Invitations to Tender: a Checklist of What to Include
Smart specifications generate smart solutions from water management suppliers. Our checklist will help you create the most effective invite to tender.
If you are planning to upgrade an existing system or to consolidate your cleaning, recycling and effluent waste treatment into one system, or if you are starting entirely from scratch, the tender invitation that you prepare to find a water treatment system supplier will be crucial to getting the right system at the right price.
Too often critical issues are overlooked or misunderstood at this stage in the process. In the best case scenario this is a waste of valuable time, and in the worst case scenario you could commission a system that is not suited to your needs. This can interrupt your production processes and be costly to fix.
Why it Matters
Any relationship that you forge with a supplier will start with an evaluation of your requirements. A well prepared and accurate invite to tender document can provide the foundations of this evaluation and facilitate the next stages of the contract, saving you time and money.
At AllWater Technologies Ltd your dedicated engineer will be following a rigorously structured programme of consultation, design, manufacture, electrical and mechanical installation, commissioning and post-project maintenance and support. When we submit a tender to a potential client who has covered each of these elements, we are able to start our journey together more effectively and efficiently.
Based on three cornerstones – our decades of experience; our programme structure; and the many tender invitations we have seen over the years (the good and the bad) – we have created a checklist of the elements that make for the most effective commissioning process.
1 The Incoming Water Source
Almost no two sources of incoming water are the same, and its properties will depend on a variety of elements, like the geographical features of the area from which it is drawn i.e whether it is soft or hard. It might be drawn from the town mains, a borehole or from recycled sources. All of these possibilities will affect the type of water you have.
The characteristics of your supply will be key to determining the specifications for your water management system. Ideally you should conduct a full suite of tests to analyse the properties of your source. The earlier in the tendering process this is done, the sooner you will get a clear picture of the system that will suit your needs.
Our team can offer you an extensive range of water analysis equipment and laboratory services to run these tests.
2 The Incoming Water Pressure and Flow
Hand in hand with the character of your incoming water is its pressure, and this is an important metric to include in your tender invite. You need to establish whether the incoming supply has both the pressure and the capacity to keep up with the demands of the plant.
If the answer is no then your supplier will need to include options in the proposal to resolve this issue. For example, you might be offered storage tanks to increase capacity at the site and booster pumps to raise the pressure.
3 Water Quality Required
The quality of the water that you need your supplier to achieve depends entirely on your product and processes. For this reason, the more detail you can provide in your initial specification, the better matched the quote will be for your industry.
Standards vary massively depending on the niche regulations. You want to be sure that you are achieving those standards, but at the same time you do not want to be investing in a more costly system that goes beyond those needs.
Make sure you are as detailed and accurate in your presentation of the URS (User Requirement Specification) so that the supplier can tailor a plant to meet these in the most cost efficient way.
4 Discharge Consent Parameters
Discharge standards are becoming more stringent and more important in the context of increasing concerns about environmental damage. By discovering and including any industry or local requirements for your plant in your spec, we can incorporate the management of these into our tender.
Treatment can range from a full effluent management system to mixing tanks, settlers, or various corrections, which could be as simple as a pH adjustment.
5 Future Expansion Plans
Often omitted from the tender invite, a business’s projections about plans to expand should be addressed by your potential supplier. While no one has a crystal ball and future plans are always subject to change, it can save a company a lot of money if your supplier caters for potential increases in capacity right from the start.
This can take the form of allowing ‘stab in’ points in the original pipework to ensure that production does not have to be interrupted while work is being carried out to add additional pipes.
Our recent investment in 3D modelling software is perfect for tendering to these requirements. The animated simulations can give us and the customer an insight into the modifications that need to be planned into the initial plant to accommodate any future scenarios that you and your team identify at the tendering stage.
6 Cost of Utilities
The cost of utilities have always had to be taken into consideration when it comes to operating a plant, but, as the last few months have shown us, increases can be sharp and continue to come off the bottom line for most production plants.
If this is a concern for your business, then you should highlight it in your project specification. We aim to make and produce the most efficient plants possible, and to this end, water recovery and its reuse can be put at the forefront of the designs and technologies we offer you. Our engineers embrace advances in technology and try to build them into plants wherever possible, especially if rising utility costs are of particular concern to the viability of the business.
Such solutions can include the latest resins, to save on rinse down times (effluent), and inverter driven pumps to reduce the cost of constant running and save on electricity. We can look at a range of recovery options and ways to make your treatment plant as self-sufficient as possible.
7 Space Restrictions
It’s important that you include an idea of the available space for your plant, especially if you are replacing an old one with a new, more efficient one. Armed with this information, we can use our 3D modelling software to create animated fly throughs and projections for your system.
Using your dimensions and any additional details like the location of existing pipework or any other physical impediments, we can use the software to model the optimum solution for your area and to ensure that the plant is laid out for easy and efficient operation.
8 Automation and Monitoring Requirements
You should also indicate your requirements for automation and monitoring of your plant after its installation.
It is not uncommon now to find plants with just one operator who has responsibility for the area, in contrast to the more traditional system of hiring several people to form a team. Technological advances mean that systems can now be monitored throughout factories on Scada systems and with controls accessed from remote stations, including from mobile devices like phones and tablets. Several plants now have auto dialling systems to alert operators to potential problems and to help avoid failures.
9 Ongoing Support Requirements
Your invitation to suppliers to tender should also include your requirements for ongoing support. These cover the supply of spare parts, training of your staff to operate the plant and a schedule for servicing of the equipment.
We offer our clients a service contract that serves to keep the plant in optimum condition so that its performance remains consistently high. Our workshops are stocked with a wide range of parts and accessories so that we can minimise any delays due to breakdowns. In addition we will continue to support your staff after installation with onsite training and Facetime calls to make sure that your site operators have a complete working knowledge of your system.
Customers whose invitations to tender cover the elements in this checklist are far more likely to receive tenders from suppliers that match their specific needs and that reflect a realistic and cost efficient budget. Tender specifications don’t require detailed engineering knowledge, but all too often even the basics are missing. By doing some research in advance of approaching suppliers you are setting yourself up in the best possible position to receive the best possible solutions.
At AllWater Technologies we pride ourselves on designing, installing and maintaining a system that suits your needs so get in touch with your requirements for a tailored and cost effective water treatment plant.