bid estimating

Discussion in 'Design, Development and Standards Discussions' started by Lecia Shorter, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. Lecia Shorter

    Lecia Shorter Friend of the Community

    What are the pitfalls of bidding on a subcontract for site acquisition, permitting and zoning services where the payment is based upon the performance of categorized tasks and the inclusion of all expenses related to the performance of those tasks.
  2. Bob Hardee

    Bob Hardee Friend of the Community

    Hello Lecia,

    In the past, bids have usually been made on pay scales for site ac personnel based on time and expense with an open end to coincide with the length of the project.
    As the carriers and tower operators begin to experience competition and rates fell, they begin to look for ways to cut expenses.

    Out of this came milestone payments and the use of independent contractors.

    The pitfalls to the contractor is the possibility of spending a lot of time and energy on pursuing a site or sites and failing to close a deal due to zoning denial or a host of other reasons.

    The safest approach in my opinion is a guaranteed payment upon obtaining a willing lessor in a site which meets the zoning and building criteria in the jurisdiction where the site is required.

    This condition is getting tougher to find.
    Also as part of the agreement, there should be compensation for locating a suitable alternative such as a building rooftop or tower collocation.

    A guaranteed payment should be made for each successful step or milestone in the process, a payment for obtaining the lease, a payment for obtaining the zoning with perhaps some compensation for the time spent if the zoning is approved by regulation but turned down by the jurisdiction (which happens) and further compensation for any additional steps such as obtaining the building permits, etc.

    It is very difficult in advance to determine time required. As a former site ac rep and site ac manager, I have acquired sites in less than a month up to three years in one extreme case.

    Bob Hardee
    Former Site Ac Manager
  3. Lecia Shorter

    Lecia Shorter Friend of the Community

    Thank you Bob! My contract is broken down into new builds and overlays/modifications. It is also broken down into four task categories, e.g. site qualification, leasing, zoning/permitting and additional. Payment is conditioned upon approvals or executed documents with the exception of site qualifications. Yes, it is very difficult to determine time and expense required in advance but I refuse to close a deal where payment is conditioned upon matters that are beyond my control where I have exercised due diligence in the performance of my contract.
  4. Narain Sarshar

    Narain Sarshar Industry Observer

    Yes but if you are getting a full payment for zoning/permitting it could be months or maybe even years before this requirement is fulfilled. Sometimes these matters are out of your capability to control them. How would you address this if you were to expend considerable time to get the project to the zoning level and after frequent zoning hearings the project is turned down by the authorities? It doesn't sound like an easy position to be in if your client is not willing to compensate you correctly for the work that you have performed.

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