In general, companies provide services or products based on the requirements of invitations for competitive bids issued by the client or the results of direct contract negotiations with the client. One of the most important factors in preparing a proposal and estimating the cost and profit of a project is the type of contract expected. The confidence by which a bid is prepared is usually dependent on how much of a risk the contractor will incur through the contract. Certain types of contracts provide relief for the contractor, since onerous risks1 exist. The cost must therefore consider how well the contract type covers certain high- and low-risk areas.

Prospective clients are always concerned when, during a competitive bidding process, one bid is much lower than the others. The client may question the validity of the bid and whether the contract can be

1. Onerous risks are unfair risks that the contractor may have to bear. Quite often, the contract negotiations may not reach agreement on what is or is not an onerous risk.

achieved for the low bid. In cases such as this, the client usually imposes incentive and penalty clauses in the contract for self-protection.

Because of the risk factor, competitors must negotiate not only for the target cost figures, but also for the type of contract involved, since risk protection is the predominant influential factor. The size and experience of the client's own staff, urgency of completion, availability of qualified contractors, and other factors must be carefully evaluated. The advantages and disadvantages of all basic contractual arrangements must be recognized to select the optimum arrangement for a particular project.

Negotiating Essentials

Negotiating Essentials

Always wanted to get a better deal but didn't have the needed negotiation skills? Here are some of the best negotiation theories. The ability to negotiate is a skill which everyone should have. With the ability to negotiate you can take charge of your life, your finances and your destiny. If you feel that others are simply born with the skill to negotiate, you should know that everyone can learn this wonderful skill.

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