- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 11 Jun 2019
When a firm such as a contractor in the construction industry wants to secure work for its business, it will usually submit a proposal (a ‘tender’ or ‘bid’) for a project and in so doing becomes a ‘bidder’. The bid is a detailed description of how the contractor will manage and complete the project if chosen by the client. If the bid is successful, the contractor will be selected to carry out the work.
In bidding for the project, contractors, consultants and others, usually try to submit their lowest possible price for consideration by the awarding body (the client). However, this may not be the sole criterion in selection as the contractor’s experience and qualification may count for more than price.
Making a bid
There are numerous ways of becoming a bidder but traditionally the main ways are:
- Invitation to tender (ITT): the client invites a selected group of suppliers (contractors, trade contractors, equipment suppliers, demolition firms, etc) and invites them to tender (bid) for the project by releasing details against which the tenderers may price and submit their bids. They will include their price for supplying the goods or services along with proposals for how the client’s requirements will be satisfied. Bids must be submitted by a specified deadline.
- For private finance initiative (PFI) projects, ‘invitation to negotiate’ (ITN) is the equivalent process to the invitation to tender of traditional contracts
- Call for tenders: project owners (clients) release project information to contractors and sub-contractors in an attempt to solicit bids. This can include public announcements advertising the project and making published construction data available to any interested parties.
Public projects or publicly-subsidised projects may be subject to OJEU procurement procedures (this may change when the UK leaves the EU). The regulations set out rules requiring that contracts must be advertised in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU). The OJEU can therefore constitute a useful tool by which potential bidders are made aware of up-and-coming projects.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Best value.
- Bid evaluation.
- Bid writer.
- Common mistakes in construction tenders.
- Compliant bid.
- How to prepare tender documents.
- Invitation to negotiate.
- Mid-tender interviews.
- Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT).
- Non-compliant tender.
- OJEU procurement rules.
- Pre-qualification questionnaire.
- Pre-tender interviews.
- Procurement route.
- Selection criteria.
- Tender documentation.
- Tender evaluation.
- Tender pricing document.
- Tender settlement meeting.
- Things to avoid when tendering.
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