Before I circle back to my follow-up post on engineers and marketing, I want to write about something interesting that happened at work. Various companies have sent in tenders (basically really detailed quotation of a request to supply) for the different components of the project. This is quite an involved legal process and right now, we’re busy adjudicating the tender (going through the quotation and deciding which vendor to go with) for one of the biggest packages of the whole entire project. Lets put it this way, if the project was to build a car, then this particular tender package would be the engine!
So I’m trying to draw up comparison tables for the different vendors’ tenders, comparing piston against piston, seal angainst seal-and I notice that one of the suppliers has left out the cost for one of the most critical features of the…er…engine. Basically, they quoted for the design of the…lets say crank shaft. But they didn’t quote for the actual supply and installation of the crank shaft.
This is weird. Why would they not quote for such a huge and critical component? So I give the supplier a call and he adamantly tells me that the information we gave him for the specs of the engine specifically states that the vendor was to do the design and only the design of the crank shaft! He refers me to the annexure he talked about. I sift through the document several times (and this document is about 500 pages long) but cant figure out what this dude was going on about. The other vendors got it right, they had quoted us for the installation as well!
Then I spot it…
Under the section titled ‘exclusions’ (things excluded from the package) the spec document we sent him stated something to this effect: ‘The vendor will not supply the crank shaft and piston pins, although the design for these components will be included in the package as the vendor’s responsibility’.
The vendor had read that neither must the crank shaft nor the piston pins be supplied, although we had meant that the crank shaft pins and piston pins must not be supplied!!!
What a mess, but it all worked out in the end…And thank goodness we spotted it early! Imagine getting your car delivered to you and then realising that for some reason, the crank shaft had been left out!
For those of you unfamiliar with how a car operates (EcoHawk-this means you too), a crank shaft is a rod moulded out of steel. Your engine consists of pistons, which are connected to the crankshaft and cause it to rotate. The more force the pistons exert on the crankshaft, the faster the shaft rotates. This basically makes the car move faster. For more info, check out one of my favourite websites: