Info

(152 mm) discharge and smaller

2—3

Pumps with 8 in to 48 in (203 to 1219 mm) discharge

3—4

Larger pumps or multiple pump requisitions

4—6

Often a vendor may have several bids due at approximately the same time. For this and other reasons, vendors may ask that the bid due date be extended. Extensions can be granted if the project schedule allows for this extra time.

It is in the interest of the purchaser to be flexible on bidding time limits to avoid losing a potentially favorable bid. If a bid is extended, all bidders should be notified of the extension so the additional time can be used to improve all quotes.

In many cases, it may not be acceptable to extend a bid due date. If a project schedule is tight, timing may not allow for an extension. In the case of many public sector bids, bid openings are advertised long in advance and may not be extended for this reason.

Pre-Bid Meeting If the required equipment is for a complex or difficult service, or if project timing is such that the purchasing cycle must be minimized, a pre-bid meeting may be of benefit. This meeting should be held after the vendors have read the inquiry but before quote preparation has begun. During this meeting, the full range of requirements are reviewed and emphasized when necessary. Areas of compromise may be suggested. At this time, the vendor is free to ask questions and determine if alternatives to the specified equipment might be advantageous. If specification errors or oversights are noted during these meetings, all bidders must be quickly informed.

The chances of obtaining quotes that are usable without major upgrading are much more likely after a pre-bid meeting. This meeting might prevent a full re-bidding process that might be necessary if vendors misinterpret requirements or are not able to offer equipment in accordance with the inquiry.

Evaluation of Bids After the bid requisition has been prepared and sent to the approved pump vendors for quotation, it is time to start preparing bid review documents. Both commercial and technical evaluations will be necessary and can be accomplished on the same or separate documents.

Review Strategies Review strategies differ between projects and clients. Often, technical reviewers are not made aware of the quoted costs and are concerned only with technical specification compliance and scope of supply. In this case, the commercial evaluation is done by others. The final comparison of costs can be made after the various vendors quotes are conditioned to meet all technical requirements. If the cost is withheld from the technical reviewer, an important piece of evaluating information is missing, which increases the chance of missing key requirements. Based on a quick comparison of cost, it is easy for the document reviewer to establish the quoted general scope for each vendor. If large cost differences are noted between vendors, the reviewer must carefully determine what major differences in quoted scope likely exist.

The number of quotes that will be fully evaluated will depend partly on the number received. The goal is to ensure that the least expensive, technically acceptable bidder can be determined while also minimizing evaluation hours.

Short Listing of Quotes When bids are first received, a quick commercial and technical tabulation is often prepared that lists the main scope of supply, extent of specification compliance, major deviations, and the associated total cost. This is done to get a general idea of the completeness of the quotes as well as to provide information to determine which of the quotes will be fully evaluated.

Technical Bid Evaluation Quotations must be evaluated against the specified requirements. Avoid a temptation to conditions bids so they are apples to apples. Comparing apples to oranges is acceptable providing that specified requirements are met. Professional ethics prohibit giving a vendor's better idea to competitors. A vendor should be encouraged to use ingenuity when preparing a quotation. One vendor's ingenuity should never be shopped around to the others.

After the decision is made on which bids to fully evaluate, the formal review and conditioning process can begin. A technical bid tabulation form is necessary to ensure that the equipment is provided in compliance with the requisition. This tabulation will list the important points of each vendor quote in table form. Each quote is then compared line by line.

Items that are usually contained in a technical bid tab include

• Equipment model number and size

• Compliance with process duty requirements (flow, head, NPSHR, and so on)

• Mechanical design limitations (pressure and temperature)

• Mechanical and hydraulic operating parameters (such as brake horsepower, head rise to shutoff, capacity rise to run out, percentage of best efficiency point)

• Mechanical design features (such as materials of construction, seal type, seal flush type, bearing and lubrication type)

When the technical bid evaluation form is being completed, the reviewer must highlight all items that do not meet requisition requirements or that are not clearly defined in the vendor's quote. In addition, features of the vendor's quotation should be highlighted to clearly indicate advantages, disadvantages, ambiguities, and non-compliances. A typical API-610 pump technical bid evaluation is shown in Figures 8a to 8c.

Technical Quote Clarification Questions When the initial review is complete, a list of clarification questions needs to be prepared and sent to each vendor being evaluated. Questions should be direct and concise to ensure that responses answer the questions asked. The vendors must be encouraged to provide cost adders, if necessary, to meet requisition requirements. It is usually appropriate to allow the vendors one week to reply.

When answers to the clarification questions are received, the bid tabulation must be updated to include any revisions in the vendors quotation. Care must be exercised in tracking revisions to the original quotation. If additional clarification is needed, there are various ways to go about it, depending on the situation. Some suggestions are detailed in the following sections.

Telephone Inquiry This method should be discouraged in all but the simplest cases. If used, notes of the telephone conversation must be recorded and filed for later reference. The applicable portion of the vendor quotation should be marked to reflect any changes, with proper reference made to where and why the changes were made. The vendor should confirm all answers in writing, even to verbal questions. Good documentation is necessary to clarify any future misunderstandings either before or after a purchase order is placed.

E-mailed and Faxed Questions and Answers It is preferable that questions be asked and answered by e-mail or fax. This will provide a positive information trail and can be as timely as a telephone conversation. Each vendor will require approximately one week to reply to this second round of questions.

Vendor Clarification Meeting Many factors will be used to determine if a vendor clarification meeting is necessary. Is the potential value of the order high enough to justify

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