A typical tender scenario is that; a tender notice is launched into the market in a newspaper, or a gazette, or anything like that, eligible contractors who are searching out for new contracts get to notice it, get the tender documents and then the tender division of the contractor springs into action.
After many days (or weeks) in activities such as; quantity take-off, estimation, subcontracts, quotation requests .. etc., the estimation department comes out with the price of the tender while all the contact management team scrutinize the tender documents to search for any risks and other issues with the tender.
Finally, the tender is presented to the management with its price, issues, risks involved and other essential features for management’s final decision.
The tender is then submitted and then starts the period of waiting until the date of tender opening. If all is well, the contractor is waiting to hear the good news.
Out of all the contractors, only one will get the good news and when it comes, the whole staff of the contractor go into jubilation.
Then the Engineer (Consultant) goes into action and activities such as tender evolution, tender negotiations .. etc., start to take place. The contractor is called in, issues and qualifications are discussed and then the signing of the agreement takes place.
While all the above activities are going on, the discussions among the owner, engineer and the contractor are limited to negotiations, discussions on issues, qualifications and similar things.
It is rare that the parties involved in a construction contract meet, discuss and attempt to communicate fully on a contract and how to go on with a successful construction project. Rather, quite often, there develops a communication gap and the regular and friendly discussions of mutual success in completing the contract becomes a far cry.
The owner and the engineer start to administer the contract from an authoritative angle while the contractor feels defensive and the friendly communication, if existed, ceases to continue and as the project matures the contractor is constantly pressed to increase the progress, slammed with non-compliance and, if the matters get worst delays in payments, liquidated damages and fines.
The reason for all this drama is, I believe, the communication gap, lack of mutual understanding and poor relationships among the parties.