When it comes to quoting jobs, although the price is important it only tells one part of the story. We  want to help you stand out in front of builders  on something other than price, by showing off your experience, suitability and qualifications, thereby improving your chances of winning the job. It’s  feedback we often get from Subbies, so we’re excited to have launched Company Profiles within Estimate One.

Your company profile will provide businesses with a snapshot of your business, things like size, location and a short bio. Think of it as a digital business card. It’s dynamic, up-to-date and will be shown to the builders when you request documentation and submit quotes. 

While we’re excited about this first release, what we’re really looking forward to is what comes next. Over the next few months we’ll be adding new elements to your profile to really help you shine. 

Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

Address book integration (coming soon)
When inviting subbies to tender on a project, builders tap into an address book they host on EstimateOne. However, until now this has been static and details can become out of date. Having a Subbie Company Profile on EstimateOne ensures builders all ways have access to the latest and greatest info of your business.

Project history
You will be able to showcase projects you are proud of and demonstrate your trade experience. Simply search completed projects in EstimateOne’s database of past tenders or upload your own using a template.

Region of operation
Operate in a regional area, cover specific regions within a state or have multiple operations all over the country? Soon you’ll be able to define what regions you operate in within your company profile. This will allow builders to search for required trades in specific locations and increase your chance of being invited to quote on the projects that suit your preference. 

Certificates and licenses 
Stop wasting time finding all of your trade licenses and certifications to send to Contract Admins at contract time. Uploading them into your Company Profile lets builders know that they are dealing with a fully qualified organisation at tender time.  

Business verification status
If you want, you can apply to have your business verified by EstimateOne. This will signal to builders that you are a legitimate subcontractor operating on EstimateOne, with a profile that proves you meet a minimum standard of compliance. This creates an early sense of trust when developing a new subbie-builder relationship.

This is the first of many new features coming to the subbie platform in 2022 to help you win more work. Keep an eye on your inbox and in-app notifications to access these new features as soon as they’re ready. 

Have ideas on what we should include in the Company Profile? Get in touch at support@estimateone.com – we’d love to hear from you!

Introducing the Subbie Profile

When it comes to quoting jobs, although the price is important it only tells one part of the story. A piece of feedback we often hear from Subbies is that they’d like a way to stand out in front of builders on something other than price. A way to show off experience and qualifications. 

That’s why we’re excited to announce the latest Subbie feature release, launching in a matter of weeks!

Your company profile provides builders with your current business information including contact information, trades, categories of work, size and office location. Think of it as a digital business card. It’s dynamic, up-to-date, and will be included in any quotes you create on EstimateOne. 

While we’re excited about this first release, what we’re really looking forward to is what comes next. Over the next few months we’ll be adding new elements to your profile to really help you shine. 

Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

Address book integration

When inviting subbies to tender on a project, builders tap into an address book they host on EstimateOne. However, until now this has been static and details can become out of date. Having a Subbie Company Profile on EstimateOne ensures builders all ways have access to the latest and greatest info of your business. 

Project history

Subbies on the Standard Plan will be able to showcase projects they are proud of and demonstrate your trade experience. Simply search completed projects in EstimateOne’s database of past tenders or upload your own using a template.

Region of operation

Operate in a regional area, cover specific regions within a state or have multiple operations all over the country? Soon you’ll be able to define what regions you operate in within your company profile. This will allow builders to search for required trades in specific locations and increase your chance of being invited to quote on the projects that suit your preference. 

Certificates and licenses 

Stop wasting time finding all of your trade licenses and certifications to send to Contract Admins at contract time. Uploading them into your Company Profile lets builders know that they are dealing with a fully qualified organisation at tender time.  

Business verification status

Subbies on the Standard Plan can apply to have their business verified by EstimateOne. This will signal to builders that you are a legitimate subcontractor operating on EstimateOne, with a profile that proves you meet a minimum standard of compliance. This creates an early sense of trust when developing a new subbie-builder relationship.

This is the first of many new features coming to the subbie platform in 2022 to help you find and win work. Keen an eye on your inbox and in-app notifications to access these new features as soon as they’re ready. 

Have ideas on what we should include in the Company Profile? Get in touch at support@estimateone.com – we’d love to hear from you!

As a subbie, we hope you’re aware of what you can and can’t write off with the tax man. 

