Tender Timing – Site Inspections
When I do training with any new L2B staff member, it involves the talk through of how we publish tender notices on the L2B website. What goes where, why this format is used etc. The spiel for Site Inspections is as follows “The site inspection date is the most important date on a tender notice. If a subscriber misses the site inspection they can’t tender and we’ve right royally screwed up”.Okay, maybe that last part doesn’t get said aloud. A lot. But it’s the truth. The ability to tender hinges on attendance to a compulsory site insection or site meeting, briefing session or clarification session or information meeting. It goes by many names, but it means the same thing when “compulsory” is used. Hell, even when a tender advert mentions “non-compulsory”; the level of importance doesn’t diminish. These meetings are scheduled for a reason. They are there to offer clarity, and give opportunities for questions to be asked, extensions to be requested, to scope out who else is at the meeting (alot of side eye going on) and to let potential tenderers experience and witness any challenges there might be involved in the contract. These meetings can be quite simple and straightforward with just a few companies, and other times you can have meetings with hundreds of companies being represented. We see some of these site attendance registers, and wonder how these meetings are handled due to sheer number of participants.
Technically, there’s supposed be to a certain amount of time between the first publication of the tender advert and the site meeting, and then again between the site meeting and the closing date. Technically. This doesn’t always happen. There could be a variety of reasons. Very few of them can stand the light of day. But it is a reality that needs to be taken into consideration. Time is of the essence, as they say. Go through your Advisory emails each day, so there’s no surprises concerning missed site meetings. Set reminders for yourself, and Monitor the tender notice to be updated should any of the information change.
Be aware when the tender documents are available, in relation to the site meeting. Sometimes there isn’t a problem, and the tender documents are available right up until the closing date. Other times, this is a huge consideration. If there’s a cut-off date for documents, know that this date will be adhered to and inevitably means that ‘no-chancers’ will be entertained.
Always question any discrepancies in the site inspection. Always question any discrepancy in the tender notice. Period. Whether it’s a contradiction between the advert and the documents, or two different adverts for the same tender, anything. The earlier we can establish what the correct information is, the better off everyone is. Sometimes the problem is glaringly obvious and we get on the phone and sort it out as soon as possible and don’t need to be prompted by our subscribers. Other times, it isn’t obvious.
Should you be attending the meeting and need help with directions, if you need our assistance, please try and ask before the day of the meeting. The stress levels go way up when I’m trying to track down a Municipality staff member who’s half way to the middle of nowhere to get directions to said middle of nowhere site meeting venue. The panic is real, folks. We know the importance of these meetings and how attendance and non-attendance affects our subscribers.
Any and all dates on a tender notice carry weight, and must be taken seriously. If there’s any doubt or confusion, feel free to contact us so that we might assist. Get yourself to those meetings, as they are an excellent way to network, experience the competition and represent your company to Municipalities, Government Departments and Consultants.
“Eight percent of success is showing up” – Woody Allen
“The world is run by those that show up ” Robert Johnson
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