Understanding the Tender Process in Africa

 

Leads 2 Business : Understanding the Tender Process in Africa

 

Understanding the African Tender Process is not much different from the South African Tender process (see link to previous blogs referencing SA Tender Process).

 

In general, tendering follows the following (simplified) process:

  1. A need for a service is identified.
  2. Approval is obtained from the necessary entities.
  3. Documentation (including Bid Documents, BoQ, Drawings, Specifications, etc.) is prepared and approved.
  4. Advertising of Tenders.
  5. Receipt and opening of tenders.
  6. Evaluation of Bids.
  7. Awarding of Bids

Procurement can be achieved via the following methods:

Single Source (also referred to as Direct Contracting), Requests for Quotations (RfQ’s), Two-Stage Tendering, Request for Proposals (RfP’s), Restricted Tendering, Open Tendering, Prequalified Tenders. (For an explanation of the methods, please see http://procurementclassroom.com/procurement-methods/).

Of course, each country will have its own Public Procurement Regulations, rules and laws that govern the procurement process. Furthermore, each institution may have its own policy that is applied over and above the country’s regulations. Each advertisement will identify the forms and documents that will be required for that specific bid.

Some things to bear in mind specific to understanding the African Tender Process are the following:

There might be language barriers: depending on which country is advertising the bid, it might be advertised in another language (not English). Some bids will include a copy of the bid documentation which has been translated to English, but in the cases where they do not provide translated documents, it might be necessary for a translator.

When needing to contact the specific institution, ensure that you have the right dialing code for the country you are trying to contact.

It might be easier to communicate via email and this will ensure that there is also a paper trail of any queries raised and answered, in which case, the correct email address is a necessity.

 

[tweetthis]Communication with the right people and always confirming the details is essential.[/tweetthis]

 

 

For some tips on tendering, please have a look at the following articles:

http://www.miningreview.com/tender-process/

http://www.esi-africa.com/tender-process-17196/

About Cecile Van Deventer

I joined the L2Q Team in 2006, as a L2Q Support Assistant and have been the HOD since 2010. I supervise L2Q Bills, Daily Tender Bills, Control Lists and Directory.

Where do you find value?

Where do you find Value?

 

 

This is a very tricky question. Where you find value is going to depend on what you value. Different people value different things.

 

Those who value saving, will find value in all sales. They will scour the newspapers, internet, shops etc., for any discount. This might not mean that they are actually buying an item they need, it might just be that because they will be saving, they will buy it now instead of waiting until they actually need it.

 

Everyone wants value for their money. If it’s an item you have purchased or a service. And because you have paid, you want the most out of it. Sometimes, you are amazed by the value you receive for your money, but a few times you are so very disappointed and this is when comments and reviews are published on websites like Hello Peter.

 

Others value family and friends. They understand that each minute you spend with someone you love is to be valued, as you don’t know if you will have the next minute.

 

I recently found a quote from Mother Theresa: “In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results and we get caught up in being more and more active to generate results. In the East – especially in India – I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving.”

 

At the end of the day, we are all different, will value different things and therefore, we will all find value in different places. I think the best would be a balance between everything we value and how / where we find that value. Remember to find value in the smaller things in life. It is oft times, the smile you give a stranger, that uplifts them on a bad day, the small kindnesses you do for others, without expecting anything in return. These small things leave a lasting legacy and give value to others’ lives.

 

 

About Cecile Van Deventer

I joined the L2Q Team in 2006, as a L2Q Support Assistant and have been the HOD since 2010. I supervise L2Q Bills, Daily Tender Bills, Control Lists and Directory.

The Effect of Inclement Weather on Construction

posted in: How To 0

The Effect of Inclement Weather on Construction

The completion of a project depends just as much on the weather as on the contractor’s rate of work.

Most projects have standard Main Contract Conditions, i.e. JBCC, NEC or FIDIC contracts, and construction programme periods which outline the conditions for any inclement weather claims the contractor might need to submit for a specific project. Then, there might be other employers who have their own additional conditions as well.

It also does not just depend on the days when it is raining, but also on the days following the rain, as the working conditions won’t allow normal activity for safety reasons, due to excess water or muddy conditions, etc. Strong winds can also prevent construction from taking place.

Different provinces will have their own specific rainfall patterns, and contractors in the provinces will be aware of these, however, each construction site is to keep daily weather records which include rainfall meter and/or wind speed meter.

So, the question is, are contractors able to depend on weather sites and/or reports to predict the days that they will not be able to continue construction due to bad weather?

Given all the technological advances during the last few years, the prediction of the weather has become more accurate. However, given all the variables that need to be taken into account in order to predict the weather, the chances are quite high that should one of the elements change, it will affect the entire prediction. This means that a prediction for the weather for the next three days will be more accurate, but a longer-range forecasting becomes significantly less reliable by the third and fourth day of the forecast.

