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Just Lost Bid to a National

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ShorePower, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. ShorePower

    ShorePower Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    Just attended a school board meeting for the awarding of a plow bid. The school bid specs aked for pricing Under 2", 2-4", 4-8", 8-12", 12 plus. Price for salt/ Sand per application.

    Very small elementary school lot and bus loop.
    My bid
    over 12" Truck @ 100/hr
    Salt Sand 285.00 Per

    US Lawns ( National Franchise) Bid
    12 plus Truck @ 150/hr
    Magic Salt 250.00/per

    Here's the problem. If we never get over 12" then you can average the figures and see that US Lawns is $6.25 cheaper. But Over 12 they are 50/hr more.
    The School did not spec Magic Salt so US Lawns price is bogus. The bid was incorrect and should be disqualified.
    I brought it to the School boards attention that I will be filing a dispute tommorow AM.

    Am I right or Wrong . Need advise ASAP.
  2. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    The only advise I have is your bid and US lawns is really close but if they are selling magic salt cheaper then sand/salt that probably why they got it. IMO I dont see what there is to file a dispute about.... ? ?? Sorry. That crap happens every day. Ive seen great bids get thrown out for the dumbest reasons. Its there right to choose what ever bid they want in the end.
  3. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Couple things I don't like here. One, I don't like the 1-2 and 2-4 inch price seperation. I think there should be one price for .5"-3.9". Second, what happens for U.S. LAWNS when there are 2", 4", 8" or 12"? Which price will they bill at, those numbers are included on two different price levels? The salt I'm not sure about, I don't think it will disqualify their bid if it's been accepted.
  4. chs1993

    chs1993 Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    I have to agree with him it seems weird that you would submit it with those numbers. I have people that can barely follow whole numbers lol. I cant imagine .99 and so on. It happens Ive lost a couple bids this year as well I'll just resubmit next year and keep moving forward.
  5. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Sorry, but to me it's obvious with the plowing portion.

    They are basing thier numbers on average history, not the average figures you quote.

    So let me make up some number and multiply it for you

    0-2" - history says 6 plows
    You 350*6= 2100
    US Lawns 375*6= 2250

    2-4 - history says 5 plows
    you 525*5= 2625
    US Lawns 475*5= 2375

    4-8 - history says 2 plows
    you 875*2= 1750
    US Lawns 850*2= 1700

    8-12 - history says 0 plows, but they need the number
    you 100*?
    US Lawns 150*?

    You 6475
    US Lawns 6325

    They win on Plowing

    Now, did the contract specifically say salt/sand or did it say salt/sand or equivilant (or something like that)? And really, they are getting a much better product from US Lawns for cheaper anyways - so they could probibally accept it on those terms anyways
  6. ShorePower

    ShorePower Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    The bids specs ReadContractor will be responsible for the application of sand / salt mixture to all parking areas including bus loop. As needed. Need pricing per application.

    History on Long Island for the past 3 seasons has proven that we had on average only 5 plowable snows. 3 of which were 12 inches or greater. One storm each season has accumulated over 18". At this rate I am significantly cheaper.
    I get that magic salt is better. But if they were looking for a boiler install and speced out a Peerless. 5 guys submit a bid for peerless, and one submitts a bid for Buderus, even though it is a much better boiler, that does not meet the bid specs. So that Buderus bid would be rejected. No?
  7. ShorePower

    ShorePower Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    Here is the letter I will drop off first thing tomorrow.

    Shore Power Electrical Contracting Inc.
    PO Box 696
    Manorville, NY 11949

    East Quogue Union Free School District
    6 Central Avenue
    East Quogue, NY 11942

    November 15, 2011

    To the East Quogue Board of Education,

    On Tuesday, November 15th, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. bids were opened for the snow plowing of the East Quogue Elementary School. My company and US Lawns were the two lowest bidders.

    The bid specs in line #8 of the general conditions requested pricing per application of a sand/salt mixture. The awarded bid contained no pricing for a sand/salt mixture instead US Lawns bid states a “Magic salt” application. Magic salt was not one of the bid specifications, in fact, US Lawns bid does not include any sand application at all.

