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Working with Bidder’s Meetings

William N. Weaver, P.E. and John C. Huang, Ph.D., P.E.

Course Outline

The course covers a broad range of topics and ideas useful in setting up and holding a bidder's meeting to obtain cost estimates for equipment, material and labor. Contents of various bid packages and the thought process used to determine what to bid from the project content are also discussed. Benefits of the bidder’s meeting concept are provided.

The contents of the bid package are explored along with cautions about answering bidder’s questions during and after the bidder’s meeting. Finally some points are covered relative to awarding the bid and resolving conflicts and who from the corporation should do this. Rules are provided to help with bidder’s meeting planning.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Intended Audience

The course material is intended for engineers, project engineers and project managers but will be of benefit to all individuals involved in the preparation of bid documents.

Benefits to Attendee

On completion the audience will have been exposed to sufficient information to create a complete bid package and to hold a proper bid meeting. Additionally they will have an understanding of potential problems and how to best handle them.

Course Introduction

At some time in the life of most projects either the lead engineer, the project manager or a purchasing agent will need to work with multiple companies to obtain labor and material costs for the project execution. Whoever ends up holding the bidder’s meeting the engineering group will have considerable work to do for the meeting.

With most large companies when the project size exceeds some specific dollar amount the corporation wants multiple bids. Someone is now faced with obtaining competitive bids for specific work detailed in the project. More than one supplier or construction company must be called in to provide bids for the work.

Regardless of the project content, you want to develop costs which, can be compared one to the other by you or your boss. How do you maximize the chances of getting truly competitive bids and have all of the bids reflect the same work content?

That process or goal is achieved using a bidder’s meeting, a detailed scope of work included in a bid package and a timeline.

This course material will provide sufficient background to prepare the necessary bid documents and hold bidder’s meetings for most small to moderate sized projects.

Course Content

The course content is in the following PDF files:

Working with Bidder’s Meetings

You need to open or download above documents to study this course.

Course Summary

An exploration of the concept and content of a bidder’s meeting including meeting content and preparation of the necessary bid packages is provided. The whole concept is to obtain competitive bids for equipment, materials or labor. An overview of why we need competitive bids and how to best accomplish that task. Sample projects designed to stimulate the thinking processes about bidding and separating project scope of work into workable scopes for bidding are included. An approach to answering questions and the necessity of maintaining equality of opportunity among bidders is explained. A few cautionary thoughts about legal and ethical problems associated with awarding the bid to the winner are added as an unpleasant but necessary aspect of the process.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.