How to Negotiate a Raise….

posted in: General, How To 0

How to Negotiate a Raise….

 

So is there a right or wrong way to ask for a raise?

Well to be perfectly honest, I’m not the most rational thinker when it comes to this very delicate situation, and have never personally gone forth and requested a raise let alone negotiated one, but I’m pretty sure my method of blurting everything out in an email to my CEO, closing my eyes while I press send and then cringing until I receive a response is not the best way to go, for one it reeks havoc on your nerves and in some cases provokes sleepless nights and comfort eating.

The one thing I am positive about is this has to be one of the most awkward and uncomfortable situations you can find yourself in at the work place, so I started by finding some useful don’ts to get you on to the fast track to negotiating a salary increase.

Timing
Now get this right!
If your company is meeting targets, profit margin is looking good, expansion is viable, then by all means go and

 

“Risk it for the Biscuit”!

 

But…..If the talk around the water cooler is retrenchment letters have just gone out and there has been a mail sent out about saving on water and toilet paper then maybe, now is not a good time.

Finances
So you’ve decided to buy a house or a new car, or you are now unexpectedly expecting twins….
while this is all very exciting news and I’m sure your boss will be happy you are experiencing any one of these fun filled events… ultimately they have no bearing on whether or not you deserve an increase!

No Guilt Trips
So while trips are fun and we all like going on them, Guilt is not a trip anyone enjoys, so trying to send your boss on one is never a good idea!
And yes I understand divorces are expensive, your spouse losing his or her job is tough and having your 10yr old cat named Whiskers in and out of the vet is heart breaking…..
Once again this is not your bosses troubles, hardship doesn’t warrant an increase, that would be saying that your colleague who’s in a stable relationship, who’s partner is a top earner and who has no pets and who is ultimately a better employee doesn’t deserve an increase as much as you.

Increases are earned and are not handouts!

I’m sure most can agree that the above mentioned circumstances are generally the reason we start scrambling for more cash, so if you can now eliminate these reasons and you actually deserve an increase then go for it.

I suggest speaking to your HR manager first, find out if the timing is right, if it is then be professional with your approach, send an email requesting a meeting to discuss a revision of your salary.

In the meeting, look presentable, speak confidently and directly, have your ducks in a row, have a list of what you are putting into your current position, this would be great if it’s over and above what you were originally being paid for, whether it’s a case of targets being reached and blown out of the water, or overtime you constantly putting in without request or complaint.


If you feel you are truly not paid for your full worth, then sell it!


However, If your company is one that is good at recognizing your achievements and who compensates reasonably in the form of an increase on a yearly basis, then my personal advice would be to sit tight and have faith that once again you will receive the increase you so deserve!

But whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the luck ….. And let’s hope hard work is the winner in the end and you get what you are worth 🙂

 

 

Please follow and like us:

About Sherina Shawe

"You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining." from: Silver Linings Playbook.

Relax, It is almost Year End

Relax, It is almost Year End

 

Relaxation tips for the Construction Industry

 

It is that time of year when everything starts to feel a little out of control.  If you are in the Construction industry, deadlines loom like ominous clouds just before the weekend and time seems to disappear into something akin to a black hole never to be recovered.  Small things get on your last nerve, there doesn’t seem to be enough coffee in your mug… ever!  No one else seems to appreciate the gravity of the depth of the situation you are in.  To add to that, some people seem to be in holiday mode already, which is really frustrating because it is somewhere you would very much like to be but just can’t seem to reach.

 

If it is any comfort. You are so close.

 

Feeling a similar inclination to run for the hills screaming, I went in search of some quick fixes to ‘chill out’ at the office and hopefully maintain some semblance of sanity for the remainder of the year.  Fast Company mentions a few pointers which seemed to help me gain some equilibrium, so I thought I would share it in hope of making the load lighter for you:

 

# One : Take time to look out the window.

Hartkopf found that people who sit near a window have 23% fewer complaints of stress-related illnesses such as headache, back pain, and exhaustion. “Windows provide stimulation — excitement, pleasure, and information,” he says, “Subconsciously, we need to know if it’s raining outside. ” Always choose an office with a view, even if you’re offered a larger, windowless office. If you’re stuck in a cubicle, make frequent trips past the lobby.