    The second discrepancy in US Lawns bid are that on the smaller accumulations his price was slightly less than my bid but on any snowfall greater than 12” my bid was $100.00 per hour where his bid was $150.00 per hour. If the board takes into consideration the past storm accumulations of the three most recent years it becomes obvious that the billings of US Lawns will be considerably higher.

    The third discrepancy is that at 2”, 4”, 8”, & 12”, US Lawns includes two different price levels. The school risks being charged the greater of the two price levels, thus making US Lawns bid price significantly higher than my bid.

    I believe that his bid should be rejected because it does not adhere to the bid specifications.

    I await your response.

    Nicholas D’Amico

    cc: Gary Bixhorn, BOCES District Superintendent
  8. G.Landscape

    G.Landscape Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 851

    **** happens.... I am sure there was a line that stated in the bid form.... "The Lowest, or any Tender may not be accepted"

    They might also look at it that the National company has more experience then your company and may be considered more reliable or have better back up equipment. Just a thought I know nothing about either you or this company.
  9. ShorePower

    ShorePower Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    Equipment, experience, may be the cause. I can't say for sure. I can say that the concluding line of the bid specs reads, The Board of education shall award the contract or contracts , if at all, to the lowest possible bidder.
    I just can't see how it's cheaper. I Guess time will tell.
  10. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    I like this letter, well done. It might just work for you.
  11. djagusch

    djagusch 2000 Club Member
    from mn
    Messages: 2,107

    Two things:

    Us lawns is a franchise not a large nationally owned. They have a local owner, which is much different than a national company.

    For the 2" snow they could charge the less or larger amount, but in your price structure you price the larger amount each time. So to point it out doesn't help your cause, if anything it helps the school district. They will know to try to catch billing for the higher rate if the invoice says 2".

    They also could of got the ok on the magic salt by the buildings and grounds guy. From pre apps (where they would get more billings), to less sand being tracked on their floors.

    At the price differences it basically close enough to look past the price and see who they felt more comfortable with.

    I wouldn't send the letter, they won't remeber the point of it, just remeber the person complaining.
  12. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    I agree. Nothing good will come to you sending this.

    A company who's core business is in lawn and snow would get more consideration than an electrical contractor taking on snow work. Who knows, you could be good at snow and ice management, but perception does carry weight. It's not your forte.
  13. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    The letter comes across as "sour grapes" I would not send it.
  14. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    I think if he receives some type of explanation and/or gets the Board to think about some of the issues raised with the pricing structure it will be of some benefit to him. I'm not saying they will be able to go back on their decision, but maybe during the next bid opportunity some of these issues will be considered with more weight.
  15. lilweeds

    lilweeds PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,178

    Really shore, you look like a huge whiner right now. You lost a bid, get over it.
  16. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160

    Exactly, I have had property managers comment because I am in the lawn/snow industry that they feel I will be more reliable than the plumber/ electrician and /or carpenter as most of these guys work throughout the winter. Nothing is growing so my full attention will be on snow services.
  17. ShorePower

    ShorePower Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    Point taken. Probably wont send the letter. The kicker was that the building and ground head, is a supposed friend of mine. We go fishing, camping together, went away as couples last weekend. He pressed me to bid it, saying that he wanted me to do the account. I have been plowing for the past 3 winters, as a sub for the previous bid winner. They are very happy with me, just not the old contractor who had been winning the bid's billing practices.
  18. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Well, I'm disappointed. OP, you rolled over pretty easy on this.
  19. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    I can get behind wanting to know why he didn't get the work. This is always important.

    His approach in his letter seemed to want the bid thrown out based on his interpretation of the specs.

    A better approach might be wanting in-site on the lack of success with this initiative. Since they felt he was not best suited, was the final consideration being of a professional aspect, or price appointed aspect.

    Once one (or a body in this case) makes a decision you don't want to disagree with it....but asking for an explanation is a fair question in my book. Whether or not he gets an explanation is another story.

    I think he can get the reasons why he wasn't selected through his buddy (who should be in the know).
  20. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Agreed. :salute: