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Bidding Procedures

Construction PlansDSA will procure complete comprehensive bidding in all disciplines of work including labor, materials and trade-contractors as required by the Law. Upon receipt of the bids, DSA shall evaluate the bids, including alternate prices and unit prices, and shall make a recommendation to the Owner in regard to the award of each construction contract. Finally, the DSA prepares all contacts and purchase orders for the Owner’s signature.

The contract documents are in the final stages of development, DSA will routinely follow the steps as outlined below:

  • Determine the optimal bid division list to suit the conditions and parameters of the specific project.
  • Coordinate with the Architect, bid division descriptions that accurately and easily define the work scope of each bid division. This is done to establish uniform criteria for bid comparison within each bid division when bids are received.
  • Locate and qualify trade contractors who can provide the necessary services and will competitively bid the work of the bid divisions within their capabilities. (Usually 25 to 40 separate bid divisions are identified. Trade contractors are invited to bid on more than one division and submit cost savings if applicable.) Bonding and insurance are two areas of qualifications that must be addresses. Knowledge of the local trade contractors is not always a desirable situation. A good CM can impartially and accurately qualify trade contractors regardless of his previous knowledge.
  • Develop proposal forms suited for each specific bid division that will extract the bidding information required.


Early Stage Planning

The Construction Management (CM) process begins with early stage planning. At the onset, DSA can assist the Owner in selecting the design team, which includes the Architect and Engineers. DSA will also help establish (with the architect and engineers) a format of the project to be constructed, and evaluate factual data, which includes the construction techniques and material knowledge as to the economic relation with the project time and cost. DSA will then provide project cost estimate of all disciplines of the work.

BlueprintsThe importance of decisions made in the beginning of a project and their far reaching effects are usually underrated. These decisions can have far greater effects on the projects than does the actual construction. Great benefits can result from a Construction Management's special type of experience which neither the Owner nor the Architect may have. This lies in the area of construction cost, prices, scheduling, accounting, cost control, materials and labor prices, and the peculiarities of trade agreements to name a few.

These special skills and knowledge can be great assets in preparing a project budget. The importance of a well-defined budget with a good cost-tracking system cannot be over emphasized. A well defined budget lets the project team make cost comparisons with a good cost-tracking system. This approach allows the team to make cost comparisons, with the actual and budgeted cost, at each step along the design, procurement and construction phases.

All too frequently, projects are conceived, feasibility studies are made, flow sheets are developed, and a budget is prepared as an estimated project cost. This estimated cost is frequently more than the Owner thinks it should be spent in developing the “how-to’s”. If you really want a budget that is going to hold up, enough preliminary engineering must be done to determine exactly what is going to be built and how it is going to be constructed. The cost for materials and labor can be estimated to within 5 to 10 percent and a well thought out feasibility study and preliminary design can provide a sufficiently accurate budget to keep the project in this 5 to 10 percent contingency range.


Contract Agreement

After an in-depth estimated cost projection has been completed and approved, and agreement will be signed by and between DSA and the Owner. This agreement should involve a fixed fee and will cover all services rendered by DSA. In a true CM contract there should be no reimbursable cost.


Job Setup and Estimate

DSA will, upon completion and receipt of the contract documents from the Architect, procure bids from the trade contractors and material suppliers. From the bids and prices obtained, we will prepare a detailed documented projection of final cost. This cost and pertinent documents will be presented to the Owner for approval. Work will not commence until the Owner has given instructions to do so. Necessary changes, additions or deletions can be made at the discretion of the Owner at this time. This projected cost will also include the fee for services provided by DSA. Every effort is exerted to secure special prices, discounts, etc., which go directly to the Owner. The sequence is as follows:

Distribute bidding documents to all trade contractors on bidding list for bid divisions in each separate bid package.

Hold pre-construction meetings with bidding usually broken down into the divisions or categories of work each trade contractor wishes to bid.

Receive proposals at one specified place, date and time. (Usually 100 to 200 bids are received. All bids are opened and publicly read for a decision to be made at a later time.)

Review each proposal and interview perspective awardees.

Review proposals with Architect, Engineer and Owner for Owner’s approval.

Recommend the awarding of the contract.

Finalize contract, paperwork and review with Owner for Owner’s signature.


Onsite Monitoring

A qualified and experienced Job Superintendent will be assigned for the on-site full-time coordination and monitoring of the work. He will make weekly reports to the DSA’s office. DSA will check and approve all invoices, payrolls, and Contract payments. A construction cost statement will be prepared and furnished to the Owner monthly.

Upon approval by Owner for the start of construction, an onsite full-time Job Superintendent will be assigned (with the Owner’s approval) to the project for the day-to-day coordination of construction operations.

The Job Superintendent and the DSA’s Project Manager work hand and glove with material scheduling, trade contractors’ schedule time line, and process payments to trade contractors, change orders and shop drawing review for approval.

Working together, both establish the site organization and line of authority, the coordination procedures and schedules as well as hold frequent meetings where problems can be received.

Regular meetings with the Owner’s Representative will be held for any changes and/or updated information that is to be reviewed.

Monthly progressive payments will be reviewed, approved and prepared for Owner’s approval. All payment vouchers will be prepared by DSA and made payable direct form the Owner to the trade contractor and/or supplier. In most cases a negotiable voucher (check on Owner’s account) is prepared by DSA ready for Owner’s signature. This is assurance to the Owner that all monies will be going direct to each trades contractor working on the project.

On a monthly basis DSA will provide a documented cost progressive payment print-out showing all monies paid for that thirty (30) day interval which will also indicate the monies and balances to pay to each respective discipline of contracted work.


Purchasing Power

DSA will furnish quantity purchasing power where possible. Any discount available is given directly to the Owner.

Volume buying power is created by the large number of projects that DSA is involved with at any given time. This enhances the opportunities for more trade contractors and /or suppliers to have more repetitive bidding opportunities.


Post Closeout

DSA will secure all final inspection reports, affidavits from each trade contractor prior to final payments, as well as secure warranties from each trade contractor.

Upon completion of each of the trade contractor’s contract, DSA, in coordination with the Architect, will secure all final inspection reports and affidavits and release-of-liens for each discipline of work prior to the final payments. All warranties furnished by each trade contractor will be secured and cataloged for Owner’s possession.

What does this system do?

Provides clean competition for all identifiable and contractible work scope.

No collusion (All disciplines of work will be open for competitive bidding).

No pedaling of bid prices (All bids are received simultaneously).

Permits flexibility (Contractors can combine bids in more than one division).

Identifies all costs to Owner (Each bid division has a market value).

Permits selectivity (Owner can trade low bidder for higher performance bidder).

Owner receives advantage of every low bid available (No intermediary involved).

Provides a direct relationship with the trade contractors who are doing the work on the project.

Direct contract (No pass-through problems and more access in contract performance provisions).

Direct payment (Each trade contractor knows the exact status of his payment dollar at all times).

Flexible incentives available (Adjust retainer for individual contractors).


Construction Management - A Full Team Concept

• An Alternative method (available since mid 1960’s)
• Construction Management selected by interview under Professional Services Procurement Act #644-4 (Public-Funded projects)
• Trades contractor (Subs) selected by competitive bidding
• Trade Contractors become part of team
• Owner controls final selection of Trade Contractor, lowest “responsible” bidder qualified by Construction Management
• Owner benefits from Trade Contractor cost saving proposal
• Loose ends between Trade contractor tied together through Construction Managements efforts
• Cost saving the Owner
• Warranty furnished by each Trade Contractor secured and cataloged for Owner’s possession


Construction Management Responsibilities

• Assist Owner in selecting the Design Team, which includes the architect and engineers (if requested)
• Establish format of project to be constructed
• Evaluate with architect and engineers factual data, which includes the construction techniques and material knowledge as to the economic relation with the project time and cost.
• Provide project cost estimates of all disciplines of work
• Potential savings from architectural fees
• Procure complete comprehensive bidding in all disciplines of work including labor, materials and trade-contractors
• Qualify and recommend to Owner for approval the best qualified trade-contractor and/or supplier in each discipline of work
• Secure, for Owner, payment and performance bond form each trade-contractor, on any contract exceeding $25,000 (if applicable and approved by owner)
• Prepare all contracts and purchase orders for Owner’s signature
• Provide all clerical and accounting services
• Secure all final inspection reports
• Secure affidavits from each trade-contractor prior to final payments
• Secure warranties from each trade-contractor
• Provide Owner with post-constructionservices, for not less than one year, to assist in the procurement of an warranties to furnished by trade-contractors


Traditional General Contractor

The subcontractors answer to the General Contractor and not the Owner.

• Method most generally known
• General Contractor selected by bid process
• Private work can be negotiated
• Public work requires seal bid process
• General Contractor generally works under supervision of Architect
• Relationship between Owner and General Contractor can become adverse
• Owner has limited, if any voice in Sub selection
• General Contractor receives all benefits of Subcontractor cost savings, i.e. Bid process/”buy-out”
• Gaps between Subs is covered by General contractors
• Single-source warranty
• General Contractor traditionally bonds total contract amount...often bonds Subs as well, creating duplicate bonds and costs



Trade discounts or special prices, cash discounts and tax exemptions, all pass directly to the Owner. DSA works diligently to reduce the Owner’s cost and maintain quality.


Methodology & Administration

Multiple contracting (or Owner’s access to trade contractors) is the basic concept used to identify the Construction Management-Agent project delivery system. CM-Agent is the most transparent of any delivery method, and it's Multiple-Direct-Contracting approach is a chief source of cost savings.


Plan Room

Satisfied Clients

"Their competency can only be rivaled by their cost-effectiveness."

Matt Underwood, Mason I.S.D.

"DSA Construction Management, Inc. exhibits many wonderful characteristics such as confidence, professionalism, dependability, patience, etc."

Brett Starkweather, Superintendent, Paint Rock I.S.D.

"They definitely have the owners interest in mind at all times..."

Larry D. Sprowls, County Judge, Hockley County, Texas

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