 

#Two : When exercising, do so Outside

After looking out the window all day, get outside! Eifert’s study shows that outdoor exercise reduces the level of stress hormones in the bloodstream, resulting in positive mood changes. “There’s more to exercise than just doing the exercise,” he says. “People who buy Nordic Tracks from TV rarely keep it up, because indoor settings don’t generate the positive effects on mood that outdoor settings do. ”

 

#Three : When working out, it’s okay to go slow

Dishman found that regardless of whether you exercise at 80% or 40% of capacity, the effect on stress is still the same as long as you work out for at least 20 to 30 minutes. “Not exercising is bad for your mental health, but there’s no consistent relation between the intensity of the physical activity and the psychological benefit,” he says. “For mental health, more is not necessarily better. ”

 

#4 : After your workout, take a few moments to relax

After an aerobic workout, Mardus suggests, find a place to lie down; close your eyes; listen to music or nothing; and enjoy the floating, narcotic effect of the endorphins you just released. This way you stay in an alpha state and get an almost meditative effect. It seems to last for 20 minutes or so. ” As you shower and head back to work you’ll slip into a beta brainwave state, which helps you shake that “I don’t care” feeling.

 

#5 : Change your mindset

Rosch says that we become stressed when we dwell on the problem instead of finding a solution. The trick is to look for ways to take control. His example: “Your 15-minute commute takes an hour each day because of traffic. You arrive at work completely wired from battling gridlock. Instead of getting mad at the traffic, come in an hour earlier and leave an hour earlier. If that’s not possible, get a cassette and use the time to learn a foreign language. Once you gain control over the situation, you’ve taken a very big step toward reducing stress. ”

 

While these tips are great, sometimes you are unable to get outdoors. Its just not possible and you are stuck in a cubicle or at your desk.  Some ‘quick fix’ stress busters to help this are:

 

1) Close your hands in a tight fist for 10 seconds and slowly open them. Repeat five times.

2) Roll your head from side to side. Repeat five times.

3) Tighten your toes, hold them for 10 seconds, and release. Repeat five times.

 

I think Fast Company has it right.  It is important to get some kind of physical activity happening to break the tension and be able to refocus. With time being an issue for most people, it is comforting to know that just 20 – 30 minutes a day can make a huge difference.  See it as a break from the stress and something that helps you to get in the right frame of mind rather than another thing to add to your list and you will be surprised at the effectiveness.

 

If we don’t get the chance to wish you happy holidays in person, I hope that your newfound stress busting habits carry through the holidays and that you have a relaxing and wonderful break.  Catch you on the flip side. Until 2015 …….

 

 

 

Who are the people you have just quoted?

 

Volker Hartkopf, architecture professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania and director of the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics.

Georg Eifert, professor of clinical psychology at West Virginia University.

Rod Dishman, professor at the University of Georgia, has reviewed some 250 studies on the effects of physical exercise on stress.

Craig B. Mardus, author of “How to Stop Worry in One Second” (Warner Books, 1995), has spent 15 years researching stress while working at the Canyon Ranch Spa in Lennox, Massachusetts

Dr. Paul Rosch, president of the American Institute of Stress and a clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College.

 

 

 

Source:

http://www.fastcompany.com/27773/5-ways-chill

 

 

Please follow and like us:

About Carmen Barends

Social Media adventurer exploring new frontiers and learning how to survive. Tongue in cheek and mischief are the order of any good day topped with a sprinkling of laughter.

Symbiosis through L2Q

posted in: How To 0

 

LEADS 2 QUOTES (L2Q)

A remarkable pricing platform that is used by Contractors to send out price enquiries to Vendors / Suppliers when tendering for contracts, which has made an irrefutable impact with far reaching benefits for its users.

