To bid or not to bid? THAT is the question!

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Submitted By: bruce
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Over my 30+ year career and 5 different EPC employers, the decisions to bid or not to bid work was always puzzling. Perhaps it has always been because of my residency on the lower end of the food chain that I wasn’t included in the “need to know” category. Perhaps it was more the fact that EPC companies hold a unique position in the ‘oil & gas’ world, working between demanding owners and suppliers who more often than not dictated when they could produce, not being held to the same standard as the “in-between” EPC contractors. In viewing the niche market contractors, it was always so obvious that they knew their place in the pecking order and knew when to pursue work just as clearly as when not to. They stick to where they’ve been successful and save up for that always expected rainy day, during the inevitable down markets. EPC contractors, on the other hand, many times try to be all things to all people, running in whatever direction the markets are the hottest. I’ve seen first-hand multiple times when my employer decided we would get into the ‘XYZ’ market & began hiring ‘specialists’ – paid substantially above-scale salaries – in order to “build it & they will come”. Most of the time ‘they’ did not. EPC companies who have been the most successful over decades are those who maintain a more focused direction than those whose heads appear to be on a swivel. Knowing ‘who’ you want to be as a company is a significant advantage over those who are trying to figure that out on a daily basis.

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