If you’re not, we’d recommend giving the ATO’s website on deductibles a quick look over to make sure you’re claiming everything you are entitled to 

Because you’ve clicked through to this article, it should also come as no surprise that you can claim an EstimateOne subscription as a business expense. (that’s the win-win part).

And unless you’re using EstimateOne for personal reasons – which hey, if you are we won’t judge – you’ll be able to claim the entirety of your subscription’s cost. 

​​If you’re keen to upgrade your EstimateOne you can do so here.

To make sure you’re doing everything above board all we’d recommend is – 

Hang onto those receipts… all your receipts are located in your EstimateOne account for download at any time.

And really that’s it… It’s not like the software costs hundreds of thousands – so claiming it on tax is pretty straight forward. 

Win more work, pay less tax – sounds pretty good to us. 

* This should probably go without saying, but we’re not a tax accounting firm, for the most robust advice we’d recommend having a chat to a qualified accountant.

So you’re keen to get on the government’s construction books?

It’s a pretty popular choice, particularly as construction is often used as a lever to boost the economy.

Most of the time it’s head contractors who take on the big government commercial construction projects. Through the tender process they’ll engage with subbies and suppliers to help get an idea of how much it’s all going to cost.

Usually through the construction tender process, you, as a subbie, may be required to submit a construction quote to the Head Contractor. However, you can still get on the government’s radar as a subbie directly. 

Government commercial construction jobs can be a challenge to win, but once you’ve got the experience and foot in the door (formally through their processes too) you’ll be loving your job even more!

We’ll take you through some of the state level registers and the federal government to help you get that foot in the door. 

Australian Federal Government

First cab off the rank is the Australian suppliers register. This register promotes different products and services to buyers from overseas through the Austrade website. 

Applying for the Austrade register itself is relatively straight forward for the first touch point. 

The federal government’s criteria is quite specific. Before you apply, ask yourself the below. 

  • Do I have an Australian Business Number (ABN)?
  • Is Australia my main place of business?
  • Are management committed to becoming an exporter and willing to develop our exportation business?
  • Do we have the financial resources or ability to source specifically for expiration? 
  • Do we have the budget to potentially travel to international markets?
  • Do we have a growth strategy?
  • Do we have marketing materials such as a website, and the ability to customise for markets?
  • Do we have the capacity to build supply capability?

If you think you tick all of these boxes and are confident, we recommend applying to the Australian Suppliers Directory

Once you’ve applied, your application will be reviewed and someone will likely be in touch to gather more information to help them make a decision.

Victoria Government

The Victorian Government has a Construction Supplier Register for commercial construction projects. The Constructions Supplier Register is a pre-qualification scheme, open to anyone who offers construction work and/or services. If you want government jobs, you need to be on this register!

Each supplier on the register has been classified as having the necessary skills and expertise, as well as financial capabilities and management systems needed to be involved in a Victorian Government construction project. 

In Victoria, there are two main categories:

  • Suppliers of construction work – builders
  • Suppliers of construction related services – engineers, architects etc.

There is also now a third category to allow smaller businesses to get in the door. This category is for low value works of under $500,000 including GST. 

The application process can be lengthy, but luckily the Victorian Government has given you pretty much everything you could possibly need to know before applying, including things like eligibility criteria. 

You can check out the pre-application process here.

Queensland Government

The Queensland Government has a few different methods of procurement. 

They use several methods such as:

  • Ad hoc purchasing
  • Open tender
  • Selective tender
  • Limited tender
  • List of preferred suppliers
  • Standing offer arrangements (SOAs).

We won’t go through all of these, but you can check them out on the Business Queensland website. 

It’s a little more difficult to track down the exact information you want on the Queensland Government website (it’s the government though, so are we surprised?). Your first bet is to check out the supply to Queensland Government page.

Usually there will be some form of tender process to complete to get the bigger jobs. You can also check out the supplying for buying categories and make sure you fulfil all the ethical requirements for supplying to the government before you take any further steps.

Once you’ve got all the information you need through exploration of their site, we recommend applying to the Queensland Government Supplier list.

New South Wales Government

In NSW, their process is a little more laid out in terms of what they expect. 

The NSW Government have five procurement objectives:

  • Value for money
  • Promoting competition
  • Easy to do business
  • Innovation
  • Economic development, social outcomes and sustainability.

These objectives allow a diverse range of suppliers to get in front of the government regardless of their size. 

There are also particular obligations and responsibilities that you need to meet to become a supplier (as you would expect).

