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  • Writer's pictureTristan Wilson

Resilience in close bidding defeat

The team worked for 4 weeks solid on the large interstate bid. It was a target bid for the company with over 150K tons of asphalt and work to keep some crews busy for an entire year. There were some late evenings, job ride throughs, video calls, chats with vendors, visits to borrow pits, and some intense debates about phasing, production rates, and gross profit. We had compiled a sound bid.

When the bid results were released, we were shocked. A competitor from out of state whom we did not even expect to be in the running ended up submitting the lowest bid, besting our second-place number by less than 1%. The sinking feeling of defeat ran through our veins. It was painful and frustrating. The entire trajectory of the next year changed for us and our confidence on bid day was supplanted with a feeling that we had been robbed. Many employees drove through the job to get to work every day, further pouring salt into the wound. But nobody was there to feel sorry for us. Instead, we had to accept the reality that we had been beaten, learn from it, and move forward.

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What did we learn? In reviewing the bid tabs, we saw that the competitor took a different approach than our firm and several others on a few major items. Further, we had overlooked this low bidder and did not factor them in as a serious player, which was a mistake. Their presence in the market was not a temporary situation and we had to readjust our strategy to account for this entrant. Fortunately, the team had enough sense to know that an emotional reaction on the next bid would hurt us more than anyone else.

Nobody likes to lose a bid that you felt you needed by a small margin. It stinks! There are lessons to be learned in the debrief process for application to future projects. And how one accepts the facts on their terms and responds to this type of adversity can be an indicator of future success.

Thank you for reading our post. At Edgevanta, our proprietary SaaS platform enables highway contractors to track and forecast critical market dynamics and increase the predictability of the project acquisition process.


Tristan Wilson

CEO and Founder

Edgevanta, LLC


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