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Need help with huge bid. Please.

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by BillytheMelter, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. BillytheMelter

    BillytheMelter Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I have been the main snowplower/remover/melter for a large motorcycle company in Milwaukee. (You can guess which one!). With the new ansi
    requirements they now have to bid out the contract which I have faithfully
    handled for almost 30 years. 30 years ago this company was almost bankrupt.
    over the years it has come back strong and we have grown with them. All this time it has been bid on a time and material basis. 3 years ago the company decided to purchase a trecan snow melter that we run for them. It is a great machine and melts about 40 tons of snow per hour based on consitancy of the white stuff. We no longer have to use dumptrucks to move the snow and I do not have to beg drivers to come to work. My family and a crew of about 6-10 drivers collect and eventually melt the snow. We can be there for days if it does not stop snowing. Again we charge by the hour. Light years end up being about $100,000. Normal years go about $200,000. We have not had a heavy year with the Melter yet. This year the company wants bids for 2-4 4-6 6-8 8-10 and so on inches at a flat rate. Where is this snow measured. Who measures it. How many problems does
    this cause? If this was a normal large flat lot with plowing only I would not have a problem doing a normal bid, but these are steep lots that require constant attention. After all the plowing we can be melting for a day or two with a 8 inch storm. Consistancy of the snow can increase or decrease snow melting drastically. We also have to plow and melt the city streets so that employees can get to the lots. I am afraid someone without the knowhow will under bid us. Actually not that afraid-I could go to Florida for once and not care about a weather forecast. I could have a winter life after 30 years. OK back to reality. Are there any big boys out there with a good billing formula?
    Your help will be appreciated.
  2. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Have you tracked your previous snow history? Do you know what it takes in manhours for a 2-4" etc? You have the inside track on exactly what it takes to clear the lots. The other guys do not. Keep this in mind, you have been THE man for 30 years and they will remember that. Sounds like they have had a management change, or they are just trying to keep you honest. Here is what should happen. People are either going to be way under you (which should throw up a flag for any reasonable minded management person), way above you (good for you), or in the same ballpark. If you have served them well, they know this. Change is scary for all. I would think on contracts of that size, they are not going to bulk at a few $ if they know what level of service you deliver. Unless you have done something to give them reason to doubt you, I would not get too worried (but I am not at risk of losing the contract either so it is easy for me to say). Stay close to home if they go with the lowballer, you may just end up bailing them out and regaining the contract if you happen to lose it. Always nerve racking when the big contracts are on the line. Try to relax, and go into salesman mode keying in on your strong points which have allowed you to service them for 30years. Best of luck. Hope this helps.
  3. echovalley

    echovalley Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 456

    Get in contact with your local public works or state dot they will tell you how much snow fell for each snow event.As for bidding 2-4 and so on I think for that size lot you were under priced 6-10 men,equipment days of snow and only 100k.We get 1/2 that for a large home improvement store[thats using 1 dump and 1 machine]2 men.I think they are going to be suprised when they see how much more it is going to cost them this year.What are you getting an hr?We are getting $130 an hr this year per machine.If it take you 6hr to clear 4 inchs x 8 machine at $130 per hour = 6x8x130=$6240+sand or salt $2400=$8640 to clear 4 inchs[i think you could convince then to stick with that 100K a year]
  4. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    Well I hope everything works out for you Billy, and good luck.
  5. BillytheMelter

    BillytheMelter Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for the help and support guys. Bid goes in T'morrow.
    Willl Keep you posted. Thanks Again!
  6. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Looking forward to hearing you secured the contract. Good luck!