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So its my first day in the training program and I am given a RFP. I am told to read over it and construct an outline. I really want to impress these guys, so what major point should be hit? What should I focus on? Any suggestions?
We are a Heavy Civil Design/Build getting ready for development of tranferring a two lane road into four lane road. This is my first time ever looking at this and I am a bit overwhelmed.
 

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I see no one has responded yet, so I'll give it a shot even though I am not the most qualified person to help you with this homework. :smartass:

I assume that by "constructing an outline", they are looking for you to read through the RFP and create a "list" of all the different info and factors that you need to collect together so that you will be able to accurately calculate how much the job will cost. You are in a training program to become an estimator, correct?

In addition to the info you'll find in the RFP, you would also have to have info on your construction company (employer). If you are in a training program, I assume they have a pretend contracting company set up where you are the pretend estimator for that company.

For example, you will need to know what jobs your company can perform on their own using their own employees, and what jobs are going to require the hiring of sub-contractors. With road construction, perhaps your company specializes in paving, but if part of the roadway goes over a river, then you might have to hire a sub to do the concrete bridgework part of the job. You will need to read the entire Scope of Work so that you don't miss anything.

Sometimes the Scope of Work can be 2 pages long and one little section is what costs the most; example: "Dispose of coal-tar contaminated soil at pre-designated ABC Approved Facility located at Faraway Town. Contractor is responsible for all environmental disposal fees." I would assume that the RFP they have given you for homework probably has some such item hidden within the Scope of Work to see if the students have fully read it and picked up on it. These two little sentences require the estimator to acount for specialized pollution abatement (perhaps needs sub-contractor), extra transportation costs, pollution liability costs, and expensive disposal fees. If you didn't catch it and assign costs for these expenses, it will cost your pretend company lots of $.

Heavy civil jobs usually have government involvement, either as the jobowner or as a government department that has oversight; Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of the Environment are two government bodies that immediately come to mind when dealing with highway construction. It can take a long time from bid phase to actual start date. You'll have to adjust your estimates to account for inflation and other changes. For example, gravel or asphalt may be a certain price per ton today, but you have to project what the cost will be in 6 months from now when the job actually gets underway. You'll need actuarial info on cost projections/trends for future months and then adjust your material and labour costs to Spring 2010 for example, and not August 2009.

Jobsite location is another factor to consider, as well as time of year, as both of these will affect costs. Will it cost more to get employees and materials out to a site that is out-of-the way for your employer? Working in winter has added costs especially for outside construction operations such as road paving.

DON'T FORGET THE INSURANCE AND BONDING!!! :thumbsup: And i'm not just writing this because that is my field of work. There will be a section in the RFP that details the bonding needed and also the minimum insurance requirements. This part of the estimating job is easy because all you have to do is send over the Scope of Work and insurance/bonding specs to your insurance broker and they will advise you what to carry in your bid with regards to insurance.

You should also consider what other jobs your "pretend company" already has on the go. Are you going to have to buy extra equipment because all your other equipment is already in use at other jobs? Are you going to have to hire more employees?

One more thing I just thought of, there usually is a meeting or walk-through of the site (if feasible) before the bid close. The RFP might state that if you don't show up for that meeting you are disqualified. So check your sample RFP to make sure you don't get caught on this.

There is a Stickie thread at the very top of the Business forum called: "Pricing, Estimating and Success". It is long but I suggest reading it as lots of experienced CT members have added comments and they are the ones who actually do the job of estimating.

Trusting I understood your question correctly and that the above helps get things started for you.
 
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