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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I started a thread in regards to the school district that wanted quotes from local companies. Well, I decided to back out of the bidding due to much snow on the ground, and unwillingness to supply us with good dimension documentation. Basically, there was 8 inches of snow and they wanted a quote in 7 days. Well, I just recieved the public bids and it seems my gut feeling was right about the situtation.

After looking at the bids, it amazes me that out of about 13 companies that bid, most where pretty close in the bid. However, there were about 3 companies that wayyyyy underbid just to dig up business. What suprises me the most is that one of these companies, was an established business with well over 10 crews. We have the largest high school in the state, with a nice plot of land that goes along with it, I'm guessing 10-15 acres, including soccer and football fields. They said this is the bread and butter to the district, make it nice. While everyone seems to be in the $500-700 for the most part, these guys are coming in at $250!!!
LOL.

Also, there were about 15-20 other locations to bid on and each one was bid the same way. It amazes me what these guys think.

The only thing I can see is that either he still hasn't figured out how to bid, or that he's desperate to take any work he can to fill up crew schedules. He has trucks and buildings and all the goodies. I'm just guessing that with all that overhead, he's doing everything to he can to just break even in some areas.

Thought I would share that. More news showing that established businesses can screw up this field of work with their pricing. Maybe these guys know the Brickman group?:D
 

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could be that he is willing to part with a profit now in return for a larger market share later. Im not entirely fond of the idea in our industry, but its a proven winner in other industries.
 

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if he is running 10 crews, each crew can make much less than a 1-2 crew operation and still make more money.

but that seems low, even for that.
 

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maybe hes trying to say somthing about himself to the community. it dosent really seem to make sense, but maybe he thinks this will get him goos exposure and the school district will hook him up with all the other work...snow, landscaping, more mowing.

although, with 10 crews, seems like hes got enough already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was reading through his bid package and for ALL 15-20 areas within the district, he's total bid was about $15,000 for the season for all of them. Most of the others were about that just for the high school. I wonder if he didn't get the renewals for his crews. But that doesn't make sense, fill up 7 profitable crews instead of having 7 crews plus 3 that break even. Don't get me wrong, they are well known.

Another example, high school and soccer field, $45 each. Preschool with about 3/4 acre with about 100 things including trees to trim around....$25. Only the newbie scrub companies came slightly close to his bids. :confused:

That's what I was afraid of when I went on the bid. I don't want to attempt to bid since the district will go with usually the lowest bid. The lowest bid winner is usually too low and ends up with less profit for there time, if any at all.
 

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This is the kind of stuff that makes me think that commercial bids are a waste of freekin time. I know there are some good ones out there, but it seems like building loyalty with residentials is the way to go.
 

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Am I reading that right. 25 dollars for 3/4 acre and lots of trees and bushes to trim? Why would anybody bid that, they would have to lose money. We get 25 dollars for 3000 sq feet lawns for mow, trim, blow and go. Unbelievable!
 

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Coukd be they are well established scrubs with fresh illegals working for them...lol
 

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Are you talking about the Ann Arbor Pioneer High School district? I remember Pioneer and Huron being 1 and 2 a couple years back in the state football playoff listings as being the biggest schools and I thought Pioneer was the biggest. If so, Saturday's in the fall obviously are out for the Michigan football games!
 

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Look at it from the school boards perspective with 13 bids and 3 came in low they would probably think that the other 10 way overbid the job. This happened around my area 10 years ago and the schools got a butcher job, the next year the same thing happened again on the bids , but , the school board made the contractor post a performance bond. Now they love the low bid , with a performance bond the school board wins either way .
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Actually, this is a high school they just built in the northern end of Macomb township. Actually, it's located in Casco and combines students of 3 counties. This thing makes some colleges look primitive. I wish I had that opportunity when I was a kid. I figure that's where our tax dollars went.
 

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Anchor Bay High School. $48 million to build it. Has it's own traffic light.
 

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About $20 per acre is what wide area goes for, around here. I know a guy that does Swartz Creek Schools (the whole district), and also handles the Michigan School For The Deaf (around 40 acre campus). It all comes in around that. A local municipality around here, (I just posted about on another thread), which is a township hall, police dept., fire dept. and park, with a pond, pavillion, and ball field (all wide open) goes for just under $400 for 20 acres.
 

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We were considering bidding on the contract for a neighboring county school system. It included 6 schools and a large vo-tech center. Before the official bid process started some guy goes in and gives them a proposal to do it for $1900 A MONTH! Just blew me away. Needless to say we didn't bother trying to compete.
 

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If I understand correctly, after they got this one proposal they had an item on the agenda to accept the proposal at a regularly scheduled meeting. But, it was pulled just before the meeting started and then they went ahead and went through the normal bid process. I thing the low bid wound up being $30,000 for the year.

It was obvious price was the most important factor to them so we weren't interested.
 

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It sounds like he did go pretty low, but the larger companies can get away with this for several reasons. They often get volume discounts on equipment, trucks, materials etc. Those discounts can really add up over a year. Second they sometimes have lots of overhead, but their equipment is being used 100% of the time and not sitting idle therefore it is constantly recovering the overhead. Third, as was already pointed out, they probably dont bring in as much per person, but overall make more money even though the profits may be less because of the size of the company. One more point is that some of these companies run like smoothly oiled machines, and there is no downtime etc, everything runs like clockwork. Managers are in place, they have at least one mechanic ready to repair anything etc. OR it could be that he is an idiot and will be bankrupt in a couple of years which happens quite frequently.
 
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