The NSW Government purchases a range of contracts and schemes either as a whole-of-government or agency-specific. 

They also look at supporting small to medium businesses, including regional businesses. There’s also a focus on buying from Aboriginal business and Australian disability enterprises as well to ensure equal opportunity. 

Before you sign up, it’s worth checking out the information the NSW Government has on supplying to government

To get on the supplier list, you need to sign up here.  Once you’re on the supplier list, anyone will be able to search you on the supplier list, which is accessible to the public as well. 

Western Australia Government

The Western Australia Government makes purchases a few different ways:

  • Direct purchase
  • Verbal quotation
  • Written quotation
  • Open tender.

The method is usually selected by the particular agency looking to source the supplier. There are a few different rules to each method of purchase, for example, verbal quotes can be requested for works up to $50,000 including GST.

Due to the high Aboriginal and Indignous population in WA, the Western Australia Government

has a big focus on working with Aboriginal business, as well as businesses who employ Aboriginal and Indigenous workers. 

Businesses can supply either goods and services, community services and works-related services to the Western Australia Government. 

The Western Australia Government has put a short, brief guide together for suppliers who wish to supply goods and services here.

The go-to point if you wish to get in front of them is to register your business as a supplier through Tenders WA. Tenders WA is used to source all suppliers for government works. 

Occasionally they may use newspapers and websites, however your best bet is to get yourself onto Tenders WA.

Hopefully these insights and resources help you to figure out next steps. It can be a bit daunting navigating the government sites when it comes to procurement so have a dig and don’t hesitate to reach out to them when you have queries. 

Don’t forget to check out our other articles as well. It can’t hurt to brush up on how to choose construction tenders and how to bid on commercial construction tenders either!

As Australia’s leading tender platform, we thought we’d start 2021 by looking back at how the Australian construction industry tendered in 2020.

It’s fair to say that 2020 didn’t pan out as expected. At the start of the year, no one could predict the changes we would eventually make to the way we work, the way we socialise and essentially, the way we live. 

Although a global pandemic threw the mother of all spanners in the works – as a whole, Australia and the Australian construction industry managed to steer a steady ship throughout the year. 

While it’s always great to see a lift in tender numbers, a survey we commissioned mid last year told us that the year wasn’t always smooth sailing.

As we can see in the graph above, tendering dipped and continued to stay low around March – June. However, in the back half of the year where tendering made a strong recovery.

In 2020 we saw an increase in projects added to the noticeboard across all categories. Along with this increase in tendering, we also saw an increase in competitiveness. Compared to 2019, tender panels tended to have more builders.

Anecdotally, we were hearing that market uncertainty was leading to increased competition. Builders were seen to have tendered on jobs that they wouldn’t have usually tendered on in order to sure up a pipeline of work.

If you’re not on already, we’d recommend creating a free EstimateOne account. It’s the best place to access and quote on upcoming construction projects in Australia.

Working as a subbie on larger scale projects that have a tendering process can be a little overwhelming.

Subcontractor tenders are relatively straight forward for the most part as it usually requires submitting a quote or estimate.

We’ve got a number of benefits for our subscribed members when it comes to finding tenders and builder details. EstimateOne is designed to help you out in finding your next construction tender.

Why do you need to respond to tenders?

We won’t get into the nitty gritty of what a tender is (because we’ve already done it here) because at this point you’re ready to submit your tender response, quote or estimate. 

There are always head contractors looking for subcontractor quotes everyday and while you may not always get the job, getting in front of the head contractors more regularly and making a good impression is how you win in the end.

Using our notice board

If you haven’t already used EstimateOne before, you’re in for a treat. We’ve made the tender filtering and organisation process so much easier for you. 

We’ve got all subbies covered in every imaginable trade from carpentry, swimming pools, electrical, metalwork, asbestos removal, all the way to caulking and more. You name it, we’ve got you covered. 

Work in a niche trade? We’ve got you sorted as well. Just type in your trade in the search bar and we’ll show you every project where it’s been mentioned within the documentation.

We’re here to give you the opportunity to hone in on your niche and sell yourself to the guys that matter (the head contractors with the big dollar jobs)! 

So what are we looking at here you ask? Well, below is a snapshot of what your notice board looks like once you have a full membership with us. Looks good right?

Up top, you can click through the tabs to look at tenders, invitations and requests, quotes, watchlist, directory, team and of course your settings. Pretty intuitive once you’re in there.

