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Comments on this winning bid?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mick, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I had bid on a Post Office and had asked to be given a copy of all bids. Yesterday, I got a message that bids were all in so I went up this morning. In addition to mine, there was only one other. It was on a sheet of paper the size of a government routing slip. Along the top was the company name, address and phone #. Then was written:

    " --- PO"
    "bid for driveway"
    "plowing snow $xx.xx"
    "sanding if needed $xx.xx"

    The $$ was less than my price for the first increment, so that company was awarded the contract. I asked the Postmaster at what depth were they to start plowing, was that for each plowing or what if it needed plowing throughout the day. At what times were they to have it plowed? Answer to each - "I don't know".

    I had been mailed a request for a bid. I told him that what he got from that company wasn't even a bid: How can I possibly bid against that? What criteria did he use to award the bid? (answer: the dollar amount on that one was the lower "bid").

    Comments or advise?
  2. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Comments: Umm, you didn't want that account, anyway. Quite honestly, we are looking (or should be) for customers that already have been burned by someone similar to your bid "competitor."

    Advise: Go talk to 5 more decisionmakers and you will easily replace that account. You may have to call on 15 to find 5 that are somewhat receptive. Also, don't get the attitude that all accounts and decisionmakers make their decisions based solely on price, or you will soon be playing into their hand.
  3. plowed

    plowed Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    SnoJob67 is right. But don't be surprised if they call you after, or during for that matter, the first or second storm when this guy hasn't showed up and people are complaining.

  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Thanks, guys. Like I told my wife - I'd rather just let my truck sit than compete with that. Like I said on another post - I can take losing a bid, just not when it's an unfair bidding process. I could see if it was Joe Homeowner, but not a government office.

    Someone else told me today that there should be plenty for everybody. We lost two major plowers this past summer. One got shot and killed; the other died when he rolled his dump truck.

    Mainly just wanted to vent. Now, pick up and go on. Keep educating people.
  5. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I think in every business you see the same thing.It all comes doen to the dollar amout.We lost a job not a plowing job but it was funny the lady gave the job to the other guy becuase he was cheaper by the yard for flooring but was more for the whole jobe we where higher by the yard but where less than the other guy for the whole job.Minde you the price was the price so no adding after it was given so if you can figure out that ladies logic for hiring the other guy at a higher end price.So there are some stuppid decissions made.
  6. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    Let's play post office

    Your post didn't say whether it is a contract station or a property owned by Uncle Sam. If it is a contract station owned by a private party, don't sweat it. If if is a government owned property don't be surprised if you get a call back. Uncle Sam has some pretty straight rules for vendors and contractors that from the sound of it your "competition" will probably not be able to adhere to.
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Government owned regular U S Post Office. I had asked for a RFP and been told there was none (he looked at me like "huh?" so I explained what a Request for Proposal is). Only thing I can figure is that the local Postmaster is left to hire someone. Then when they run into trouble, the higher ups can blame it on him. This is a small office where the Postmaster also works the window and there is one rural carrier (no city carriers). The same guy has been plowing for the PO as long as he knew. I upset the apple cart by wanting to bidding on it (remember - mine was the only other bid?). Matter of fact, one of his comments to me was "well, nobody has complained before". I still think it's time to use the proper bidding procedures since it's a government contract. Maybe this year was "putting them on notice" and build up to next year.

    Another town in this area is in big trouble for something similar. A guy in town has "always taken care of street maintenance". All of a sudden the town board of directors are putting the contracts out to bid and this guy is having a fit. Now the State Municipal Association is involved by "advising" them on the proper methods for bidding. Ahh, life in the small town and the "good old boy system".
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2002
  8. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    This is exactly how the Postal Service works. I did some work in the Postmaster's office at a fairly large regional station (no window service) and was stunned by what I overheard while working. With the pressure these guys are under, it's no wonder you hear about them in the news from time to time.

    I'm sure if you were to file a complaint prior to next season, you'd see a different bid method take place.
  9. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night....."

    Sounds like they're out there in all kinds of weather, all around the clock. Who else would put up with such working conditions??

  10. Foz

    Foz Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    Just remember to raise the $$ a little when the Postmaster calls & says "my plowing guy didn't show..."
  11. jimsmowin

    jimsmowin Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    i've been doing work for a post office for many years. have bid on some also. some of these post masters are out to lunch, not even in the ball park. it seems they can do whatever they want. heak you don't even need insurance for these guys. not the way i operate. one of those things that make you step back and go h-mmmm. really makes you wonder how they can work this way.
  12. Rob

    Rob PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 306

    -- Agreed, and explain to them how you'll be there after all of your regular (read loyal) customers have been serviced !!