Of course, there are also alternative ways of predicting the weather, i.e. observation, pattern and folklore. According to wikiHow (http://www.wikihow.com/Predict-the-Weather-Without-a-Forecast), there are four methods of predicting the weather without a forecast:

  1. Observing the sky
  2. Feeling the wind and air
  3. Watching animal behaviour
  4. Creating your own prediction methods

I am not going to go into all the details, but they had the following rhymes/proverbs which are quite interesting:

  1. “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”
  2. “Rainbow in the morning, need for a warning.”
  3. “Circle around the moon, rain or snow soon.”
  4. “Flowers smell best just before a rain.”

To find out the meanings of these, you are welcome to follow the link above, it does make for interesting reading, although these are for the Northern Hemisphere.

In conducting my research for this article, I came across the COMBISAFE UBIX® temporary roof system (http://www.combisafe.com/news-and-events/keeping-construction-on-track-when-under-the-weather/). This is a British product that they use in construction to keep a project on course and limit the effects of adverse weather conditions. Further to the temporary roof system, it can also feature a COMBISAFE RunWay system. This means it can quickly and safely be rolled open to allow for plant, equipment and materials to be craned in and out as required.

In the end, it appears that although there have been great strides in predicting the weather, it is not possible to only rely on weather predictions for accuracy. A combination of all methods described here might have better accuracy than just one or two of all the methods. But unfortunately, there will still be instances when mother nature decides that she has to vent, and construction will have to bow down and surrender to her will for a day or so.

Special thanks to Neels Van Staden from Steffanutti Stocks Building Gauteng for his assistance.

About Cecile Van Deventer

I joined the L2Q Team in 2006, as a L2Q Support Assistant and have been the HOD since 2010. I supervise L2Q Bills, Daily Tender Bills, Control Lists and Directory.

Why are Professionals reluctant to hand out a BoQ?

Why are Professionals reluctant to hand out a BoQ?

 

Disclaimer: Please take note that this is my opinion and none of the comments below are intended to cause offence and do not point to any professional in particular.

 

Ok, as someone (who is not a contractor / tenderer / sub-contractor / vendor etc.) who has to obtain electronic bills of quantities from professionals, I have to state unequivocally, that I do not understand why all bills of quantities are not available in an electronic format. I understand that those electronic bills may only be available to the contractors who are tendering on the contract, but I believe there should still be electronic bills.

 

Some of the reasons we are given are:

1. Client does not want the electronic bill released.

2. Bill is only released to the tenderers who have purchased the tender document and attended the site inspection.

3. Bill is only released to everyone who attended the site inspection.

4. There are no electronic bills.

5. The consultant does not want his format available for anyone to copy.

6. There are some people who will try to tender on the contract without having purchased the tender documents.

 

My thoughts on these reasons are:

1. Why not? Does the client not realise that the electronic format is easier for redistribution to vendors, suppliers and sub-contractors? It is easier to re-incorporate the prices that are received back and makes it easier to compile prices. If it is easier for the contractor (and by extension, the vendors, suppliers and sub-contractors) to gather the prices, make sense of them and fill in the tender document, then it is probably going to mean that the client will receive better bids.

2. I have no problem with this reason, but in favour of making it easier for us to obtain the electronic bill, it would be great if you would provide us with the name of the person you sent it to at the specific contracting company, so that we can advise our contact at that company, who they need to contact in order for them to provide us with the electronic bill.

3. Please see point 2 above.

4. This is rather difficult to believe as there are various programs (WinQS, Bill, CCS, excel, etc.) which are available for use. Adobe is also used and although not optimal, it is definitely preferred over a scanned file any day.

5. Sorry to say, but most bills are in the same format already, irrespective of who the consultant was that drew it up.

6. So what? If they hand in an electronic copy of the bill or even, a printed out version of the bill, so what? The tender state clearly that only the filled in ORIGINAL tender documents will be accepted as a valid bid. Therefore, any and all bids submitted that are not filled in original tender documents should be void and it shouldn’t affect any of the other tenderers submissions.

 

In conclusion, the reasons we are requesting an electronic bill of quantities are:

 

A. Our subscribers (contractors), who are tendering on this contract (therefore they will purchase the tender documents and attend the site inspection), would like us to upload the bill on our Electronic Pricing System so that they can send it out to their suppliers / vendors / sub-contractors.

B. A vendor / supplier / subcontractor is interested in seeing if anything is on the bill that they supply or do, so that they can supply the contractors who are tendering on this project with prices (this is usually helped by an accompanying site register, so that they know who to submit their prices to…hint hint)

 

This should be a win-win situation for everyone concerned, so please, please be nice and provide electronic BoQ’s (even if it is just to the contractors:)).

 

 

About Cecile Van Deventer

I joined the L2Q Team in 2006, as a L2Q Support Assistant and have been the HOD since 2010. I supervise L2Q Bills, Daily Tender Bills, Control Lists and Directory.

Nightmare on Tender Street

Bills of Quantity (BOQ) Monsters

 

A story of how bidding used to work

 

Early Monday morning I walk into my office. On my desk are three bound documents, I shake my head in disbelief. Right on cue, my boss walks in the door. I point at the documents and ask: “I wasn’t aware of any other tenders for this month?” He replies: “We received them Saturday morning, they close in a week, 9 days and 14 days respectively, I want the prices back for all three in four days’ time.” He walks into his office and closes the door. I am left alone by my desk, feeling like I am about to be suffocated.

