Are bid packages the way to go?

First, let me explain that a ‘bid package’ is typically, a bid that includes the work of one or more related trades. For instance, if you’re a drywall contractor, you may want to submit a price for drywall and framing but you may also want to bid on the insulation or the acoustical ceilings or the painting portions of the projects. When you submit pricing for numerous trades, coupled together, you’re bidding on a ‘bid package’.

Is this the way to go?

If you ask me I’ll give bid package bidding a huge ‘thumbs up’ because submitting pricing on bid packages can improve anyone’s bid win ratio and it allows for less mobilization (which costs money). The results are that the general contractor (and you) have to deal with less sub trades and that generally makes for a smoother running job. Also, the bottom line is that your gross sales are up, getting you that much closer to your total yearly sales quota. Bid packages also contribute to the ability to control the pace of the job. Bid packages also cause less headaches. For instance, if a contractor installs and finishes the drywall on a project and is doing the painting portion of the project…there is less chance of bickering between the taper and the painter regarding quality.

It seems to make sense that if I’m a drywall contractor and I’m bidding an office building…one that has a combination of drywall and acoustical ceilings, I’d certainly include the price for the acoustical ceilings. I’d also include the pricing for the insulation that occurs within my drywall areas.

The whole idea in presenting bid packages is to be able to do more work on one job, meaning we can turn a little job into a bigger job.

Is there is a time when submitting such a price isn’t all that favorable?

My opinion is, if you’re bidding the drywall and framing on a supermarket that has a large acoustical ceiling in the main area but you’re not equipped labor-wise or production-wise…you may be doing more harm to your bidding strategy because let’s face it, a large acoustical company can come in and knock this job out much cheaper than you can because they usually tend to buy in bulk, etc.

All in all though, bid packages work very well and general contractors like them too. If you’re a drywall contractor, you may even consider hooking up with a reputable painting company.

Final verdict?

As I look back at over 40 years in this business, I realize that all of the ‘big guys’, the contractors who truly made it in this game, have done so by submitting bid package prices. As always, keep in mind the old saying “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”

Harry Carter

Carter School of Estimating
My estimating courses cover material, man days, production rates, difficulty factors, overhead and a whole lot more! Call (603) 263-0345 or write today and I’ll change the way you think about a lot of things regarding estimating. Estimating is an art. I’d like to think of myself as a great artist when it comes to estimating. Let me bring out the estimating artist in you.
855 Hanover Street
Manchester, NH 03104
©2024 Carter School of Estimating LLC