(Note: The following has been submitted as a guest post to
CommScope Blogs by Thor Warner, Director of Design
and Engineering at LINX. LINX is a member of CommScope’s
PartnerPRO Network and provider of IT networking solutions in the United
States. Opinions and comments provided in this guest post, as with all posts to
CommScope Blogs, are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
views of CommScope.)
face it, not all bids are created equal. You must spend the proper time scope
leveling to achieve the best results.
start by comparing the basics--cable footage, number of jacks, and patch panel
count. Are they comparable? If not, a conversation is in order. The cost of
cabling alone is usually 30-35 percent of a bid, so it’s important to get it
correct. One bid could be less money in the beginning, however, “we forgot
about this” additions during the process could increase the total cost more
than the higher bids. Beware of the bait and switch.
other hidden line items should you ask about? How about basic consumables that
every job needs--tape, screws, trash bags and anything else you need during the
day. Depending on the size and duration of a job, it can add up.
comes in 1,000- or 3,000-foot spools. Consider a project that calls for 105-foot
runs of cable. Nine runs would use 945
feet of cable (9 runs × 105 feet = 945 feet), leaving 55 feet of excess cable.
Does the bid account for the unused cable in every spool?
CLICK TO TWEET: Good advice from CommScope partner LINX on avoiding the ever-growing scope creep.
the pathway your cable gets routed in. A
properly designed solution will route your cable along common office pathways,
like hallways, providing you flexibility in the future. The shortest route from point A to B may save
you cable costs today, but would likely create chaos down the road. What
happens when you need to access it later? You’ll have techs on ladders
straddling cubicles disrupting the work day or it will need to be completed
after hours, meaning overtime. If you want to further future-proof your
installation, be sure to get 5-foot or 10-foot service loops included for
future upgrades. This recommendation means it’ll be there, ready to go, when
you need it.
out how the bidder will handle change orders. Look for a company that
guarantees their bid and won’t introduce new change orders unless a client
requests something outside the original scope. Know the ground rules before the
start, unless you like surprises.
value of a good project manager is not to be overlooked. They take care of
scheduling technicians, making sure materials arrive on time and doing
everything else to keep your project moving forward. Does the bid include a
project manager for the project? They will be your go-to person for any
questions. Some bids include product managers into the overhead cost. If so,
make sure they provide you with enough of their time and attention. Make sure
to ask how many other projects they will be on.
the size of the bidding company and their ability to work with your schedule
shifts. Your project calls for about eight workers but company B only has a
total workforce of 12. What happens if a schedule shifts and the job gets
pushed back a few weeks? Do they have enough qualified labor to complete your
project on time and on budget?
company B have enough capital to buy materials up front? Company B could only
be approved for 1X credit, while company A has 2X or more. The workers can’t do
their job without the product. In terms of product purchases, is freight
included in the bid? Last minute overnight shipping adds up quickly, as does four
to six percent of unforeseen taxes.
the time to scope level your project now can save you time, money and headaches
in the future.
“If you don't have
time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?” ― John Wooden