Bird Control Advisory - Project Consultant
Bird Control Consultant for Architects, Engineers, Facilities Managers, Design-Builders, & Installers

Blog

Insights, ideas, musings, and occasionally some funny things.

Low Bid Situations

A few years ago, when I was still in the design/build contractor type bird control business, I stopped participating in low-bid, three quote minimum projects. I realized that the only factor a purchasing agent or General Contractor (GC) cared about would be price. In this age of constant job changing, restructurings, and layoffs, it is likely that the person doing the "buying" of a bird deterrent system would not still be around when the system fails to meet expectations of the end user customer. The buyer's responsibility is to ensure that the organization did not pay any more for a seemingly comparable system than someone auditing the books thinks it could have been done for. In other words, the buyer is protecting himself and in the case of a GC, trying to maximize profits.

I wonder whether these same purchasing people operate the same way with respect to making repairs on their own home. Do they simply invite a few random companies found with a quick Google Search, who have basic websites with certain key words listed to represent that they perform a particular service, and then choose the one who promises the lowest price? Not likely. 

For directly contracted public work, there are even legal requirements that require acceptance of the "lowest responsible bid". They have three prices that appear to be equal enough in terms of the quantities of material or the work area. But too many factors outside of those direct comparisons have an effect on the overall success of a bird control project. 

Let's back up a second. Most of what I'm about to spell out is beyond the thinking of a typical purchasing agent or beyond the level of interest of a GC. Even very experienced and senior qualified people in the purchasing role have likely never been part of a bird control project. 

Success in bird control is the equivalent of a woman being pregnant. Either you're pregnant, or you're not. There is no "somewhat" pregnant, "a little" pregnant, "some" pregnant; either you are pregnant or you are not. Well, either you have a bird problem or you do not.  What's the difference if 20 birds are pooping on your facade instead of 40? Or if you move the 40 birds from one ledge up/over to another? Have you really solved a problem? Maybe, if all you care about is the front door or some other small targeted area. 

There are factors of success in a project like this that transcend "supply and install". 

On a societal level, economically, this speaks to a larger problem. It leads to complete mediocrity in performance of service. If one cannot charge more for their style of service, then the customer is left with "what's good enough" and not necessarily what's good. 

As an independent consultant, Bird Control Advisory sets the bar for all the potential bidders to meet. We make the determination of what work gets done, the materials used, and work with our clients to establish the working parameters for any Bird Control Project.