Then, that wonderful list of jobs below is where you can see the tenders. As a member, you’ll have access to all open, awarded and closed tenders. 

Tender/project filtering

We’ve liaised with every possible person when it comes to tenders to really give you exactly what you need in one place.

Below you’ll see more of a narrowed filter option on your notice board.

Here, you can do everything from searching by budget, trade, distance (including from your office or simply state or national), category, when it was awarded and whether it has documents available (just hit more filters).

Once you have the list in front of you, you can also play around with the below toggles to get what you need. 

Perhaps you want the jobs where quotes are due soon? In that instance, you would toggle the Quote Due heading to see which head contractors have their tender responses due the soonest and who would may be ready for your quote ASAP. 

Organising your work

The interest filter is where the fun happens. If you feel like you’re overwhelmed with all the quotes and projects flying around, your life is about to get ten times easier. 

When you are looking through tenders, simply tag the project as one of the interest levels from not interested to quoting and more, and you’ll then be able to filter these later on (thank us later when you’re rolling in jobs).

Think of it as your own digital book of jobs where all the paperwork, details and everything have been organised in one place for you.

Honestly, we could sit here all day and tell you the great features and access to builders we can provide to you, but we recommend you sign up for a free subbie account first to check it out for yourself.

Tap into your networks

As a subbie, you always need to think of your network with every interaction you have to find your next construction job. You’ll see once you are signed up that we do have a builder’s directory with all the details of most head contractors across Australia.

Even though we do have that for you to tap into when you need, nothing beats the personal relationships you build over time with head contractors.

You should always find your niche, that is, where you fit into the wider industry. What’s your specialty? What makes you better than the rest?

Then, your job is to sell that, and sell it hard. Your enthusiasm and strong knowledge of your specialty will impress the right builders and keep you in mind for future. 

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep in touch with them along the way. In this case it is both about what you know and who you know.

We recommend checking out our articles on our insights blog tips for quotes, tender processes and more to help you with your next job.

As a subbie, you’ll most likely be well versed in how to quote a construction job.

However, sometimes a much larger job will come along that you have to really put in the hard yards to win over the heart of the head contractor who is tendering for a job. 

You probably have what a tender is down pat, so we’ve got some tips for putting together your best quote yet.

What is a construction quote?

A construction quote is a formal document of pricing that a business needs to be paid in order to fulfil the job requirements. 

In the construction industry, quotes and estimates are sometimes used interchangeably (also sometimes referred to as “costing” or “pricing” a construction job).

Quote v Estimate

When it comes to a quote versus an estimate, an estimate differs only slightly from this in that it is more of an idea of how much the materials, labour and other parts may cost. 

Sometimes there might be some variables that may make it difficult for a business to give an accurate quote, therefore an estimate is your best best until you get clarification.

When would I be required to quote?

At all different stages of the construction tenders process, you may be required to provide a quote, estimate or costing.

What should I include in my construction quote?

Construction quotes can be pretty straight forward if you know how to write a quote. 

There’s a few key things you want to make sure you include so that it’s the most accurate representation of what you have to offer.

Make your quote clear & obvious

Considering the quote might be quite long, it’s always worth making it extra clear what your overall figure is. We’re talking big, bold text. Make sure it’s clear what the tax excluded and tax included pricing is. 

Don’t make the head contractor suffer by reading all the small font line items.

 Include administrative details in your quote

You’ll need to include the obvious details of both parties involved,

  • The name of your company
  • The name of the contractor
  • The name of the project
  • Site of work
  • A price
  • Conditions
  • A section for parties to sign off or accept the quote

Include a scope of work in your quote

Here’s where the hard work goes. You’ll need to show the head contractor what is and isn’t included. This is applicable to both the labour and materials.

Inclusions can sometimes include:

  • Labour and apprentice costs (as well as how they’re calculated)
  • Transport to and from the job
  • Call out fees or public holiday rates

When it comes to exclusions, you want to be super clear as well. This can vary but may include things like:

  • Fixing damage to finished work (that was not done by you)
  • Hazardous material removal of materials you encounter
  • Working height restrictions
  • Depending on your trade, there is a wide range of things that could fill these lists out. Just make sure you’re trying to include as much as you sensibly can.

Your quote should include materials

There’s a few tricks of the trade when quoting out materials. Sometimes a head contractor will name a specific brand in the documentation that you’ll need to quote installation and labour against. Other times, you may have to provide options. 

