Project Practitioners > Information Required To Get The Job Done

Information Required To Get The Job Done

By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B

Vendor Data Requirements

In the last article, I talked about the Standard Component List and it’s importance to your project in helping make sure you get what you want and what you need. Another important document, that goes along with the Standard Component List, is the Vendor Data Requirements. This document is typically used when purchasing equipment and outlines to the vendor exactly what information you expect him to include with his quote. 

This document comes in a couple of formats, one as a printed document describing in detail what information you are looking for and the other as an itemized list. Either one works as long as you outline to the vendor what information you require. The printed document is a standard one and covers every possible piece of equipment. The itemized lists can be tailored to suit what you are purchasing. As an example, you can develop a list for rotating equipment and one for pressure vessels and use them accordingly.

Following are some of the data items typically required from a vendor ;

 1. Components

You want to know which components the vendor is purchasing and do they meet the requirements of the Standard Component list. The vendor is to advise you of which components do not comply. You want him to tell you, as you do not have the time nor knowledge to pick through every detail of the quote trying to determine what he is supplying. When we talk of components we are also talking about pipe & fittings, electric motors, electrical components, gear reducers, etc. If your company has specifications, these will be mentioned and issued in the bid documents. The vendor only needs to tell you what specification he is not meeting. This sounds so simple, until you get a vendor who doesn’t have the time to go through all the documents and hesitates about stating what is not included. You may come across this with vendors who sell proprietary package units 

2. Proposal Drawings

 The vendor needs to provide you with drawings showining the physical dimensions of the equipment. Keep in mind that each vendor has his own way of doing things and their equipment dimensions will be different from the other vendors. You need to know required clearances around equipment for operation and maintenance. Think of heat exchangers and how much space do you need to pull a bundle. This requirement could eliminate a vendor. You also need to know of any special foundation requirements which could also eliminate a vendor if the foundation requirements are too great. Can the required foundation actually be constructed?

 3. Drawings and Other Documents

These are the drawings and information you require for proper design and use throughout the project that you expect the vendor to supply. Examples would be electrical system schematics, general arrangement drawings, operating and maintenance manauals, priced spare parts list, etc. If you don’t ask you won’t get so make sure you ask for what you need otherwise it could be an extra.

4. Access, Shipping, & Field Assembly Data

 You need to know what platforms, stairs, etc are required to have proper access to the equipment for operation and maintenance and is the vendor supplying them. Vendors will assume they have unlimited space and will design accordingly, so you need to layout the platforms, stairs, etc when comparing bids in case they infringe on other pieces of equiment in the area.

As you will have to off load the equipment, you need the details on the number of components or pieces of equipment that would be delivered to the site, including the weight and overall dimensions of each piece. You need this to determine equipment required to off load the pieces, move them around the site, and how to assemble the equipment. One project I managed included a press that came from Gemany in 355 crates with the largest being 63 tons. This one piece became a problem as we had to get it to site. The ship arrived in Seattle, Washington and because of road load restrictions we needed a special trailer and had to send it through 3 states and 1 province in order to get it to site. Once there we had to have a 200 ton crane available to get it off the truck. As well we had to have storage space for 355 crates, some of which required inside storage. As you can see you need this information for planning purposes so you can  maintain control of the project. If we were not given the information up front we would not have been prepared when the shipment arrived. As an aside, once a heavy load is on your  site, government regulated highway load restrictions do not apply, so although you may have had to use a speciality trailer to get the load to site, you do not need it to move the load around the site.

 You need to know if the equipment will be assembled in the shop, matched marked and sent to the site. How will it be assembled, bolted, welded, etc. Most equipment will be shop assembled, broken down, and shipped in pieces. The press above was not assembled in the shop. If not shop assembled you then have to be prepared for additional field work in case something doesn’t fit. In the case of the press there were very few problems with it which was quite amazing considering the compexity and number of pieces. It was well engineered. I have also managed rebuild projects where the equipment was shop assembled and match marked, however, where it had to attach to existing equipment, it didn’t fit. You have to be prepared for every eventuality. 

5. Equipment Weight

 You require the shipping weight, operating weight, and maximum flooded weight. The shipping weight in order to determine how to get the equipment to site, off load it and eventually install it. The operating weight to determine if the foundation is adequate or maybe you need the information for finite analysis. The flooded weight is need to design the foundation. Keep in mind when hauling heavy loads on the public roads you will have load restrictions that vary throughout the year and if possible you try to design and construct  around the road restrictions. Now, once the heavy load is on site, load restrictions do not apply so although you may have had to use a speciality trailer to get the load to site, you do not need it to move the load around the site.

There is a lot of information you require to do your job, maintain schedule, control your costs, and keep the project on track. There are more items to discuss and I will talk about them in the next article.


For aspiring project managers I am running my “Fundamentals of Project Management” workshop in Calgary AB, Canada on November 23 - 25, 2010. 

For information go to:

For registration go to: 


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