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(Some Snow Job Guy)   Snow removal contractor learns that a "firm, fixed-price contract" is a contract where the price is firm and fixed   (govtcontractsmonitor.jacksonkelly.com) divider line 63
    More: Obvious, snow removal, Colorado, government contractor, fixed price  
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14420 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Sep 2012 at 10:25 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-20 09:32:00 AM
I'm sure he would've laughed his ass all the way to the bank if there were 1/3 the average snowfall instead of 3x

He's either really stupid for not knowing what he was getting into, or he gambled and lost big

/i'm going with the latter
 
2012-09-20 09:32:53 AM
Mr Plow got plowed!
 
2012-09-20 09:38:09 AM
Subby, with respect, how the heck did you find this article?
 
2012-09-20 09:55:37 AM
that is why it is called a contract job.
 
2012-09-20 10:18:44 AM

dstanley: Subby, with respect, how the heck did you find this article?


For a previous job, I'd set up a category of RSS feeds from sites about various federal government contracting and procurement topics. This was one of them. I don't deal with government contracting anymore, but I still keep tabs on some of them in a general fashion.

/stubmitter
 
2012-09-20 10:26:02 AM
I woke up this morning firm and fixed.
 
2012-09-20 10:28:06 AM
Call firm, fixed-price contract
That's my name
That name again is
Firm, fixed-price contract
 
2012-09-20 10:28:22 AM
As a Government Contracts lawyer, I'm getting a kick out of these replies...
 
2012-09-20 10:30:20 AM
England is quickly turning into the Untied States. Colonists revenge.
 
2012-09-20 10:32:11 AM
senor plow no es macho,
Es solamente un borracho...
 
2012-09-20 10:33:25 AM
This is why being a salaried employee can suck too at times; you end up doing everyone's unfinished projects and making nice with their customers they skipped out on until midnight while they sit at home or at the bar. No mention that you've been at work 21 hours but hey, you're salaried so suck it up buttercup.
 
2012-09-20 10:34:55 AM
Ogden, Utah is in Colorado?

Anyway, that's why you have to take the long view out West: The weather is wildly variable and always has been. He should have banked his profit from the dry years knowing that Big Snow would be coming eventually and certainly.
 
2012-09-20 10:35:08 AM
Well...I don't know how large these parking lots for IRS offices are, but $100,000 seems a little steep. In northern Wisconsin you can get plowing done in typical small box store parking lot for $50/plow. Where prices goes up is really the salt. Snow plowing companies go to Menards/Home Depot wherever, and pick up 50lb bags of safety salt for $15~$20 and charge $150~$200 to spread it around the parking lot. Our government could easily save itself a lot of money just by having its janitor (which I'm sure every building has) go outside with a bucket and spread it themselves.
 
2012-09-20 10:35:25 AM
Work enough years, it'll balance out. Unless the weather goes all "Day After Tomorrow" on us.
 
2012-09-20 10:36:30 AM
this reminds me of those companies who would buy out the life insurance policies of people with terminal illnesses in return for paying their medical bills. every once and awhile, one of those "terminal" people would live for years and years and the company that bought their life insurance would wind up losing tons of money on the deal.
 
2012-09-20 10:38:10 AM
If you succeed, you built that.

If you failt, The Man farked you.
 
2012-09-20 10:39:43 AM

canyoneer: Ogden, Utah is in Colorado?


Oopsie.
 
2012-09-20 10:41:38 AM
FTA-"contractor bears the risk of the cost associated with additional snowfall just as the Government would not reap any benefit if there was no snowfall."

Yep, and that's why back when I was doing plowing, I charged by the push. When you have a contract with a homeowner, they want you to come out 2-3 times during the course of a storm to clear 6" of snow.

When you charge by the push, well, they're a little more patient. "no,no, you can wait until the storm is over."
 
2012-09-20 10:44:14 AM
This guy thought he could get money out of the IRS?
 
