A tender briefing session is conducted as part of the overall tender process to help the client team explain and present to the tenderers the general expectations and Scope for the particular works to ensure they and the tender conditions are understood, allowing better and more accurate proposals.
🟧 Are They Useful?
They can be beneficial, but it will depend upon how the people delivering the sessions are prepared and if the contractors/vendors have been provided enough time to complete an initial review of the overall tender information so they can ask questions and it is not the first time to see the project.
🟧 Who Conducts the Briefing Sessions?
The client team would conduct the sessions as seen in the matrix below.
🟧 Who Attends the Briefing Session?
Any person or company involved in the overall tender process would attend the session:
|Facilities Team||Facilities Manager|
|Project Management||Project Manager|
|Commissioning Consultant||Commissioning Lead|
|MEP Designer||Design Manager|
|Quantity Surveyor||Lead Surveyor|
|Main/General Contractor||Company Director Project Estimator Project Manager Any Specialist Vendors/Suppliers|
🟧 Session Responsibility Matrix
The below details a simple matrix that can be used; Note it is for the testing and commissioning works but can be modified for any other types of works:
|Client||Designer||CxA||Quantity Surveyor||Main Contractor/Vendors|
|Organize Briefing Session||X|
|Conduct Briefing Session||X||X|
|Respond to Questions||X||X||X|
🟧 How to Organize the Session?
As seen in the above table, the session should be organized by the commissioning manager or whoever is responsible for the element of work to be discussed; at the time noted within the Request for Proposal [RFP] timeline.
Since 2019 most of these sessions have been conducted online using systems such as ‘Zoom or Microsoft Teams.’
🟧 All Tenderers Together or Individually?
As the reason for conducting the sessions is to ensure all of the tenderers have the same understanding of the expectations, doing one presentation with them all in attendance can be the best way to do them, it will also save some time.
Make sure that if only conducting one session with all contractors and vendors in attendance, their names are not displayed on any screens [get them to change them].
🟧 What Should be Included in the Presentation?
The presentation should cover all the critical elements, using the Scope of Work as a reference.
The following provides an example:
- Overview of the session and what it should achieve,
- Run through the overall tender process,
- High-level description of the Scope,
- Detailed information upon parts of the Scope that may cause the tenderers confusion,
- Novated, preferred vendors or equipment suppliers that should be utilized,
- Expectations on resources, special equipment or instruments,
- An overview of the programme or high-level timeline for the works and overall project,
- Time for lots of questions from the tenderers,
- Summary of what was covered
🟧 Tender Briefing Attendance Register
The below template can be downloaded and used, if needed, for managing the sessions and documenting who was in attendance for future reference.
[Note this should not be issued to the tenderers if wanting not to allow them to see who else is bidding].
🟧 Briefing Minutes
Minutes will be written by the client team and issued to the tenderers once the session has been completed to ensure that the discussions, questions, and responses have been thoroughly documented.
These can be formatted using the presentation as a basis.
🟧 If you are Attending a Briefing Session
There are a couple of things that can be completed and prepared by the tenderers before attending a session to help provide a lot more understanding of the requirements:
- Where time permits, conduct a detailed review of the information within the tender documents; if time is limited, perform a high-level review,
- From the review, have an understanding of the overall project and type/size of the building, and what services are being installed,
- Try to create a rough plan for resources and evaluate against the high-level programme that the client team will provide,
- Review any long lead equipment for impacts on the programme, especially if the project programme is tight,
- Review and understand if there is any need for existing system integrations,
- Review of any local, governmental, code certifications that may be required and if there are any potential impacts,
- Understand rough time to get utilities connected to the building for any potential impacts with the overall programme [electric, gas, water, power & drainage],
- Look at temporary site setups and where they can be placed at the site,
- Create a list of questions to ask at the briefing session.