For years I’ve been putting up with the… ‘tender’… process for Japanese knotweed eradication. What this means – (for those of you lucky enough to not know what this is) – you basically do a site survey (free of charge), you then come up with all the best options for eradicating the plant (again free of charge).
The client then decides which is the ‘best’ strategy… (for ‘best’ …read… ‘cheapest’) and goes with that option.
In the new world that we all live in this is a dangerous way to proceed due to the variety of methods available and the different levels of efficacy. What I’m saying is that you will end up comparing differing methods… which is a little like comparing… ‘apples with oranges’.
Add into this situation that most clients simply don’t have the time to read what the contractor has actually written and just looks at the price….and you have a problem
Surely to goodness in this day and age the better way to get works done properly is to build a relationship with your contractors…?
Why not invite people to an introductory meeting where contractors can present their services – go through their portfolio of works and discuss the strategies and methods that they would use.
You get to meet everybody – shake hands – look people in the eye and generally get a ‘feel’ for the various companies that you wish to work with. Maybe our accounts department could meet your accounts department?? Our surveyors meet your surveyors?? ….lets all get to know how you wish to work ….and who needs to speak to who…
Once this initial ‘meet and greet’ has been concluded you then get down to the nitty gritty. Insurances, health and safety compliance, trade body affiliations – anything you need to check can be checked.
I’m also suggesting here that profit margins and markup are agreed at this point – some sort of ‘open book’ system where everybody agrees what a reasonable business should be charging – no shocks.
Maybe at this point you agree payment terms and how you wish to be invoiced – are projects going to be VAT exempt? Etc etc
Then and only then will you discuss a particular project.
Just think about the time, effort and grief that this would save….
No more multiple tender situations where several contractors are squabbling over jobs – running all over the country knocking up thousands of miles on the car….then you lose out to some asshole that hasn’t priced the job properly.
How many of us have lost projects because we KNOW what we are doing!!!!! The idiots that think a single season spray will kill an established stand of Japanese knotweed and price the job on that basis – win work off those that allow repeat visits and multiple spray regimes.
Why not make a change in the way we all do things – cheapest is never best – you get what you pay for.