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Business Thru Government

 
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:29 PM   #61
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Re: Business Thru Government


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Originally Posted by GovtContractor View Post
You are misconstruing the analogy. You're obviously from California, so you're aware of prevailing wage laws, etc. that ultimately determine a major component of the final price on government projects. The comparison was to illustrate the price difference, and how a smaller margin on a large high cost project can bring more profit than many small low cost projects.

Do you think that our soldiers should return to live in dilapidated barracks, or be treated in a hospital that's well below the standards of let's say UCLA medical center, or Sharp? I think they deserve the best quality and the most competitive price. Not a Yugo!

I don't disagree that there are many instances of fraud, waste and abuse in government spending overall, but I think it's mostly on the social programs side. People on SSI that CAN work, but don't, Medicare fraud, etc. There are also a lot of wasted money of studies, etc.

As far as doing construction work, we operate off of small margins and the work goes to the lowest bidder. You have to be lean, efficient, productive all the while providing a high quality end product that meets strict government guidelines and close scrutiny.
No I'm directing that at your comment about working for the government was like a Ferrari. When it shouldn't be. Especially when I look at my tax bill each year. The government pays people more than they are worth, that's not a secret.
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:05 PM   #62
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Re: Business Thru Government


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Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
No I'm directing that at your comment about working for the government was like a Ferrari. When it shouldn't be. Especially when I look at my tax bill each year. The government pays people more than they are worth, that's not a secret.

You should go back and re-read what I wrote. I never said working for the Government was like a Ferrari.

I also pay my fair share of taxes, along with workers comp, large insurance policies, unemployment insurance, fringe benefits, and the list goes on and on. Wait until you move from self-employed to running a business and then complain about the money the Government takes. You can point the finger elsewhere.

Are you implying that someone like me is paid more than I should be for the work I do? YOUR definition of worth is only based on YOUR concept of value. Unless you've spent the last two decades learning the skills I've learned to navigate and succeed in such a complex market, you have no right to judge and honestly no basis to speak.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:00 PM   #63
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Re: Business Thru Government


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Originally Posted by GovtContractor View Post
You should go back and re-read what I wrote. I never said working for the Government was like a Ferrari.

I also pay my fair share of taxes, along with workers comp, large insurance policies, unemployment insurance, fringe benefits, and the list goes on and on. Wait until you move from self-employed to running a business and then complain about the money the Government takes. You can point the finger elsewhere.

Are you implying that someone like me is paid more than I should be for the work I do? YOUR definition of worth is only based on YOUR concept of value. Unless you've spent the last two decades learning the skills I've learned to navigate and succeed in such a complex market, you have no right to judge and honestly no basis to speak.
I'm certainly implying that most anyone paid by anything government, is paid at inflated prices when compared to the private sector. To say that's not true is less than honest.

Of course that applies to everyone but you. Is that better?
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:48 PM   #64
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Re: Business Thru Government


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Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
I'm certainly implying that most anyone paid by anything government, is paid at inflated prices when compared to the private sector. To say that's not true is less than honest.

Of course that applies to everyone but you. Is that better?

Alright. I'm not going to argue with you, but I would like to ask you to review two recent awards and tell me approx. how inflated you think the prices were. They are both awards for decks. One in the photos provides specs and dimensions and I've included a photo of the award amount. Looks to me like he got it at a little over $15 sqft. Including demo, removal and disposal of the old deck.

Keep in mind that the award included the cost of performance and payment bonds at approx. 1.5% to the surety.

Business Thru Government-imageuploadedbycontractortalk1421466009.255293.jpgBusiness Thru Government-imageuploadedbycontractortalk1421466025.157834.jpg


The other is a link to a pier deck replacement at Lake Fulmor, here in Southern California. Same rules apply as to the additional 1.5% bond.

https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&m...=core&_cview=1

I'm actually anxious to find out if you still think the prices are extremely inflated.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:05 PM   #65
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Re: Business Thru Government


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Originally Posted by GovtContractor View Post
Alright. I'm not going to argue with you, but I would like to ask you to review two recent awards and tell me approx. how inflated you think the prices were. They are both awards for decks. One in the photos provides specs and dimensions and I've included a photo of the award amount. Looks to me like he got it at a little over $15 sqft. Including demo, removal and disposal of the old deck.