 

Here are some suggestions to the two major key players in this highly competitive industry we call CONSTRUCTION:

To the Vendors that receive the Requests for Quotes (RfQ’s):

  • Respond timeously to the RfQ’s by using our fast and easy online links.
  • Engage/negotiate/communicate with the Contractor. Be pro-active, contact the Contractor and enquire how competitive your prices are. This will stand you in good stead if the contract is awarded to the Contractor that has requested a price from you.
  • Become a Platinum Directory Listing (PDL) subscriber. You will be e-mailed award notifications on tenders that you have been requested to price on (so even if a contract has not been awarded to the Contractor that has requested a price from you, you now have been notified of the successful tenderer and can re-direct your quotation).
  • By being a PDL subscriber you have access to our very extensive Directory, make use of it by looking up companies and market yourself by sending out your company brochure/profile from our website, or if you prefer, make contact telephonically.

 

 

To the Contractors that send out the Requests for Quotes (RfQ’s):

  •  Acknowledge receipt of the quotations.
  • Engage/negotiate/communicate with the vendors/suppliers.
  • Acknowledge that you recognise and appreciate the time, effort and cost that goes into submitting a comprehensive quotation, thereby dispelling the vendors impression that you are using their prices as “cover prices”.
  • Use the RFQ functionality to communicate with the vendors that you have requested prices from.We strive to create value for our subscribers and recognise the vital role both the vendor and Contractor play in meeting each other’s requirements that are critical in each other’s successes.

 

So let’s foster healthy, mutually beneficial relationships based on solid long-term partnerships.  So why don’t the main Contractors hop onto the L2Q train and see how your tendering world will change? If you don’t, dare I say, you may kick yourself for not doing so.

Please follow and like us:

About Lola Govender

My name is Lola Govender. I have been working at L2B for 9 years and am very passionate about our business.

Time to contact your contractor?

posted in: How To 0

Time to contact your Contractor

 

 

Have you ever wondered how a contractor chooses who he awards contracts to or how to get a contractor to notice you?

 

We went in search of possible answers from some of the industry leaders as to what they look for in a vendor and what the winning factor for them could be.

 

Construction moves fast!

 

It’s a fast paced industry in terms of carrying out the building works and having deadlines met.

 

Buyers don’t chase after vendors!

 

Contractors don’t like to be pestered. They don’t have time to sift through superfluous information. Have your documents together and ready to get the ball rolling. Contractors don’t become contractors because they love to communicate. They have more experience doing things a certain way and in a timeous manner.

 

No delays! If you are going to say that you will do something then do it!

 

If you state that you have priced or are going to price, send your prices through and make sure that they are sent on time. A contractor won’t stay in business unless he prices competitively. If your price is too high in comparison to the current market, he will get another quote for comparison.

 

It’s all about establishing good, trustworthy relationships with contractors and having the capacity to perform.

 

Contractors, yes as vendors know, have a preferred list but it’s NOT limited. Contractors DO try to blend in new blood. A contractor will look at past experiences to determine how companies and vendors market themselves, their quality of work, competence of staff and whether one can cope with regards to work volumes and requirements.

 

Just as we, as people, try to market ourselves for a new career, what candidate to vote for in an election, choose a life partner, it all involves a list – a list of various factors, criteria and considerations, which will benefit you, your company and your decisions in life in general.

 

Many thanks to Neels van Staden from Stefanutti Stocks Building for his assistance and insight.

Please follow and like us:

About Chantélle Naudé

I have been with Leads 2 Business for 9 years, working in the Leads 2 Quotes department. Mother to two beautiful daughters.

Making the most of your Advertising

posted in: How To 0

Making the Most of your Advertising

 

Banners are everywhere! As Internet users, they are on almost every site we visit. It is obvious the power that banner advertisements have as a means to promote your business. We want to go out of our way to intensify future growth for your business. However, whether you’re an industry leader or an emerging company, the difference between a poor banner design and a great one could see your ROI and site traffic go through the roof. It’s essential that your banners stand out from the crowd. How can you create a banner that will generate high click-throughs, or have a strong brand impact? First, we need to understand the current trends in Web advertising. Once you have covered this, you’ll have the foundations to prepare effective banners for your business. Even though the Web has been around for some time it is still a relatively new advertising medium.

