Commercial Painting: Beyond Price and Quality

Recently during an industry trade show in the area I gave a workshop about commercial painting as well as tendering for construction projects. The objective of the workshop was to assist property owners and building owners pick the right firm for construction work. Also, how do you choose the right company that can meet to all your requirements, not just quality and price?

Part 1: Identify the Red Flags

One of the key factors to a successful tendering process is eliminating the companies that aren’t able to fulfill your requirements. What do you do? How do you rate contractors prior to them completing the task?

Three “Red Flags” that can help you distinguish the good from the bad:

If the contractor contacts you with a lot of questions following the job walk, they will not communicate effectively and will have difficulty satisfying your particular requirements.

If they cannot bid appropriately and submit their bid “off” scope they are not organized enough to manage your project with professionalism.

If the end and start dates appear to be unreal, they are probably. It is likely that you are dealing with a business who tends to over-promise and not meet their obligations to perform.

Do not take these errors to lightly. The submission process is the most straightforward part of a construction job. If the contractor you are considering doesn’t pay attention and appears to be a bit over-promising, remove them out of the project. In doing this you’ll avoid major headaches later on.

Part 2: setting expectations

One of the key factors to the success of your construction project is to establish expectations that are right for your contractors. When you interview potential employees, you establish expectations at the time of interview, and for potential contractors, you define expectations in the job tender. Set your expectations for service set out in advance and you can stay clear of conflicts with your contractor later on.

Three key requirements to consider when conducting your tendering (bidding) procedure:

Submittal dates for tender closing
Create a time frame for contractors to provide their quotation. If you do this, you’ll not have to chase contractors to ask for their bid. Two weeks is enough time for contractors to write his proposal and submit it. If a company fails to meet the deadline, they should be eliminated from the process

Deadline for start and finish
Construction projects are known for being slow and inexplicably long. Stop this in the bud by establishing an estimated timeframe for beginning and completing the project. Discuss dates with the contractors in the tender process and determine a realistic timeframe. If a contractor fails to meet the deadline, don’t engage them.

Your unique requirements
Do you have particular tenant issues that your contractor must know about? Do you need your contractor to work with other trades working on your property? Do you have any specific timetables for work or security protocols that must be followed? Whatever your requirements are, you should discuss them in the tendering process so that you don’t face any frustration later.

Establish the right expectations early in the process and you’ll be in good shape for finding the right contractor for the job and, at the end of the day you will have a successful construction project.

Part 3: classic mistakes

Since the beginning of our business at the end of 2004, Commercial Painters has been involved in over 3000 construction tenders. A majority of these projects were successfully contested, but others weren’t. Projects that are not tendered effectively begin on the wrong track and eventually overbudget. Here are some “classic mistakes” that we have witnessed repeated time and again:

1. No job walk

Contractors are gathered on the spot to go over the project on their own (if they are able to) in contrast to an organized walkthrough. This creates a nightmare scheduling on the part of property managers or the building owner, as well as confusion over scope.

2. Jobs tendered to late in the season

The best value if you submit a project during winter. You can tender in the summer or in the late spring, and you’ll be charged more.

3. No deadline set for submission

Contractors can make their bids at any time. It is difficult to conduct a tender. Jobs are often granted during peak times because capacity is low, and, in the end, the job takes too long.

If you’re about to submit a construction bid, make sure you avoid these mistakes and you’re on the way to a successful tender!

Part 4: The Job Walk

One of the key elements to an effective contract (request for proposals) is a successful job walk. A lot of times contractors are requested to look at the potential site independently, without the assistance of the assistance of a project manager who will describe the particulars of the project. Requesting contractors to visit the site on their own might seem like the simplest method to receive a an offer? However, without a job walk, you’ll get wide price variations due to contractors bidding on various areas of work. There is a lot of confusion about scope and prices isn’t that a bit unproductive? Beware of the headaches, invest in a few minutes and go on an appropriate walk with the contractors you are considering.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Set a time and date for the walk. The walk should not last more than an hour. Invite all the four participants to join simultaneously.

2. Send invitations via email to a party, it’s much more convenient than calling. Get confirmation that you will be attending from contractors by email.

3. Invite four contractors, so if one doesn’t show, you are covered.

4. Hand out your tender documents to all contractors based on the price you have quoted. Check the specification in its basic the scope of work, what exclusions and inclusions, and the deadlines for submitting your tender.

5. Establish the main expectations Dates for submission (two weeks) as well as a time frame (deadline for the start and end) and any other specific needs.

6. Explore the entire area in the company of others. Make sure to clarify any questions. This is the perfect moment to address questions and get the whole Group on the same group.

7. Red Flag When a contractor calls to ask multiple questions following a job walk, that’s an indication that they are not communicating well, and they’ll be unable to meet your requirements on work.

8. If a major shift in scope happens during the time of the walk, send an additional notice to all bidders by email so that everyone is on the same on the same page. For more info about – commercial painters in Auckland.