2012-09-20 10:44:35 AM

canyoneer: Ogden, Utah is in Colorado?

Anyway, that's why you have to take the long view out West: The weather is wildly variable and always has been. He should have banked his profit from the dry years knowing that Big Snow would be coming eventually and certainly.


Right next to North Haverbrook.
 
2012-09-20 10:49:07 AM

Sachlpch: Well...I don't know how large these parking lots for IRS offices are, but $100,000 seems a little steep. In northern Wisconsin you can get plowing done in typical small box store parking lot for $50/plow. Where prices goes up is really the salt. Snow plowing companies go to Menards/Home Depot wherever, and pick up 50lb bags of safety salt for $15~$20 and charge $150~$200 to spread it around the parking lot. Our government could easily save itself a lot of money just by having its janitor (which I'm sure every building has) go outside with a bucket and spread it themselves.


In Ogden, Utah, the parking lot would not need to be salted. As soon as you get the snow off pavement out in the High Desert, whatever ice or water is left will evaporate, and voila in 24 hours, any pavement exposed to the sun will be as dry as a bone.
 
2012-09-20 10:50:15 AM
As a project manager working cost plus fixed fee, I'm getting a kick out of this dumbass.

Should have gone with a T&M vehicle.
 
2012-09-20 10:54:42 AM
If his plow contract had been for an F-35 based snow plow, why they would have paid him.

The gov't only screws SMALL businesses, because the LARGE businesses have much more expensive lawyers and they FARK the gov't.

I had small business contracts with the Gov't and every damn one of them was a loss-leader.

Cause the RFP is a half a freakng page but the contract they send you weighs 3.5 lbs. and bears little to no resemblence to the RFP.
 
2012-09-20 10:56:28 AM

chachi88: As a project manager working cost plus fixed fee, I'm getting a kick out of this dumbass.

Should have gone with a T&M vehicle.


Yep.

If I were this guy, my Firm, Fixed Price contract will now be three times what it was before. Obviously the last two years of snow have set a new average for snowfall and this must be accounted for. Climate change and all.
 
2012-09-20 10:58:21 AM
My church pays a fixed contract every year for snow removal. Some years we make ahead (two years ago), and some years we pay a boatload of money for nothing (last year). But it's budgeted and we can plan for the amount. Over time I think it evens out.
 
2012-09-20 10:59:41 AM

canyoneer: Sachlpch: Well...I don't know how large these parking lots for IRS offices are, but $100,000 seems a little steep. In northern Wisconsin you can get plowing done in typical small box store parking lot for $50/plow. Where prices goes up is really the salt. Snow plowing companies go to Menards/Home Depot wherever, and pick up 50lb bags of safety salt for $15~$20 and charge $150~$200 to spread it around the parking lot. Our government could easily save itself a lot of money just by having its janitor (which I'm sure every building has) go outside with a bucket and spread it themselves.

In Ogden, Utah, the parking lot would not need to be salted. As soon as you get the snow off pavement out in the High Desert, whatever ice or water is left will evaporate, and voila in 24 hours, any pavement exposed to the sun will be as dry as a bone.


Sooo basically their contract was overly bloated to begin with. gotcha.
 
2012-09-20 11:00:01 AM

soopey: chachi88: As a project manager working cost plus fixed fee, I'm getting a kick out of this dumbass.

Should have gone with a T&M vehicle.

Yep.

If I were this guy, my Firm, Fixed Price contract will now be three times what it was before. Obviously the last two years of snow have set a new average for snowfall and this must be accounted for. Climate change and all.


Either that or get out of the business if your too stupid to understand a FFP contract when you sign it.
 
2012-09-20 11:00:46 AM
A contract be a contract. You feel me?
 