This serves as an explanation why most banner adverts to date have focused on the generation of a direct response. Those who make advertising decisions are also less willing to take risks with a new medium, and demand to see direct results from their advertising spend. This is also why banner adverts have gained popularity so quickly – they are easy to track, and make ROI calculations simple. The problem with this model is that advertisers have come to demand an instant response from banner advertising and if it fails to deliver an immediate ROI, decision makers want it slashed from ad budgets. The reality is, due to the recent decline in advert rates, click- throughs, and the general effectiveness of direct response banners, many companies have retreated, unsure which way to turn. To remain competitive it is up to you to design a banner that encourages click-throughs that drive traffic to your site.

So how do you design your banner for maximum click-throughs?

Try incorporating some of these ideas into your advert to increase the number of clicks it generates.

Use prompting words: Using words that prompt the user to take action, will have a positive effect on the results of your adverts. For example words such as “Click Here”, “Click to Visit”, and “Visit Now!” can increase the likelihood of click-through.

Create a sense of urgency: In order for a visitor to click on your banner, they must get the impression that the information on your site is more important than the site they’re currently viewing. Create a sense of urgency by including phrases such as “Hurry!, Only while stocks last” and “Available for a limited time!” Keep it simple: Keep your banners clear and simple. Optimise your banner space with elements that generate click-through. Remember that it’s the job of the banner to get the user to click through and it’s the job of the Web site to provide information about your products and services, not the other way around!

Format for success: Your banner’s colour scheme is very important. Keep your colour scheme constant throughout especially if you’re using animation. Complimentary colours that grab the users’ attention work best to ensure key words stand out.

Target your audience: By using our sites your target audience is already construction oriented. Be sure to think about the subject matter this audience would be familiar with, interested in, and are likely to click on.

Security: New security features implemented by Microsoft for Outlook users will prevent a .gif animation from looping through all frames. So please ensure that all relevant information is displayed in the first frame, to accommodate these clients. Also, please keep in mind the fact that the effectiveness of banners decreases over time, so it’s a good idea to create new banners every few months.

Please follow and like us:

About Taryn Duckham

I am a lover of marketing, customer centricity and the art of influence. Being able to effect this through analysis, content and front end design is part of my work, my great love of creatively solving problems that reach across as many parts of Leads 2 Business as I can.

Do you have what our clients are looking for?

posted in: How To 0

Do you have what our clients are looking for?

 

 

Supply and Demand…. that’s what its’ all about right? Anticipating what your customer or client is going to need before your competition and delivering it at the lowest price but with more benefit and value because that’s what everyone expects!

That seems like a lot of variables and it actually makes my head hurt thinking about it!

But does it have to be this complicated?

Well if you are in the construction industry, lucky for you the answer is NO!

And this is where I break out in Tarzan song and chest pounding… “coz I work for Leads 2 Business!”

A lot of people are under the impression that we purely publish Tenders and Project developments on our site and sure that’s where we shine, but what people don’t know is by using the Leads 2 Business website to its fullest, you can network and market your business, big or small.  So let me run through some of the ways with you.

Welcome to our Directory!

Now here is where it gets fun, because even if you are only subscribed to our Platinum Directory for R 650.00 per annum you are able to email key contacts throughout the construction industry, you can enquire about their services, or introduce your own, upload your profile/brochure and you can customise your email by adding your own company logo and personal signature.

But wait there’s more!

LOL! I feel like I’m in a cheesy infomercial but I can’t help it, my Company and all it does excites me 🙂

So…. by the click of a button you can see every Project, Tender or award that contact you looking at on our Directory is or was involved in and, sure, you would have to subscribe further to access the full details of these items, but isn’t it cool that you can see what you in for before you subscribe, if you ask me, that’s inspired!

Now OK, so you’ve decide to subscribe to our Daily Tenders or perhaps our Private Projects (which includes Daily Tenders FREE I might add).  Now, as before, you can email directly from our website but now with KNOWLEDGE.  The knowledge of knowing exactly what that Architect, Project Manager, Quantity Surveyor etc. is working on.  Imagine yourself as a electrical or security installations company, for interest sake,  then being able to get hold of the Quantity Surveyor months before the Project goes to tender and having your products specified on that bill of Quantities.  Do you know what that would mean for business? That’s right! MONEY!

Everyone of those bidders are going to be calling YOU!

Fascinating stuff right? Absolutely, its what we do!

