Here to help

If you are sick of hearing about commercial tendering now… and you think it sounds like too much work, you know where a group of geeky QS’s are!!! Oh yes, right here. It's ok if you don’t want to do it because we do! Make sure you get in touch if you want help. We’d be stoked!

Don't be too reliant

So, as part of the story, we are well on our way to being ALL OVER this tendering thing. We know the documentation inside and out, our plans and specs are super colourful, and we have a pretty firm grip on exactly what this job would look like for us in both a practical and contractual way.


Now I don’t know about you, but I used to have a master list of sub-contractors that I used. These were all guys we worked with over and over again, we knew them, they knew us. I’d usually set up a letter, outlining the docs they needed to review, sometimes even the plan pages that were most relevant to their trade. The letter and the documents would be sent off to them so they could start pricing, and I’d soon start hearing back…..


Sometimes they couldn’t price, they were too busy. I’d need to make a note of that (secretly hoping that not too many would pull out….). You really DON’T want to have to use a provisional sum for a sub-contractor if you can help it…. It kind of makes it look like you haven’t tried hard enough and can work against you in your tender submission. IF I had to get a provisional sum, I’d try and get one of my sub-contractor guys to jump on a call with me so I knew the sum was as accurate as possible.

Stay vigilant

As the sub pricing started to come through, I really needed to check it. There’s a fine line between them missing something, and me using their price knowing that might win me the job, but also not wanting to have a sub go south on me during the job too…… some QS’s are meaner than others!  If I thought they might have missed something, I would always go back and double check with them that they were completely happy with their price. I couldn’t be seen to be saying ‘hey mate looks like you’ve missed off the 3 generators’ as that would be unfair to the other sub-contractors who were pricing. It was a delicate balance, but usually, if they knew I thought something was missed they would go back and have a good look and come back to me with revised pricing.


Sub-contractor quotes would arrive in lots of different ways…… sometimes there was a beautiful proposal, sometimes it was a one-liner in an email…. And I didn’t even know if it included GST or not!


As soon as I had decided which sub-contractor I would use out of each trade, I had to also make sure I transferred all of their tags and clarifications onto my tender letter, after all, their direct quotes would generally never be seen by the architect or project manager who was receiving the tender.


Next up…. How to manage the pricing itself, including how the bricks and sticks starts getting turned into a piece of tendering art….

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