Project Practitioners > Vendor Data Requirements (continued)

Vendor Data Requirements (continued)

By Morley Selver, P.Eng IPMA B

In the last article I started a discussion on Vendor Data Requirements and their importance to your project. This is the vendor data you require with their proposal and later in the project should they be the successful bidder. In review, this document is typically used when purchasing equipment and outlines to the vendor exactly what information you expect him to include with his quote. In this article I will cover additional information that you should be asking for and why you need the information.

Following are some additional data items typically required from a vendor ;

6. Transport
As you have to unload project equipment you need to know how the equipment will be delivered to your site and the size of the pieces. If it is coming by normal non-restricted transportation methods you can organize the proper equipment and set a time for the unloading. If the equipment is too large and has to be transported by restricted methods you want to know how it is being shipped as you will have to handle it. You may even get involved in what type of transportation you want. If the vendor plans on shipping by rail but you have no siding, then you have to get involved to determine the best shipping method. Do you put the equipment in storage or directly on it’s foundation? Do you have the equipment to handle it? Are their special handling requirements? You may have to buy lifting equipment from the vendor. Keep in mind that some items may require inside storage, if so, do you have any? You should always inquire about storage requirements as some pieces may need special attention to protect them from the elements.

7. Equipment Operational Services
In order to compare vendors and to make sure the plant can support the new equipment, you have to know what type of services and the quantity required to operate the equipment. By services we are talking about steam, air, oil, gas, water, electricity, etc. Different vendors will require different quantities and when comparing bids, this could make or break a deal. From these required quantities you will have to check what is available in the plant. In some cases new services will be required. 

We worked on a unit expansion which included additional pumps. When we added up the new total pump load, the electrical substation did not have sufficient capacity to meet the new requirements. After investigating options, and since the substation was 30 + years old, it was decided to replace the substation.

8. Metallurgy
You need to know what is being supplied and you need to check it with people in the plant who understand what is required. Sometimes the plant engineers understand what is required and the consultant / vendor doesn’t and other times the consultant / vendor does and the plant engineer doesn’t. I have run across both situations. This can be a tricky subject and requires discussion to get the right material. If the wrong material is selected, it can lead to failure. You want to know the metallurgy and make sure the metallurgy is correct before you place an order.

9. Erection & Startup Supervision
Typically you want a daily charge-out rate, including subsistence cost, for qualified field engineering personnel deemed necessary by the manufacturer to supervise erection of their equipment. You have to make a distinction between supervising erection (directing a contractor) and somebody who actually does the erection and handles the tools. These will be different contract issues that have to be sorted out. The easier way is to have the vendor supervise another contractor. 

You need money in your budget to cover startup and that is what you are looking for. You will have to take a guess at how long startup will be and estimate a budget accordingly to cover the time frame. Depending on what you are constructing, you will also want the daily charge-out rate for an experienced operating engineer to assist startup and initial operation. Vendors should advise whether or not this service is necessary for warranty purposes. If it is, you will definitely need someone. Typically vendors from North America combine their erection & startup personnel. European vendors will have several people for the same tasks so the costs will be higher.

Another section of this document is called ‘Performance Required by the Successful Bidder’ and outlines the standards and / or conditions the successful bidder will be required to perform to. Following is a list of the standards and / or conditions:

1. Codes
Local codes, standards, regulations, and labor agreements having jurisdiction over any part of the work covered in this bid shall be followed. When working in remote locations most companies want to support the local people so they expect contractors / vendors to use the local people before going outside of the area. When you state local codes and labor agreements having jurisdiction be prepared to identify what they are. Contractors / vendors not familiar with the area will not know what they are and will expect you to provide direction.

2. Structural
This is a statement that fabricated steel components shall have sharp edges rounded and be free of burrs, they shall be welded in accordance with recognized good practice, and all weld spatter shall be removed.

We didn’t like using back to back angles so had a statement that structural members composed of back-to-back angles shall not be used in the manufacture of structures or equipment. Being conservative, we wanted all equipment anchor bolt holes to have a 3/4” minimum anchor bolt diameter.  Equipment bolted to frames and structures are to have the bolt heads on top of the connection components so the bolts will not drop out of the holes whenever a nut works loose.

All of this information is designed to get you the information you need by advising the contractor / vendor up front what you expect. There is still more to talk about and I will continue next month with additional requirements.

Note: Upcoming Workshop

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

Course Overview
This practical workshop will equip participants with the tools, skills, behavioral attributes, and competencies needed to manage design and construction projects. Using lecture, discussion, and case studies, the focus will be on practical applications and techniques for immediate implementation and project results. Participants learn "what" to do, "how" to do it, and "why" they need to do it. The course is designed for people involved in managing the design and construction of projects in operating facilities, including engineers, technologists, technicians, tradesmen, and maintenance personnel. Participants will receive a copy of the instructor's published book, "Plant Project Engineering Guidebook".

Course Outline
Introduction & Definitions

Project Manager Behaviors

Budgeting & the Staged Gate Process

Project Authorization and Scope of Work

Engineering Control


Request For Proposals & the Bidding Process

Construction Management

Contract Administration and Earned Value Analysis

Commissioning Procedures


Commissioning & Startup


Fees: $1,995 CAD

CEU: 2.4 Continuing Education Units

PDH: 24 Professional Development Hours

Register/Enroll for this course now at

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This course is sponsored by Petroleum Institute for Continuing Education Inc. (PEICE)


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