I caught up with an old colleague recently, and we talked about how engineers underestimate the value of a simple but comprehensive “go/no-go” process. This is not a strength for many of my clients, which is understandable in the current “boil the ocean” bidding climate. But it got me thinking about what I would include in a tender evaluation checklist.
Here’s what I came up with:
“SoundLegal’s 7 Cs of tender evaluation checklist”
- Can we meet an acceptable proportion of the (higher weighted) scope and criteria?
- Can we resource it?
- Achievable timeframe?
- Existing relationship?
- Desired strategic partner?
3. COMMERCIAL RETURN
- Price is important, but margin is key
- Profitable without discounting or relying on anticipated variations?
- Are we in the mix?
- Is there a contract in the tender documents at all?
- If yes, any red flags (e.g. massively one-sided, unlimited liability, nasty novation)?
- Do you need to provide contract clarifications at tender stage?
- If there are red flags and/or a requirement for clarifications, do you need to have them reviewed/prepared by a lawyer or other construction contract specialist?
6. CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES
- If we bid for this, are we excluded from something bigger/more strategic?
7. CERTAINTY (AKA RISK)
(FYI I was scratching for a “C” word that means risk)
- Do any combined criteria raise a flag (e.g., difficult client plus schedule pressure, or conflict between variation and EOT clauses)?
- Can we insure our risk?
SO there you have it. SoundLegal’s Tender Evaluation Checklist, of key issues to consider when you’re conducting a “go/no-go” for your next commercial tender.
Obviously my perspective is influenced by legal risk rather than commercial opportunity. I’d love to know what contractors and engineers would put on their list. Let me know!
If you’re reading this and realise that you need someone to prepare a bid-ready table of clarifications and reasoning, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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