustrates the contractor’s understanding of the project to the owner. The owner knows that the contractor considered every aspect of the project. He or she understands why certain tasks were selected, and knows the contractor thought about it correctly. Adding notes also helps the owner envision what’s going to be done on the job site.

“The better your notes on the task items, the more comfortable the owner is,” Steve says.

4. Review

“The most important tip is to double check and triple check that the Detailed Scope of Work and Proposal match up before sending it over,” Steve says.

This is a benefit unique to the ezIQC process where the contractor hands the Price Proposal over to the Gordian representative to review.

“That’s another reason to add the details and information into the notes,” Steve says. “So the Gordian representative understands everything going into the Price Proposal when they review it.”

The Gordian representative goes through and alerts the contractor if something has been left out, or if an item is inaccurate or not the best task to be used.

“They’re looking out for the entire system,” Steve says. “It’s making sure the process is working right.”

5. Schedule

It’s important to spend time thinking about the schedule and identify lead times on materials to figure out how long a project will take. Steve cautions that no one wants to turn in a Price Proposal and schedule that look agreeable to the owner and then find out later that some material will take 12 weeks to get in.

“While building a proposal, do your homework on time,” Steve says.

Keep the facility owners fully aware of the timing to make sure their expectations of the project and schedule match up to the reality.

With these five tips in mind, contractors can create a fully defendable, auditable Price Proposal. All parties work together to serve the facility owner so they get the results they seek.

“It helps us produce a better proposal for the owner, which helps us produce a better product in the field, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Steve says.