See PREPARING TO BID A PROJECT for preliminary tasks.
You have your project 'on the street'. Now what do you need to do?
- Monitor the need for corrections and clarifications that will require an addendum and issue it in a timely fashion.
It is extremely rare to go through a bidding period without at least one addendum. It isn't unheard of to issue some of the documents by addendum. That isn't recommended because coordination and completeness of the documents can become awkward. Your goal is to give the bidders a clear idea of what is required of them. Addenda invariably get ignored and that causes other problems for everyone.
The last addendum must be received at least 2-3 days before bid due date or you should postpone the due date in the addendum. The timing and method of delivery of any addendum is often covered in the (Owner provided!) Bidding Documents, so make sure you comply.
PREPARATION FOR THE BID OPENING (PUBLIC)
- Alert receptionist at the place of bid receipt to the bid due date and time; and arrange for receipt of bids.
- Determine participants' roles in the bid opening - introductions, opener of bids, reader of bids, recorder of bids.
- Announce what clock will be considered the correct time.
- Offer & make available blank bid tab forms to all present
- Make introductions to all present
BID OPENING PROCEDURES (PUBLIC)
- Announce, at the designated time, that no more bids will be accepted.
- Introduce yourself, members of the Owner's staff and other design team members in attendance.
- Explain procedure to all present
- Open bids
- Read bids
- Tabulate (record) the bids
- Announce apparent low bidder
- Describe process for making an award and establish when that will occur
- Ask for questions
- Allow those in attendance at a public opening to review the bids received.
- Close meeting
PREPARATION FOR THE BID OPENING (PRIVATE)
See the description of the preparation for a public bid opening above. A private opening would take place in the architect's or the client's office and is informal. The same process is followed without an audience of bidders.
BID OPENING PROCEDURES (PRIVATE)
See the description of the Bid Opening Procedures for a public bid opening above. A private opening is as informal as you want to make it, but most of the steps still apply. Since the bidders are not present, you can expect a flurry of inquiries within an hour or so of the bids being due. Decide with your client what results and when the results will be disclosed. Even if it isn't the actual results, I suggest that you make the plan for disclosure available if you haven't done so yet.
POST BID ACTIVITIES
- Research Low Bidder's references. We often run a Dun & Bradstreet [D&B] report if they are not well known to you and the client.
- Review and re-tabulate Bids, double-checking all numbers and content / completeness.
- Prepare a letter of recommendation for the client. See sample recommendation letter.
- Prepare Agreement based on Contract Documents and Bid.
Once the Owner/Contractor agreement is signed or a Notice To Proceed is issued, you are ready to start the Construction Administration phase of the project.