Businesses in many industries, especially the construction industry, have to bid on projects and be awarded a contract before they can begin working on a job. The bid time, also called the bid date, is how long the company has to make a bid so it will be considered for a particular project. Bids received after this time are usually discarded, and bids must follow a specific format that details the pricing and services a company will render, along with an accurate cost sheet showing how the company arrived at the bid. While the bid must be submitted by the bid time, awarding agencies will rarely award the project to a company on the same day.
When an agency needs a project done, it creates a bidding sheet that is circulated to specific companies, announced to the public or posted at a community or government center. On this sheet, the agency will detail what it needs done and when the bids need to be received. The bid date is displayed clearly, because the agency wants as many bids as possible so it will have a large pool of prospective companies from which to choose.
The bid time stated in a listing is stringent. If the company sends in a late bid or sends in an incorrectly formatted bid and cannot get it corrected by the bid time, the agency will generally disregard the bid. Companies want to be awarded projects so they will have work for which they can be paid, they will try to submit the bid as early and accurately as possible.
In its bid, a company must detail all the work it is willing to do and how the company will do it. All costs also must be displayed and tallied, so the agency knows it is getting a fair bid. The bid must detail all the tasks, resources and labor needed for the job. Next to each item, the bid also must contain the cost for that particular item.
While a bid must be sent in by a specific day and time, it is rare for an agency to pick a company as soon as the bid time has passed — or to even open the bids. In most bidding formats, the bids are either opened at a public event or during a private one attended only the companies or agency members. Even after the bids are opened and their respective bids are read aloud, the agency will typically wait a few days or longer before picking a company, or several companies, to work on the project.