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Beeld van rioolbuizen voor blog over tenderwerk bij bouwbedrijven.


Door Albert Lammers

If you are asked to be the designer for a tender, it's because you can offer added value. For example in the field of strategy, concept, design or editorial. But sometimes you also turn out to be able to contribute in a completely unexpected way.

The meeting started at 7:30 am. An hour's drive from The Hague, so that meant getting up early. Fortunately, the coffee was ready in the meeting room, because thinking clearly about tender issues at this time is no easy task. A shot of caffeine made it easier. It turned out that I was the only one from outside the company; the others had already jointly drawn up the plan to be discussed.

The tender manager drew a sketch of a street on the flipchart. A new sewer must be installed, after which the street must be redesigned again. We start the work on the far right, on a square. After that is done, the entire circus moves to the far left of the drawing. From there we work towards the right part.

The plan seemed rather strange to me. After all, the entire street (including seven side streets) must be closed to traffic until left part is finished and connected to the right part. I couldn't contain myself: wouldn't it make more sense to start on the right and as one train to 'crawl forward'? During the work, a maximum of one or two streets will need to be closed.

The tender manager did not think this was a strange comment. He asked the chief implementer what the reason was for the chosen approach.

The answer was simple: 'We drain from top to bottom, so that we don't have to vacuum in the morning.

“Vacuum?,” I said. 

“Yes, cleaning up last night's spill.”

“But you can do that with pumps that transfer everything at night to a functioning sewer section?” I said.

“How much do those pumps cost?” the tender manager then asked.

“100 to 150 euros per day,” was the answer from the head operator.

Tender manager: 'That cannot be the costs. What are we going to gain from the train idea?'

It was quiet for a moment and made a quick calculation in its head and said; 'Roughly speaking, we will go from −10 to +10% profit, we will be ready five weeks earlier and we will cause considerably less disruption.'

Tender manager: 'It seems like a good idea to me. This is how we're going to do it.'

I didn't come to the meeting for planning, but to discuss the design of the offer. As an outsider you sometimes have a fresh perspective on a situation. It turns out that thinking outside the box can even contribute to optimizing planning and implementation.

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