Perhaps, as Mr Linnett considers it bad practice to tender within such periods, he should stop working in the hot kitchen and retire to the dining room immediately.
As a front-line contractor’s estimator, I’m the first to agree that a contractor’s bid team is up against it when undertaking such a task, but neither should it attempt to, in Mr Linnett’s words, “convert planning-quality drawings into detailed design drawings and specifications”,
let alone try to persuade reluctant, unpaid employer-novated designers to assist during the tender period with detailed design. No wonder he is running out of time.
Yes, there are risks in submitting a bid within this period, but four weeks is adequate to identify the high value items that account for most of of the tender value.
A good estimator will, within a few days of first seeing the job, know where the main risks lie. He will have laid out his programme for the four-week period and cut his cloth accordingly. He and his project manager will know which elements they will have to spend their time on.
Only a magician could expect to anticipate all the out-turn costs for a 52-week project accurately inside four weeks. Yes. there will be financial ups and downs, money to be lost, but also to be won, provided the risks are correctly identified and valued.
These are the basic rules of design-and-build engagement. It’s a game, but a serious game, with serious rewards for those who are able to convert their knowledge and skills into a winning tender within a short space of time.
WE Udy, Parkview International London