2012-09-20 11:04:59 AM
Thank you, Homer.

images4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-09-20 11:10:14 AM
The guy should have made friends with a couple of mid level personnel. Invite them to lunch at a nice place. Mention his job creator business is hurting a bit because of the snow. His new friends will then plow, pun intended, a couple of one off jobs to him so he can recoup his loss. "We had to pay him $$$ to plow the expansion lot. It wasn't in his regular contract so we paid him to come out that very day and plow it. Of course, the temp shot up to 65 degrees that day and it all melted but he was on scene. So we'll pay him."

Of course, his new friends will expect a job for their worthless cousin if the company is small. If it is a big enterprise, then they may want a nice position when they retire from the government.
 
2012-09-20 11:10:39 AM

chachi88: As a project manager working cost plus fixed fee, I'm getting a kick out of this dumbass.

Should have gone with a T&M vehicle.


I've always been a fan of CPAF, myself. Particularly with a base fee.
 
2012-09-20 11:13:38 AM
But did he scrape the asphalt?
 
2012-09-20 11:14:41 AM
Overly abundant snowfall would be an "Act of God", so God must really hate that guy.
 
2012-09-20 11:17:25 AM
Somebody should've taken Acquisitions 101.
 
2012-09-20 11:22:51 AM
Yeah, a contract is a contract, sure. But both parties win when they compromise.

If I held everyone to the letter of every contract I have ever signed, I would be in court every other week. Literally. Contracts are to protect you when someone is being unreasonable, not to give you an excuse to wring every drop of blood out of the other party.

They should have met the guy half way, or at least tossed him some kind of bone, but then said listen, thanks for your service for the past several years, but next year, when you bid on this thing, put in a line item that will give us a discount if snow levels are unusually light, and pay you more if they are unusually heavy, and we'll both win.

What's sad is that the city employee probably had the discretion to do something for the guy, and chose arbitrarily not to.
 
2012-09-20 11:25:16 AM
This should happen more often. No, strike that, this is the way it should always be.
 
2012-09-20 11:28:51 AM

Quadruple Entendre: Yeah, a contract is a contract, sure. But both parties win when they compromise.


Except for the guy who didn't get the contract because his bid was a little higher to account for the possibility more snowfall.
 
2012-09-20 11:29:32 AM

Quadruple Entendre: What's sad is that the city employee probably had the discretion to do something for the guy, and chose arbitrarily not to


Do you think in years pastt he city came out with hat in hand asking for money back?

iwoudl be a little worried abotu a city that had employees that could "arbitrarily" give out enough to make up fro the shortfall of his labor vs what he was paid.
 
2012-09-20 11:40:36 AM

Dead for Tax Reasons: I'm sure he would've laughed his ass all the way to the bank if there were 1/3 the average snowfall instead of 3x

He's either really stupid for not knowing what he was getting into, or he gambled and lost big

/i'm going with the latter


yep, that's exactly the way I see it going down. Ya roll your dice and take your chances.
 
2012-09-20 11:42:08 AM

Sachlpch: Well...I don't know how large these parking lots for IRS offices are, but $100,000 seems a little steep. In northern Wisconsin you can get plowing done in typical small box store parking lot for $50/plow. Where prices goes up is really the salt. Snow plowing companies go to Menards/Home Depot wherever, and pick up 50lb bags of safety salt for $15~$20 and charge $150~$200 to spread it around the parking lot. Our government could easily save itself a lot of money just by having its janitor (which I'm sure every building has) go outside with a bucket and spread it themselves.


Get one of those Scotts fetilizer seed spreaders that are made for salt and push the damn thing around for thirty seconds. That being said, this is the price you pay when you go to a yearly price as opposed to a per job price.
 
2012-09-20 11:42:44 AM

Sachlpch: store parking lot for $50/plow. Where prices goes up is really the salt. Snow plowing companies go to Menards/Home Depot wherever, and pick up 50lb bags of safety salt for $15~$20 and charge $150~$200 to spread it around the parking lot. Our government could easily save itself a lot of money just by having its janitor (which I'm sure every building has) go outside with a bucket and spread it themsel


you've obviously never seen a large government building or complex. Think the size of a mall parking lot.
 
