Perhaps you are planning to embark on a new construction project but you are short on manpower or someone to head the project. As the contracting agency, you have to publish a public announcement of this bid in order to alert interested contractors and the rest of the general public that you have a pending contract. That’s what a bid invitation letter is for and I’m going to show you how to write one in this article. Most of what I’d be talking about here, is to help you familiarize yourself with the process of writing a bid invitation letter. So, let’s get started.
What is a Bid Invitation Letter?
I already mentioned that a bid invitation letter is a way of publicly announcing your pending contract. In simpler terms, I’d say a bid invitation letter or an invitation to bid letter is a kind of letter written by you [the soliciting company] and sent out to contractors to enable them get acquainted with the project and tender for the contract. You are inviting interested contractors to bid for the project.
By doing this, you are able to have a wide variety of potential suppliers to choose from and you get to choose what fits your company’s budget the most. Your invitation to bid should contain very important details like the terms & conditions of the bid, description of the building, its location, and the opening date & deadline for acceptance of bids.
What’s the difference between Bid Invitation Letter and Request for Proposal?
Well, I actually thought you might have this question so I decided to provide an answer to help you understand. An invitation to bid letter and a request for proposal are similar in the sense that they both require contractors to submit a bid proposal so that they can be considered for the contract. However, invitation for bid is focused on pricing – comparing contractor prices and then choose the most suited [usually the lowest]. Request for proposal on the other hand, considers other options including the pricing. You’d be looking out for concepts and ideas that stand out and can get the job done for your company effectively. This could mean that you may choose someone whose price isn’t the lowest but has a better concept and approach to the project than the lowest bidder. So, I had to tell you this so you’d know and decide on what kind of bid you’d like to send out.
Considerations when writing a Bid Invitation Letter
Here are a few guidelines and points you shouldn’t overlook when putting your bid invitation letter together.
Be very thorough in your research.
Make adequate research and get yourself acquainted with the project before you start to send out your invitation to bid. You should conduct a research to determine the average cost price for the project, what kind of materials would be needed, estimated implementation time and any other thing you consider necessary. This will help you craft your specifications better when writing the letter and then choose the most suited candidate for the job when it is time.
Give a Detailed Project Description and make sure your letter is clear and concise
While writing your project description, make sure you include everything necessary. This way, the contractors bidding for the contract won’t be left trying to fill out the blanks themselves. Include important details like the start date and deadline for the bidding, terms & conditions amongst other things.
You should keep your Bid Invitation Letter clear and concise. Instead of telling stories, go straight to the point, stating the purpose of the project, a brief description of what it looks like, and the requirements. It’s professional plus it allows your target contractors understand what you expect from them.
Try to ask the bidders for specific details so you can be able to have a feel of their work quality and include your contact details. Be sure to specify your terms clearly so they don’t misunderstand you.
Contents of a Bid Invitation Letter
I put together a list of what a bid invitation letter should contain. The purpose of this is to help you accurately draft your invitation to bid, covering all bases at least. Also, like I mentioned earlier, it’d help the bidder prepare their tenders accurately, watch company following your already laid down standard.
Hence, your invitation to bid should include:
- A header – clearly stating the name of the letter [Invitation to Bid]
- Name of the company soliciting the bid and project name.
- Location of the project. If there will be a pre-order conference, you should include it in the letter as well. Don’t forget to add the address where this conference will take place.
- Guidelines for submission and penalties [if any]
- Include the location where the bid will be collected, the opening date and deadline for the bid.
- Information required from the bidders. Please, do not fail to mention anything important here. You should list it out so that they can easily understand it and start putting together the materials.
Bid Invitation Letter Sample.[Company Address] [Phone Number and Fax] INVITATION TO BID
TO: __________________________ DATE: January 2, 2017
FROM: ________________________ PAGES: 1
RE: [Name of Company and Name of Project]
This project involves the construction of a new 6,000 square foot story [name of project] building. The building project includes waterproofing, building insulation and [list the requirements of the project]. The sitework which has a work area of about [no. of acres], involves construction of parking areas, sidewalks, landscape irrigation and [include additional constructions that will be made].
Items to note:
- A mandatory pre-bidding conference is scheduled for January 31st, 2017 at 10:00 AM. It will be held at the [following location] and lateness will attract certain penalties.
- A site meeting may be held and attendees must provide a hard hat and reflective safety vest.
- Your company is responsible for knowing any changes or modifications made during the pre-bid conference.
- The Bidding Requirements, Conditions of the Contract and General Requirements within the project specifications must be reviewed and understood by all bidders. Bids that do not meet the required specification will be rejected.
- Please note the required Alternate # 1 and Unit Price bid schedule on the bid form.
- Minority/Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) are invited to submit bids.
- Worker’s Compensation compliance (subcontractors need to provide insurance company as “insured by”), Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates, and Federal Aid Contract provisions apply to all bidders.
- Visit [include website URL] and click on “bidding” to review our standard subcontract terms.
- There are specific insurance requirements noted. Minimum insurance coverage is summarized in Sample Certificate of Insurance. There are specific safety requirements – See Subcontractor Safety Qualifications (SSQ).
- Drawings & Specifications are available for purchase at [address]. Drawings are available for examination at [address].
**This bid is due Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 at 1:30 PM**
Please indicate if you will be bidding on this project and email me at [email address].
Yes, I will be Bidding: ________ No, I will Not be Bidding: _________
Business Name: ______________________________________________________________
Contact Name: ________________ Office: _________________________ Cell: ____________