Time Wasted on Tendering

Why is it that the time taken to put a bid together these days seems to go on at such a frenetic pace with such poor standards of information? I’ve bemoaned design teams many a time about the apparent lack of sending out co-ordinated information and saying here is the link go and get what you need we’ve given you everything you want.

These days though with the click of a few buttons we are being sent more and more information to wade through and less and less time to understand it. And it comes in such confusing layouts/styles/folders that sometimes you just don’t know where to begin. Here’s a couple of examples of the differing styles of presentation, I’m sure you’ve seen many more like me:

What’s really prompted me to revisit this though is…

I’ve just been looking at some information on another project download, and it made me stop and think about how we deal with things and the time we waste and how it impacts on the supply chains appetite to price a job.


The scenario goes…. (insert the names of relevant folders or projects to suit your own story as you wish) 


You receive the link via email, you download the information, up pops the folder on screen and then the fun begins as you say to yourself…..

What am I looking for? Well some sort of guidance as to what we’ve got for a start would be good.

Where is that.

I don’t know I’ll have a look in that folder there marked folder 1

no, nothing in there…

Says contract to follow ok, I’ll look at that one there marked folder 2

Look it’s got dwg and pdf versions of the drawings!

Ah, good a nice list, what are the drawing titles?

I don’t know there aren’t any it’s just a list of numbers Where’s the drawing register?

There isn’t one, well at least not in this folder


And so it goes on…


Now when I wrote this originally in 2011 the government was talking about making a 20% saving in its Government Construction strategy document that it had published, the coalition government published the Construction 2025 document in 2013 and the savings were up to 33% required, and again in 2016 the government published the government construction strategy 2016 – 2020 document repeating the 33% saving required.

I seriously reckon that if we got our act together and introduced a standard way of issuing electronic information we could save many man hours of each of us trying to fathom out what on earth it was we were looking at that would go towards this target.

Perhaps that could be included somewhere in the very first item of the Action Plan on co-ordination and leadership?

Or is something so simple as this too much to ask? I’d be interested to hear your experiences.