Keep in mind that the award included the cost of performance and payment bonds at approx. 1.5% to the surety.

Attachment 132690Attachment 132698


The other is a link to a pier deck replacement at Lake Fulmor, here in Southern California. Same rules apply as to the additional 1.5% bond.

https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&m...=core&_cview=1

I'm actually anxious to find out if you still think the prices are extremely inflated.
I didn't say there aren't idiots out there.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:29 PM   #66
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Re: Business Thru Government


Well that one "idiot" did over $10M in 2014. And that's just the federal projects.

. Business Thru Government-imageuploadedbycontractortalk1421468956.858097.jpg
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:31 PM   #67
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Re: Business Thru Government


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Well that one "idiot" did over $10M in 2014. And that's just the federal projects.

. Attachment 132722
Oops!
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:03 PM   #68
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Re: Business Thru Government


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Originally Posted by GovtContractor View Post
You obviously have no clue what you're talking about.

Let me get this straight. You spent your precious time reviewing a thousand page solicitation. Poured through page after page of blueprints. Solicited subcontractor quotes. Requested a bid bond and then prepared a proposal for a project YOU KNEW YOU WOULD NEVER BE AWARDED, because you didn't bid it per spec? That's amazing. Who does that?

As far as the toilet. It's not nearly what you imagine so I've included a picture for you. It's not a cheap fixture by any means. A lot of the cost has to do with the fact that all material must be Made in the USA.

Attachment 132498

I'm sorry they wouldn't let you have that job with cheap Made in China material.
Actually, there are exemptions to the "Buy American Act" and the big ones are : must be reasonably priced, and must be priced in the best interest of the taxpayer. Also, items under $3,000.00 are exempt.

And it's pretty much impossible to track the origin of that 316 stainless in those toilets
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:34 PM   #69
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Re: Business Thru Government


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Actually, there are exemptions to the "Buy American Act" and the big ones are : must be reasonably priced, and must be priced in the best interest of the taxpayer. Also, items under $3,000.00 are exempt.



And it's pretty much impossible to track the origin of that 316 stainless in those toilets

The "Buy America Act" actually falls under two distinct clauses of the FAR(Federal Acquisition Regulation.) and there is a distinction as it applies to construction materials.

Subpart 25.202 states
Exceptions.
(1) The public interest exception applies when an agency has an agreement with a foreign government that provides a blanket exception to the Buy American Act. An example would be projects priced over $7,433,000. You would be able to purchase material manufactured in Free Trade Agreement countries.

(2) Nonavailability. .....a particular construction material is not mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available commercial quantities of a satisfactory quality. Their are rules and procedures to follow for this exception.
(3) Unreasonable cost. The contracting officer concludes that the cost of domestic construction material is unreasonable in accordance with 25.204. If you intend to supply foreign made materials, the CO must add 6% to the cost in comparison to bids received for non-foreign made material.

Not sure where you got the $3K limit. I've seen individual pipe fittings and electrical boxes rejected on projects because they were stamped made in China.

As far as the toilets. The component testing requires that at least 51% of the finished product must meet the Buy America Requirement. For example, an air conditioning unit has a Chinese made circuit board but the rest of the unit and it's final build and assembly was in Chicago. It meets the requirement.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:14 PM   #70
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Re: Business Thru Government


Understood about the PCB's and finished product. I'm just saying that there's a very good chance that the stainless used in those toilets is from an overseas source. It can be very difficult to track where the steel coil actually came from. And the stainless percentage component of that toilet is what? 99.9% ?
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:54 PM   #71
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Re: Business Thru Government


Actually it is not hard at to track where the steel came.
When you manufacture something for a government you are required to get certs. on the material used. Just like when buy something for the job.

