iSpec makes managing your specifications, standards and procedures for repetitive type projects a cinch. The iSpec Library Management software module contains specifications that are either pre-approved and not subject to amendment without approval, or those that require “re-purposing” specific to the tender. Depending on the governance structures of each organisation, participants are allocated levels of authority to participate/contribute. These levels can be from limited contribution to selected documents to full access to all documents and the ability to amend/modify. Access and editing rights are governed by a comprehensive role and permission management system. As the master library is central to the process, all new technology, specifications and standards can be managed here, making iSpec the leading Knowledge Management software solution. The strength of the master library and template information is due to its “granularity”. In other words, each template or master “document” is managed at a “clause” level. Consequently, each clause, statement or requirement is a template in itself. This allows us to manage specifications at a detailed level and also assign specific items to various specialists who are to maintain and review them. Unless any changes have been reviewed by the relevant specialist (owner), the entire document cannot be used to create a new tender.
Scope of work
The scope of work needs to clearly define what should be included in the deliverables and what should not. The last thing you want during a project is for the supplier to not put locks on the doors just because you only specified the door type and not the lock. Or for him to supply a control system without diagnostics or troubleshooting manuals because you forgot to mention it in your requirement. The borders of the project need to clearly delineated to ensure that you get less than you require or have to pay more later for things you thought were included by an ambiguous inference.
Project milestones are important both in terms of delivery schedules and payment points. Many larger projects require interim payments in order for the supplier to finance the project. Milestones with payment and/or delivery dates help you keep track of when certain items need to be delivered to ensure timely completion of the project as well as how much the vendor should be paid once he has delivered certain items. You may also want to build in penalties for late delivery as you might incur business losses if the project is not completed on time. iSpec allows you to manage all of these functions.
Engineering standards, health and safety, company policies and other standards should be included for the suppliers attention. It is always better to include all this information up-front when publishing a tender as it will save time and hassles down the line. It will also reduce the number of clarifications from vendors if the information is readily available. iSpec’s Master Library allows you to include all these standards in your project templates so that when you want to create a new project, all this information is automatically included. As there is only ever one approved copy, these documents will contain the latest up-to-date information.
One of the most important attributes of a well managed project is a proper inspection plan and detailed commissioning/acceptance protocols. This should also form part of your standard templates as these will ensure that any quality issues, failures or delays will be identified quickly so that they can be corrected before they start costing you an arm and a leg. These inspection plans and protocols should tie in with both your requirements (specifications) and your risk management plan. The high risk items should be inspected for most often and matched to the specifications. Similarly project progress should be included.
Terms and Conditions
It is always a good idea to include your standard terms and conditions and a formal contract agreement in your tender documents. This way the suppliers know up-front how you do business and what you expect. This may lead to some additional clarifications during the tendering process, but will eliminate suppliers that cannot comply with your agreements thereby reducing evaluations of and negotiations later on. The vendors will also appreciate not having to submit a bid if they cannot do business with you anyway. Better to know this up front.