 

Four days! Only four days! Do I look like a miracle worker?!

 

I shake my head, roll my shoulders and try to calm down. There is no time for histrionics right now, I have to get these tenders out and priced back to my boss in four days. First thing I do is look at the tenders to ascertain the areas where the work will take place. Ok, two of them I can send to the same vendors for prices as they are in close proximity, this will cut my work by a third. Feeling a little bit better, I start typing up the cover letters for each tender. Once complete and printed, I take the first tender document and remove the fasteners holding the tender document together (luckily the two tenders that are close together, I can unbind. Unfortunately, the last tender I will have to copy each page of the bill and they will probably have that blinking black line obscuring the item numbers. Ugh!). I start sorting the pages of the bill into the different trades I need to send to; of course some of the pages will be required for different trades as well. I then grab our vendor list and start looking for vendors in the required area. Once I have compiled the necessary list of every vendor I will be sending to, I realise that due to the project being rural, I am going to have to fax almost every vendor, as there is only one that has an email address. Great! Just great!

 

I look at the clock; it is 11:10 am. There is enough time to at least fax a few before I am supposed to go to lunch, although it looked like it was going to be a sandwich eaten on the go. With a heavy sigh, I pick up the different piles and trudge over to the fax machine. The light blinks, indicating that I need to replace the ink cartridge, I grunt. Now, I have to go find a replacement cartridge, as the stupid fax won’t work until I have replaced the cartridge. Some days, I really hate my job! I open the supply cabinet, rummage through the piles and finally spot the cartridge right in the back. I cut open the package and cross back to the fax, trying to remember the steps in replacing the cartridge, wishing for the millionth time that we could get an upgraded fax/printer machine. I finally wrangle the old cartridge out and insert the new one. Ok, time to fax. I grab the first pile, position the papers and pick up my list of vendors; I enter the first number and press send. The first two pages go through with no issue, the third page never emerges and the fax starts emitting a high pitched shriek, with lights flashing. Page jam, fantastic. I open the machine compartment, do a scan of the areas where the paper can be stuck and see at least three pages in different locations. I grab the first one and pull it out quite smoothly, the second one I can’t get hold, so I take a pair of tweezers from my handbag and finally manage to get it out. I reach for the third one, manage a good grip and start pulling, it won’t budge. Grimacing, I reset my foot, take the page in a two-handed grip and yank with all my might.

 

Chaos erupts! It’s like the machine is possessed. It’s spewing paper everywhere and then a black rain joins in coating everything in ink, including me. I try to fight my way to the machine, guarding my face with my hands, finally getting to the power cord and reach to push the power button…I wake up in a cold sweat, bolting upright, gasping for breath. I shakily reach up to push my hair off my sweating face. It’s only a nightmare, it’s not real. I exhale and feeling calm again, turn onto my side and close my eyes. Thank goodness I subscribe to Leads 2 Quotes.

About Cecile Van Deventer

I joined the L2Q Team in 2006, as a L2Q Support Assistant and have been the HOD since 2010. I supervise L2Q Bills, Daily Tender Bills, Control Lists and Directory.

What is a Bill of Quantities (BoQ) & a Bill Extract?

posted in: General 0

Bill of Quantities (BoQ): According to www.ask.com, “A Bill of quantities is a list of numbered items, each of which describes the work to be done in a civil engineering or a building contract. Each item shows the capacity of work involved. The bill is issued to tenderers, who return it with a price opposing each item.”

Bill Extract: The portion/s of a BoQ which relates to the supplier/vendor/sub-contractors’ trades, i.e. the specific trade/s that a supplier/vendor/sub-contractor does.

L2QFlow

View this Diagram as a PDF

For more information on Leads 2 Business, please visit www.L2B.co.za

About Cecile Van Deventer

I joined the L2Q Team in 2006, as a L2Q Support Assistant and have been the HOD since 2010. I supervise L2Q Bills, Daily Tender Bills, Control Lists and Directory.

A Day in the Life of … Leads 2 Quotes Department

Today we take a look at our Leads 2 Quotes Department.  One of the most unique and innovative services offered in South Africa, it offers Main Contractors the opportunity to send out their Bills of Quantity electronically via a Construction related Directory to their Preferred Suppliers.  

 

The work that goes in behind the scenes is quite phenomenal.  Cecile tells us more:

” During the course of a day in L2Q, we attend to our emails, request bills of quantities from clients and/or consultants, answer telephones, deal with queries and training of subscribers, and attend to Live Support queries.  We convert bills of quantities from multiple formats i.e. PDF, Excel, Word, etc., into .csv for uploading onto the relevant Buyer’s L2Q Desktop.

The Control List ladies’ follow up on the RFQ’s sent out by Buyers to find out if the vendors will be responding and also follow up on the award information for closed L2Q tenders.”

Feel free to drop us a line for more information on this service, or visit our website at www.L2B.co.za.

 

About Cecile Van Deventer

I joined the L2Q Team in 2006, as a L2Q Support Assistant and have been the HOD since 2010. I supervise L2Q Bills, Daily Tender Bills, Control Lists and Directory.

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