The best way you can do this is by clearly listing each material requirement and installation as separate line items (the contractor will love you for this).

When you are listing out materials, it’s important to be as clear as possible, particularly when it comes to allowances. 

Sometimes the head contractor or other people working on the project might change a design so you’ll need to accommodate any changes and be flexible with your quoting. 

Head contractors like to see that you’ve clearly allowed for variation in product or other elements. You should do this by including measurements and clear descriptions.

A good example when it comes to flooring would be:

  • Timber Flooring [Good]: Allowance for equivalent 190x19mm timber board, floating install in lieu of direct stuck.
  • Timber Flooring [Bad]: Allowance for alternative timber.

Or for carpentry:

  • Carpentry [Good]: Allowance for 62mm MDF skirting in lieu of 100mm specified
  • Carpentry [Bad]: Allowance for skirting

It’s all about clarifying the small parts of the job so that the head contractor has everything up front, clear and ready to go should you be selected. 

Who do I prepare a quote for?

Head contractors are always looking for large tender jobs. Depending on your past experience and relationships you may get approached to quote a construction job for a subcontractor tender. 

Otherwise, you may have to reach out to the head contractor, sell yourself and provide a great quote for your trade part of the tender.

What happens after I send my quote?

After a contract is awarded, head contractors will also typically circle back to you to try negotiate the price down further (or as they like to call it, “sharpen your pencils”). This is where you’ll need to remain competitive with your pricing as well and will likely keep you in their good books for future. Be smart with your quoting throughout the process! 

If you’re looking for more tips on subcontractor tenders, responses and general industry knowledge, don’t forget to check out our other articles on our Insights blog.

How To Bid On Construction Projects?

To bid for construction work, subcontractors must submit a tender to be considered for the job. 

When it comes to bidding for construction tenders, there’s so many things to consider when completing a tender response.

Do your research before submitting your tender response

Your tender response will always need to show your unique value proposition and tick all the boxes the contractor has set. Think of tender responses like exams. You need to be prepared, answer concisely and persuasively.

In the meantime, we’ve put together a more specific guide on how to bid for construction project tenders.

The Construction Tender Process: A Guide

Step 1 – Invitation to tender

Before you can even start thinking about how to write a tender response, you need a tender to bid for.

How do I receive invitations to tender?

Tenders won’t always fall into your lap. It’s important to always network, network, network (we cover this in our article How to find your next construction job as a subcontractor).

The best way to get invitations to tender or get a whiff of any work that’s out there is to keep these networks alive!

Some builders we have on EstimateOne maintain an address book of subbies (who are, of course, also on EstimateOne). If you request documents from a head contractor and introduce yourself, you’re likely to be added to that address book.

 What is included in an invitation to tender?

When it comes to the tender, typically a contractor will send out invitations to tender which will likely include the:

  • Scope of work
  • Time of completion
  • Pre-qualification details

Depending on the tender, there is usually a lot more information to help you out. Head contractors will usually package this out to specific trades so you receive the relevant information you need to include in your proposal.

This is where you draw all the information you need in order to make a bid for a construction project.

Step 2 – The quote

Writing a quote isn’t a simple task. Some businesses get professional bid writers to help them out. We’re here to give you confidence in writing it yourself with tips for your construction bid.  

What to include in your quote

Things you could include in your response:

  • Accurate details of your business
  • Background and capabilities of your business 
  • Clear responses to each question
  • Schedule of rates
  • Timelines
  • References
  • Terms and conditions 

Sometimes it’s even worth putting in information about the staff who you would select to work on the project. Some people like to know who specifically will be working and their experience.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to answer the questions or address any specific requests made by the contractor. If you’re unsure of anything, you can always ask questions for clarification.

After you’ve completed your response you should review, review, review.

Once you’re completely happy with your response, it’s time to submit!

For more info check out our article on How to prepare a quote for construction work.

Step 3 – Submitting Your Quote

Once you’ve reached the submission stage it’s important to call out what you have and haven’t quoted. This will ensure that everything is super clear with what you will and won’t be doing. 

The actual submission is pretty quick (in terms of your input). Once you’ve submitted your proposal by the deadline, contractors will compile all responses and start reviewing them. 

So long as you’ve met their requirements and provided an immaculate document, you’ll be in with a chance. 