So to all of you who thought we simply publish Tenders and Projects….. you would be wrong, we offer you the support and give you the tools to take your business to the next level and we love watching you succeed as a direct result of it 🙂

Sometimes the difference between getting that contract or not is who you know… and we help you with that!

So why don’t you take the leap and contact me, let me show you the way! 

You can mail me at Directory@L2B.co.za or go to our website and take a look for yourself first at www.L2B.co.za.

We look forward to hearing from you…. Have a Super day!

 

Please follow and like us:

About Sherina Shawe

"You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining." from: Silver Linings Playbook.

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.

Please follow and like us:

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.

Tender Documents to Help the Average Ant

Tender Documents to Help the Average Ant

Tender documents to help the Average Ant.

Every day, a small Ant arrives at work very early and starts work immediately. She produces a lot and she was happy.

The Chief, a Lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without supervision. He thought if the Ant can produce so much without supervision, would she produce even more if she had a supervisor?

So he recruited a Cockroach who had extensive experience as a supervisor and who was famous for writing excellent reports.

The Cockroach’s first decision was to set up a clocking in attendance system. He also needed a secretary to help him write and type his reports and he recruited a Spider, who managed the archives and monitored all the phone calls. The Lion was delighted with the Cockroach’s reports and asked him to produce graphs to describe production rates and to analyse trends, so he could use them for presentations at board meetings.

So the Cockroach had to buy a new computer and a laser printer and recruited a Fly to manage the IT department.

The Ant, who had once been so productive, happy and relaxed, hated this new plethora of paperwork and meetings which used up most of her time.

The Lion came to the conclusion that it was time to nominate a person in charge of the department where the Ant worked.

The position was given to the Cicada, whose first decision was to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office. He also needed a personal assistant who he brought from his previous department, to help him prepare a “Work and Budget Control Strategic Optimisation Plan”.

The department where the Ant works is now a sad place, where nobody laughs anymore and everybody is upset. It was at this time the Cicada convinced the Lion Chief, of the absolute necessity to start a “Climactic Study of the Environment.”

Having reviewed the charges for running the Ant’s department, the Lion found out that the production was even less then before!

So he recruited the Owl, a prestigious and renowned consultant to carry out an audit and suggest solutions.

The Owl spent three months and came up with an enormous report and after several volumes it that concluded: “The department is overstaffed…”

Guess who the Lion fired first?

The Ant, of course, because she “ showed a lack of motivation and had a negative attitude.”

Adapted from: Aesop’s Fable/ CP’s Fables

Perhaps this story rings true for you and you are compelled on a daily basis to acquire and complete mountains of paperwork. Unfortunately we cannot change how many supervisors or departments you work within.

We are however hopeful that this secret repository of Tender documents will help you be more positive, effective and motivated in your workplace as well as keep you out of the line of fire from any Lions!

Please follow and like us:

About Taryn Duckham

I am a lover of marketing, customer centricity and the art of influence. Being able to effect this through analysis, content and front end design is part of my work, my great love of creatively solving problems that reach across as many parts of Leads 2 Business as I can.

Is there Value in attending Tendering Workshops?

Is there Value in attending Tendering Workshops?

The question raised is similar to that for all other types of training where prospects question the wisdom of attending workshops. Depending on who’s answering the question, that in itself is a debatable one. If I were to be the one asking this question I would look for the following background checks on those offering the training.

Firstly, you have to look at the facilitators’ track record and here we are not referring to academic qualifications but for how many years has the person been presenting on the aspects of tendering. Secondly, you would have to request a Course Outline to determine as to whether the topics covered will indeed be in line with your expectations and thirdly, to check what kind of feedback past delegates’ are giving on the facilitators ability to bring the subject matter across in a manner that made them “happy”. I would say, that once you’ve ticked off all the boxes, then we are halfway there in answering the above question.

In essence it now becomes an issue as to what one should expect of such a workshop or training seminar. In the main, the facilitator has to cover the key legal aspects around the subject of tendering as well as bringing in other enabling legislation since the topic of tendering in itself is not a stand-alone issue. Depending on who one tenders for i.e. local, provincial or national government, parastatals or state owned enterprises, you need to be made aware by the facilitator that the applicable tendering-legislation has relevance to all these different spheres of government. Further, the facilitator needs to explain the different and various “stumbling blocks” found within the broader scope of the tendering process.

