Assuming you know what a construction site looks like, or that you understand the entire Request for Proposal (RFP) package is a big mistake. Make no assumptions and learn all you can about the site and the solicitation before putting your hat in the ring. This means attending Site Visits!
The purpose of Site Visits is to allow offerors to obtain a better understanding of site conditions and the work required, as well as gather quality information about the solicitation and familiarize yourself with the procuring agency. Site Visit information is stated in solicitation documents and can be either mandatory or optional, they are usually held a few weeks after the solicitation has been issued and a few weeks prior to submission due date.
Attending site visits, weather mandatory or not, has many benefits and can provide an advantage in the proposal preparation process. Joining in on Site Visits gives offerors opportunities like these:
Evaluate ability to meet solicitation and project requirements
Converse with procuring agency to obtain knowledge about best practices regarding administration and the site
Understand site conditions and upcoming challenges and adapt a suitable plan
Determine accurate resource and material allocation
Comprehend scope of work to better create the bid price
Ability to gather questions regarding the site or proposal preparation so you can formally ask according to solicitation instructions
Contact Meridian West to help you get registered for the site visit. We can also help you create and submit your questions afterwards. Attending Site Visits will add value to the proposal preparation process as well as the overall project performance. It can be the first step to a successfully completed project.
We've laid out a list of Pro Tips to help you make the most of every site visit below.
Pro Tip #1: Prior to visiting the site, review solicitation documents including scope of work, drawings, designs, as well as proposal submission and evaluation criteria. This will help you understand what specific questions you have about the site and can help you assess where you should focus your attention. Reviewing these documents will also help you gather initial questions that you might have the opportunity to get answered at the visit.
Pro Tip #2: Take as many photos of the site as possible. Photos will be a good reminder of certain aspects of the site when you are preparing your technical proposal or developing a price. Pay special attention and take extra photos of areas of the site that might provide potential problems or concerns.
Pro Tip #3: Once you have visited the site and formed all the questions you have it is important to ask them according to solicitation requirements and in a timely manner, at least by the required deadline, if not, sooner. It’s also beneficial to form questions in a way that is easy for Contracting Officer’s to answer, if possible, a simple yes or no answer.