A lot of turning points for contractors are the pricing structures, so without putting yourself in a bad position, do your absolute best on pricing. This will give you a competitive advantage over others. 

It’s always worth chasing up the head contractor as well to show your interest (exactly like a job interview).

Step 4 – Contractor reviews the bids

As the contractor reviews submissions they may conduct interviews during this period to go through any specific details of a bid they want to expand on. 

Contractors will work off their own timelines so if you have the hunger for more work, use this time to search for other tenders and get cracking on some other responses to maximise your opportunities. 

Check out our subbie section for some relevant tenders out there at the moment for your trade. 

Step 5 – Final decision, negotiation and contracts

Once the contractor has made the final decision on which tender bid they’d like to select, this is where you come in and start negotiations. 

Obviously there’s a huge amount of moving parts in a project so pending on changes or any specifics, there’s still opportunity for you to negotiate different elements of your bid, without veering too far from your proposal (you know, the one that won you the job). 

Once you nut out all this information with the contractor you will reach the agreement phase. 

Remember…

In case that was a lot of information to absorb, we’ll recap for you. 

For your tender responses, always consider the below points:

The design and aesthetic of the response

  • Address the selection criteria
  • Clear, concise language
  • Spelling and grammar perfected
  • Your unique selling point
  • Competitive pricing
  • Understand the contractor
  • Understand the project inside out
  • Keep an eye on our blog as we’ve got all types of information to help you out through every part of a tender process, whether it be before, during or after. 

The construction tendering process in Australia can vary depending on the project, but for the most part, it is similar across the board. 

What is a tender you ask?

Tenders are a formal process for businesses, both head contractor, subcontractors and more, to submit responses to a request for work. This can be construction related (which is why we’re here) all the way through to corporate contracts.

Check out our other insights articles for more more in depth advice on:

The Construction Tender Process

The tender process itself is never easy. There are a number of important steps to go through, and the timeline can be long. You also don’t get paid for the quote and tendering process, but that’s okay, it can be well worth it in the end.

The process for head contractors and subcontractors is basically the same, it’s just between different parties.

From the head contractors perspective, the tendering process can be broken into three important periods:

Tender Preparation

During construction tender preparation, the project is defined and scoped, documentation is prepared and the selection process is begun.

Tender Period

 During the tender period, the contractor will call for tenders, this is the most important period for subcontractors, which we will focus on in this article.

Tender Evaluation

 After receiving the tenders, they will be analyzed,clarified, and eventually selected/awarded

Within those periods, we’ll break down the timeline specifics you need to know as a subbie.

Step 1 – Head contractors are invited to tender

The very first step of the tendering process involves an invitation to tender, usually between the client and the head contractor. They will get all the documentation that outlines what they need to respond to.

This process typically follows after the completion of a pre-qualification questionnaire and sometimes a pre-tender interview. 

These steps (yes, steps within a step – tendering isn’t quick) help the client create a shortlist of potential contractors that would be suitable for the project. 

Invitation to tender can include different parts such as:

  • Letter of invitation to tender
  • Form of the tender
  • Any preliminaries relevant to subbies
  • Form of the contract itself, contract conditions any any amendments
  • Tender pricing documents
  • Drawing schedules
  • Design drawings 
  • Specifications

The head contractor will usually break down tender documents into different packages (still with only one main contract) so that they then can be passed onto the suitable subbies responsible for each part of the project.

Step 2 – Request for quotation (RFQ)

Once the head contractor has all their ducks in a row, this is where you’ll start to get involved as a subbie. 

Head contractors will split all the documentation into trade packages and use notice boards like ours to send out invitations to subbies. 

Some head contractors might also put together a bill of quantities (BOQ), which will outline what’s needed and how much.

If you receive this, quote directly against this.

Step 3 – Clarification

This step is where any and all questions are asked by all parties. This is a great way for the head contractor and the subcontractors to foresee any potential problems or opportunities in executing the project.

During this phase, there also may be changes made to architectural drawings due to errors or pitfalls pointed out by the quoting subbies who know their trade inside out.

These usually result in an amendment of the tender documentation and can also result in an extension of the quoting period at times. It’s likely during this process you receive multiple notices of addenda. 

Any amendments will need to be circulated to all parties involved so that everyone is on the same page. Don’t worry though, each conversation is confidential; they won’t be giving away any of your unique proposals or advantages to other potential subbies.