2012-09-20 11:50:07 AM

jayphat: Get one of those Scotts fetilizer seed spreaders that are made for salt and push the damn thing around for thirty seconds.


Not familiar with acres of parking lot under a foot of snow are you?
 
2012-09-20 11:53:10 AM

Sachlpch: Well...I don't know how large these parking lots for IRS offices are, but $100,000 seems a little steep. In northern Wisconsin you can get plowing done in typical small box store parking lot for $50/plow. Where prices goes up is really the salt. Snow plowing companies go to Menards/Home Depot wherever, and pick up 50lb bags of safety salt for $15~$20 and charge $150~$200 to spread it around the parking lot. Our government could easily save itself a lot of money just by having its janitor (which I'm sure every building has) go outside with a bucket and spread it themselves.


I'm sure this was solicited as a Full & Open Competition. If you could've provided service that was technically acceptable, you could've put a lower bid in and won it. The Government can't dictate the price they pay. I'm sure they selected the lowest price technically acceptable proposal.
 
2012-09-20 12:05:14 PM
When the government put out their RFP (or whatever you'd call it in this case), don't they usually dictate the kind of contract vehicle they intend to use. That is, I suspect he had no choice but to bid this as a FFP. That's the only reason I'd feel slightly sorry for this guy.
 
2012-09-20 12:05:16 PM
I drove a plow in Michigan one season, big-ass Ford with an 8-ton salt box.

On really snowy nights, I'd spread 20 tons of salt. Malls, schools, government buildings. I don't think the pushcart would have kept up.

Spent an entire blizzard in one Sam's Club parking lot doing laps from 11PM to 1PM.

/fixed bid, but drivers were hourly
 
2012-09-20 12:07:07 PM
www.wearysloth.com

/definitely on the side of government
//"You will get your contract rates or you will get your contract cancelled."
 
2012-09-20 12:14:20 PM

hutchkc: Sachlpch: store parking lot for $50/plow. Where prices goes up is really the salt. Snow plowing companies go to Menards/Home Depot wherever, and pick up 50lb bags of safety salt for $15~$20 and charge $150~$200 to spread it around the parking lot. Our government could easily save itself a lot of money just by having its janitor (which I'm sure every building has) go outside with a bucket and spread it themsel

you've obviously never seen a large government building or complex. Think the size of a mall parking lot.


Nope, I never have seen a large government complex. I do know snowplowers however, and there's a lot of money to be made there with a lot of mark up.

And after a little research, the company IAP world services is just a contracting agency! This isn't even the guys doing the snowplowing, They're just a middle man. Our government could probably get the job done cheaper if they'd actually contact the snow plow companies directly rather than paying these guys.

/irritated at government overspending
//why pay somebody to look in a phonebook for you?
 
2012-09-20 12:23:42 PM

johnnyq: When the government put out their RFP (or whatever you'd call it in this case), don't they usually dictate the kind of contract vehicle they intend to use. That is, I suspect he had no choice but to bid this as a FFP. That's the only reason I'd feel slightly sorry for this guy.


Yes, the intention to award a firm-fixed price type contract would have been stated in the solicitation.
 
2012-09-20 12:35:54 PM
I can understand this, since my Quest "Price For Life" internet service was actually a 1-year term or something like that.
 
2012-09-20 12:44:56 PM

Sachlpch: Well...I don't know how large these parking lots for IRS offices are, but $100,000 seems a little steep. In northern Wisconsin you can get plowing done in typical small box store parking lot for $50/plow. Where prices goes up is really the salt. Snow plowing companies go to Menards/Home Depot wherever, and pick up 50lb bags of safety salt for $15~$20 and charge $150~$200 to spread it around the parking lot. Our government could easily save itself a lot of money just by having its janitor (which I'm sure every building has) go outside with a bucket and spread it themselves.


Except that spreading salt is probably outside the scope of the janitors' contract...
Yes, the government hires contractors for janitorial services too.
 
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