Our current set of tendering articles are focused on what you can be doing NOW, that is inexpensive and requires little time to undertake, to commence preparing your business for tendering in more complex environments.
Last months article focused on collating personnel and project CV’s and what and how you can be collating information for these areas.
In this months article I want to touch on every contractors nemeses ….. ‘SYSTEMS ‘.
Why does ‘Paperwork” attract feelings of anxiety and complexity to most tradespeople. Probably because we have spent our lives working with our hands creating and shaping, rather than documenting and detailing. Trades people and builders are practical and hands on professionals.
Conversely, lawyers are masters at ‘word-smithing’ and ‘counter-arguing’, and probably less skilled with practical hands on tasks. It’s horses for courses really and the the good thing is that documenting, paperwork and writing is a learned skill… it’s not rocket science by any means.
Unfortunately in this new world of paperwork that we all need to be versed in, we do need to put our minds to the task and appreciate that we just do business this way, it’s a part of our daily routines. Administration and compliance is a major part of business life, so we need get used to it particularly if we want to expand our horizons.
So with that said, I want to look at System requirements that will generally be asked within a bid document and the associated data that you can readily start collating now. This is a very brief snapshot of some items you can readily undertake.
Most clients or builders will request information from you about your safety history. Typical questions will relate to past incidents and they will want to know what your LTI, MTI, TRCFR and Workcover premiums are to get an understanding of your organisations safety culture.
A high LTI (Lost Time Injury) or MTI (Medical Treatment Injury) and TRCFR (Total Recordable Case Frequency Rate) rate will communicate that you have a poor safety history or potentially a poor commitment to the safety culture of your organisation. There is a lot more detail around what constitutes an LTI or MTI that I won’t get into right now, but these stats can mean the difference between the winning or loosing of a tender. Once again, it is the reduction or RISK to the client / principal that is foremost in clients minds.
Clients will request from you how you intend on managing your documentation, how you keep track of amendments, addendums, variations to plans, changes to specifications. They want to know the process by which all project participants are updated with any changes and how timely this will take effect. From a drawing and specification stand point, the service that BIO offer provides instant updates and communication to contractors and will easily satisfy this area for Quality purposes if you are utilising this service.
Clients will also want to understand how you manage and control defects, your internal documentation and forms and more importantly, how you correct these to ensure mistakes or issues don’t re-occur on their project. You may have heard of the term “Corrective Action” or Non-Conformance”. These are terms used within a system or process to identify, correct and close out defects or issues that are not in alignment to industry best practice. A simple 1 page form needs to identify what the issue was, the impacts of the issue, the measures you took to immediately cease the issues and the ultimate corrections you have implemented to ensure the issue doesn’t occur again. Further to this, it is advisable to keep a log or register of these issues and see if there is a recurring pattern to the issues. This can be a valuable exercise to identify cost leakages due to re-work and defects.
The industry is becoming more advanced in the area of Environmental management and companies need to take personal responsibility in regards to their contribution to protecting the environment and reduction of waste.
The chief areas you would be starting to experience on site would be along the lines of waste recycling, water harvesting, erosion and sediment control, noise and dust suppression.
In a bid or tender document, you may be required to identify how your activities effect the environment and what you do to reduce the impacts of these activities. There are simple strategies you can adopt that are cost effective and easy to implement. It would be wise to start researching this area to understand what you are able to implement within your business and provide details to a prospective client.
As you can see, the above brief (and I do mean brief) overview of these 3 disciplines highlight the necessity to start gathering and implementing information, data and systems in support of a good bid document.
If you are totally lost or buried and not capturing this data, System In Industry are happy to discuss some basic processes you can implement very quickly to assist with your compliance and bid requirements.
I trust this information is of some assistance to you and your business when developing a good bid document.
Systems In Industry has over 30 years experience in the construction industry in QLD. Our principal has worked in all areas of construction from site labourer to General Manager. We are BSA Open licenced builders and licenced Carpenter, Construction Degree qualified and licenced systems developers and auditors. If you are looking for a holistic business development approach to your construction organisation, then call us and we will gladly assist you in reaching your compliance and business goals.