When a municipality needs to source pumps for a water or wastewater project they can do so using one of two avenues. First, they can select the pumps themselves and enter into a supply contract directly with a pump supplier. Second, and more typically, they can include the pumps as part of a larger construction project and allow the Contractor who completes
the entire project to select and supply the pumps.
My last article explored the reasons why a municipality might take the first road and select the pumps themselves. This post will show why the second avenue is more common by discussing the two primary benefits it provides.
Benefit No. 1: Save time and money.
Municipal bids are complex. There are many different players involved, and the process of putting a job out for bid is time consuming and costly. Putting out a bid for the pumps that is separate from the construction contract will cost the end-user additional time and money. Including the pumps as part of a larger construction contract means the bid process is only completed once for the entire project. This minimizes the effort required by the municipality’s Purchasing Department, Engineering Department, and Administration.
Benefit No. 2: Create a single point of responsibility for the entire installation.
When a Contractor is awarded a contract for a project they have responsibility for the successful completion of the entire project. This includes supplying all required equipment, installing it, and dealing with any challenges along the way. Installing pumping systems can be a complex endeavor, and giving the Contractor complete responsibility will help minimize the coordination challenges typical of any complex construction project. In addition, the Contractor then warrants their workmanship covering the entire installation. This will eliminate any finger-pointing further down the road if construction workmanship issues are found the negatively impact the pumping equipment.
While there are cases where the critical nature of the pumping equipment means an owner-selection process makes sense, in the vast majority of cases the time and money savings, coupled with the single source of responsibility, make the Contractor-selection process the best choice for pump procurement in municipal pumping projects.