Also the reason things cost more for some government jobs is the cost of performing the work & the amount & skill required to do the paperwork.

Just did a job where they required the concrete bucket have a serial # & we had to provide the GC with a copy of the owners manual for it.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:01 AM   #72
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Re: Business Thru Government


What you need to know is the lowest bidder is awarded.
You have to get additional performance bonding for the projects.
You have to use % Veterans.
Lots of hidden agenda they don't reveal.
Dont do it unless you are cheap and have a lot of time to fill out a ton of paperwork and then not get paid for 60 days after billings.
NOT FOR ME!
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Old 02-28-2015, 04:02 AM   #73
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Re: Business Thru Government


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What you need to know is the lowest bidder is awarded.
You have to get additional performance bonding for the projects.
You have to use % Veterans.
Lots of hidden agenda they don't reveal.
Dont do it unless you are cheap and have a lot of time to fill out a ton of paperwork and then not get paid for 60 days after billings.
NOT FOR ME!
I am not an expert with dealing with the government, but I do about 4 to 6 fairly small government jobs every year and I always get 2 to 3 times more money than I get from my residential and commercial customers.

I have to agree with you 100% regarding the extra costs to do business with the government and there are always at least 4 to 6 government officials standing around my crews when we are working. This never bothers me at all because I spend a lot of time preparing for the safety things I need, tools and layout before going to a job. Then, I personally get to the job before my crew arrives and I work and supervise every job until all the critical work is performed. I will allow my plasterer and concrete crew to work without myself being on the job, but I make sure they have all their safety barriers in place, hard hats, work shoes, gloves, dust barriers, fire extinguishers, protective eye glasses, etc.

I get more than enough money to cover the additional costs and love the fat checks, but the only downside is the number of people I have to go through to get the payment approved and it usually takes me 4 to 6 months to get paid. A large part of that is my fault because I often put the final paperwork on the back burner for 2 to 3 months.

I just finished a government job today. There was an underground building buried below 6 inches of concrete and 6 inches of styrofoam. The building was only 5-years old and the electrician drilled a hole through the roof buried under the ground, installed a pipe and did not seal the pipe. We cut a 5-foot square hole in a concrete patio, called in a hot mop company and put the concrete back. My bid was a little more than 2-1/2 times two other bidders.

The engineer called me on the phone and told me that my price was more than 2-1/2 times higher and I didn't budge because I know the only thing important to this facility is that jobs go flawlessly. No government official wants to have to tell his boss that things are not going as he planned and he made a poor choice and hired a bad contractor. This is sort of the sales pitch that we use when we solicit for government jobs.

This sort of relates to this thread because the amount of money a contractor charges is not the most important thing. You can bet that every customer would rather pay more money so job goes flawlessly rather than agreeing to a lower price and then have to go through nightmares. Even with residential customers, I spend more time explaining the requirements to get a job done the right way.

Today, I sold a small job to replace a 6 inch clay elbow buried 7 feet deep in the street and it is only 3 feet from the curb. I have a partner for only my underground utility portion of my business. My partner is always arguing with me because every time he prepares a bid I tell him the price is too low. Today, he wanted to $6500 to repair the elbow in the street. We called to other underground utility companies and they quoted us about $6500 on the phone. I met with the owner of the property I quoted him $13,500. We negotiated and settled for $11,500. Now, my partner smiles.

My partner put together a bid for a sewer repair at a government facility three weeks ago. His price was $52k. I told him to raise the price to $63k and he argued that we would not get the job.. For some reason (can't remember) he changed the price to $73k and we won the bid. My point to all these numbers is you have to be careful when you think that you don't get government work because your price is too high. I believe that most often contractors don't get the jobs because the officials are worried that the contractors may not perform well. I believe that the reason I got 2-1/2 time more than the other bidders is due to the way I break down my bid item by item. I think I have the knack to make the officials understand how and why I arrive at my price and they understand that many low bidders will not provide the same quality products and service. Government officials are an entirely different animal and they don't want to make mistakes.

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