Primarily, those tendering for government contracts are challenged with submitting compliant bids since only those bids that are considered to be compliant will “graduate” to the short-list from which they will choose the successful bidder. The facilitator will also have to cover the aspects of the different committees systems, their structure, role and functions as well as how tenders are scored through the different point systems. Issues like the key pillars of tendering; BBBEE and sub-contracting, firm and non-firm pricing must also be covered in explaining the over-arching process of tendering.

Completing tender documents are not really open to varied interpretation since each bid document must consist of most of the 9 prescribed forms or returnables as issued by the national treasury. One of the areas that must be covered is the “declaration of interests” since delegates must be advised that by getting things wrong on this form could have serious legal repercussions such as being accused of what I call “inadvertent fraudulent declarations”. Also, the aspects of when to submit fixed prices and non-fixed prices coupled with the limitations on sub-contracting and the general conditions of contract, are also key issues to be dealt with in the workshop.

Overall, if you are happy that these key points will be covered in the workshop, then the answer to the above question should be in the “affirmative”

Gerrit is the Lead-Advisor at Taranisco Advisory CC and is contactable at advisor@taranis.co.za or www.taranis.co.za

Please follow and like us:

About Gerrit Davids

Gerrit Davids is the Lead Advisor at Taranis Co Advisory with more than 20 years experience in government procurement regulations and having trained more than 2000 people on how to submit compliant tenders.

The devil is in the details

posted in: How To 0

The devil is in the details

 

 Putting your Best Foot Forward when presenting Yourself

 

Easy. Follow instructions.

 

If it specifies that the tender document must be filled out in black ink; fill it out in black ink. The odds are there’s a very unamused Supply Chain Manager who’s had to deal with documents filled out in anything from pink crayon to pencil (the ultimate indicator of shady goings on). He will most probably not understand the aesthetic superiority of blue ink or the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of all black pens ever, or any other excuse you might come up with. If it specifies that you have to hand in not only the original tender document, but also multiple copies; be professional and show up on the closing day with the aforementioned multiple copies. Do not put yourself in a position to pull an Oliver “Please sir, can I use your photocopier?”. Anyone else hear a resounding “No!”.

 

Granted, these details do not seem important when faced with pricing and filling out a document that is responsible for the felling of a small forest. These details do not compare with cement prices or transport costs or the fact that your site is slowly turning into marshland, is being disputed by two traditional authorities and a lone extremely endangered frog has decided to take up residence slap bang in the middle of where your new shiny Mall is supposed to go. But that’s not the point. The devils’ in the detail.

 

When I get called by telemarketers and they get my name wrong, all bets are off. My logic being, if you can’t get my name correct, why would I give you my hard earned money? If you can’t even remember to sign your own tender document, why should the Municipality/ Department trust you to build that bridge?

 

Yes, this is a small detail and, I will also concede, petty. But it’s also indicative. There are no business dealings today that don’t involve a contract or some sort of written agreement. These are made entirely up of small details, seemly insignificant details that all parties agree to abide by. Should one of these parties decide to not abide by one of these little details, another profession tends to get involved. They make sharks look fluffy by comparison.

 

In 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter, sent to observe Mar’s weather, burnt up in the Martian atmosphere. NASA investigated and discovered the use of English units, instead of Metric units in the calculations. Oops. A detail so small and taken for granted, it was never checked. $125 million up in smoke.

 

Do you really want to lose a tender because you didn’t carry a total across? Or because you handed it in too late? Or couldn’t be bothered to hand in your Tax Clearance certificate?

 

In filling out documents, this is not an opportunity to “stick it to the man”. If you want to do business, then be professional and conscientious. It isn’t other people’s responsibility (never mind the Government’s) to give you a break. This is tenders – the competition is ruthless.

 

So I can’t help you with the price of cement or the fact that petrol’s gone up three times in as many months or with your frog-infested marshland overrun with Environmental types. But I can tell you, to watch the details. Those buggers will get you everytime.

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

1 2 3 4 5 6