Tender Preparation and Documentation – Part 6 | How To Win a Construction Tender


Tender Preparation and Documentation

Tender preparation involves long term planning and short term planning. If systems for long term planning are already in place in your construction firm, you have already done half the work that is required to secure a tender. Systems for long term planning have already been discussed in chapter 2 (Planning and Organization). In this chapter, we are going to discuss the actual short-term operational procedures that are required in preparing a tender.

Assuming that you have a Tender update system that notifies or alerts you of the latest tenders in your region, your next step is going out to collect the tender documents. As discussed in chapter 4 (How to Find Tenders) there are several ways of finding tenders. Steps in preparing a construction tender/bid are outlined as follows:

Collect Tender Documents

The following is a list of bid documents that a contractor should collect from the client or project owner. All contractors wishing to participate in the tender have to pay a non-refundable deposit fee in order to obtain the documents. The deposit fee is set by the owner and it varies by project.

  • Tender Forms
  • Bills of Quantities (Unpriced)
  • Project Drawings
  • Schedule of Specifications (Floor Finishes, Wall Finishes, Windows, Doors, Fittings Etc.)
  • Building Contract and Preambles


Read the Project Details and Decide

After collecting the tender documents, you should study the project details in order to determine the magnitude and scope. Read the drawings and description of works. Decide whether you should bid or not. A guideline for decision making is provided in chapter 5 (Bidding Strategy).If you need to calculate the contract price in order to make a decision, decision-making can be shelved at this point.

Request Bills of Quantities (Unpriced) in Excel Format

Soon after collecting your bid documents, you should request Blank Bills of Quantities from the project owner or client’s representative. The representative is the quantity surveyor or estimator who prepared the Bills of Quantities. When you receive the Microsoft Excel copy of the Bills of Quantities via email or you can simply get the Bills copied on your USB flash drive, you should start pricing the Bills with your company rates.


Price the Excel Bills

Working in cooperation with the Purchasing Department to get quotes, you should price the Excel Bills with updated rates. Do not rush to enter the rates on your hard copy (the official BOQ document that you are going to submit), but you should analyze your rates, cross check, proofread and adjust any rates that need to be adjusted. The purpose of an Excel Bill is to enter rates for calculation and editing purposes. Send a copy to your assistants for proofreading, and transfer the final rates to the hard copy only when you are satisfied with the price.

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