Step 4 – Submission

This step seems pretty obvious by the heading right? This is the part where you submit your quote. Usually the builder will be looking for 3-5 quotes per trade package.

The head contractor will set the date for all subbies to submit and you’ll need to meet it.

If there’s one thing we recommend you focus on quite a bit, it’s your pricing – this is where you’ll have the most competitive advantage.

However, there is of course all different parts that you will be assessed on. 

Things you can include in your response:

  • Business details
  • Schedule of rates
  • Demonstration of capabilities
  • Timelines 
  • Resources and materials
  • Prior experience as a business
  • Terms and conditions
  • All tenders and quotes are different so this is by no means an extensive list. We do recommend you check out our guide to bidding for construction tenders so that you can work towards your best tender response possible.

Step 5 – Head contractor submits

You guessed it. This is when the head contractor collates all the information and subcontractor quotes and submits to the client. 

Sometimes they may come back to certain trades if they don’t feel like they have covered the trade enough. They will then quote to the client based on what they’ve learned from the various trade quotes along the way. Typically a builder will look for between 3-5 quotes to ensure they’ve got a good idea of how much each package will cost.

Step 6 – Qualification and settlement

As we get towards the end, the process doesn’t become shorter itself but the explanations do because most of the hard yards have been covered.

At this point, we reach the point where the client will assess the tender responses, weigh up pros and cons, and as always, compare costs. 

This is where they will ultimately assess and select the winning head contractor. From there, any negotiations and contracting will occur.

Step 7 – Subbie engagement

Last but not least, this is where the estimating team within the head contractors business will handover to the delivery team. 

The delivery team (including the contract administrators) will look at quotes provided by subbies and their personal contractors and will pick the right subbie for the job. 

At this point, it’s not unheard of that a head contractor may ask you to ‘sharpen your pencil’ (aka lower your price). 

If you’ve reached this point in the timeline it’s fair to say you’re competitive in market but there’s always room for improvement!

Quick tips for Request For Quotation (RFQs)

The lengthy process that is the tendering and quoting process is also heavily reliant on your response. Your quote is everything and you need to put your best foot forward in all possible ways. 

We could go on forever about how to master the tender response process (which we do, in our guide to bidding for construction tenders).

Don’t forget to also check out our subbies section to keep up to date with live tenders now. 

You can also upgrade and get access to awarded contract information so you can track projects all the way through after they are won by a head contractor. This way you can reach out when your trade is likely to be needed.

If you’re here, it probably means you’re fairly aware of what a tender is, how the process works and how to create your best tender response. 

As a subbie, if you’re looking to put in a quote for a job, you’re going to want to keep an eye on the project across its lifetime (even before you’re needed). 

At the end of the day, you want to be talking to the head contractor that is in charge of the build. 

What is awarded contract information?

The contract for a project will be awarded just a few short weeks after a tender closes. Everything after this can remain a mystery for some. 

At EstimateOne, we give subbies who subscribe to our upgraded options the ability to follow a tender past the awarded phase.

Why is this information important to me?

Usually during the final stages of a tender, head contractors will have a team who will package out different trades to look to get roughly 3-5 quotes for each trade. 

Head contractors will use these prices to put together their quote to the client – however, at this point no subbies have been given the job yet. 

Once a project is awarded, the head contractor’s estimating team will hand over the project to the contract administrators who will pick the subbies for the job.

Your focus here needs to be knocking their socks off with a great quote at tender time with great pricing (competitive pricing – but don’t undersell yourself). Estimators will recommend subbies to the contract administrators, but you’re going to want to follow up with them once the tender is awarded.

Even if they don’t put out a request for quote, if you keep an eye on the project closely, you can reach out to the builder directly and try to get in front of them for consideration. 

If you sign up to EstimateOne you’ll also get alerts when a project is awarded to a builder (less checking in constantly – you have better things to do) plus all the key contacts you could need for head builders. We’re here to help everyone and that includes our subbies in the construction industry!

Sometimes head contractors don’t even consider subbies until they need them 12-24 months down the track, particularly finishing trades like plastering and painting. 

Our Awarded Contract Information system can let you filter contracts that have closed in a certain period of time so that they are more relevant to you for your trade. 

Pro tips:

  • Get your foot in early! It is favourable if you pop up during the tender phase because it shows you’re keen to work with them. 
  • Quote your best but don’t undersell yourself.
  • Keep a regular eye on our Awarded Contracts hub for all the opportunities suited to you.