Solar Choice Commercial Solar Tender Management Procedure

(Take a tour of Solar Choice Commercial’s online Tender Management Platform.)

Solar Choice’s Obligations

1. Impartiality

Solar Choice does not and has no interest in showing favouritism between our extensive network of installers. We never push a client towards any installer.

Questions from clients will always be answered objectively according to our information, knowledge and research.

2. Confidentiality

Solar Choice will never disclose an installer’s identity, product, price or any other details to another installer. All indicative pricing, questions, answers, formal offers and other information pursuant to the tender will be treated as commercial in confidence. Non Disclosure Agreements will be utilised as necessary, and information purveyed only within the triangle of client, installer and Solar Choice.

This confidentiality is of paramount importance not just for protecting an installer’s intellectual property, but for giving clients the reassurance that there will not be any collusion between installers or cutting corners.

For the above reasons, Solar Choice has a policy of not disclosing to installers any identifying details of other installers in the Solar Choice network.

3. Informative

Solar Choice Commercial makes it our business to immerse ourselves in the detail of each project, to impart our renewable energy expertise and share our extensive knowledge of Australia’s solar energy industry.

Our Commercial Tenders Manager may from time to time further engage at Solar Choice’s expense independent engineers to assist where necessary on technical details.

Solar Choice also regularly visits and interview installers in our network on their commercial capacity, experience, internal systems, supply channels, lead times and other matters relevant to a client’s selection process.

4. Level playing field and transparency on Solar Choice fees

Installers have the assurance of knowing that Solar Choice’s management fees are the same for all installers selected to be on the shortlist for the tender.

Importantly our fees do not inflate the price to the client. As brokers we seek to facilitate a significantly better deal than could be obtained by clients going direct to installers.

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Client’s Obligations

1. Confidentiality

The client is to ensure that at no time during the tender process, or even after the job has been awarded, do they disclose to any other person other than those involved in internal decision making process, the identity, price, product or any other details or information provided by a competing installer.

This applies equally to all stages of tender, in particular for indicative pricing stage and the formal offers.

Complete client confidentiality allows installers to have confidence that their intellectual property, competitive edge and best offers aren’t being played off with competing installers.

Non Disclosure Agreements will be furnished as required.

2. Debriefing for unsuccessful installers

Without disclosing the confidential information referred to above, Solar Choice requests that clients also take time after the job has been awarded to work with Solar Choice in providing a shortlist of reasons to debrief unsuccessful installers. This feedback allows installers that invested time and resources into preparing their offers to learn how they may improve their participation in future tenders, and provides a helpfully informative and non-dismissive closure to the tender process.

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Installer’s Obligations

1. Respect clients’ requests to hold no direct contact

Solar Choice will advise installers if and when the client elects to open direct communication with them.

Until that point, all installers should respect the client’s desire to proceed at arm’s length with all communication channelled via Solar Choice.

2. No requests for competitors’ information

Installers should not seek nor in any way press clients for information on a competing installer’s product, price or any other information.

This obligation persists for both the tender process an after the job has been awarded.

Plainly no installer wishes to have their intellectual property and best offer used to create a bidding war, and to provide unfair advantage to a competitor.

Non Disclosure Agreements will be furnished as required.

3. Adhere to deadlines and time table

In order to provide a level playing field for all installers, it will only be in very rare and exceptional circumstances will Solar Choice Commercial allow extra time beyond deadlines for indicative pricing, questions or formal offers to be delivered by installers.

The time table for each phase of the tender process will allow sufficient and reasonable time for installers to prepare and furnish their information.

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The Tender Timetable – 4 Phases

The following is a breakdown of the four phases generally involved in a standard tender managed by Solar Choice Commercial. There is often substantial variance between the needs of different clients and projects, and so the following serves as a general guide only.

Phase 1 – Initial Preparations

(a) Initial briefing

Objectives of the client are outlined and initial feasibility is established through consultation with Solar Choice Commercial. An online register for project is generated, including storage of relevant documentation (Non-Disclosure Agreements, Load Profiles etc), scale of project (kW or MW) and form of solution package (photovoltaic, solar thermal, solar air-conditioning, solar hot water hybrid systems etc).

Appropriate shortlist of 5-7 installers in the Solar Choice network that have proven capacity of undertaking the project are contacted by our Commercial Tenders Manager, and briefed with essential job details.

Installers use login and password to view the project details in their respective Solar Choice online job registers.

(b) Indicative Pricing from 2 to 3 installers – if required, within 7 days

Indicative pricing can either be provided by Solar Choice directly from our experience or – for non standard projects – through a shortlist of two to three installers providing non-binding pricing sufficient to the client to be informed of an accurate “ball park” of what funds are required for the project to proceed.

(c) Funding formally approved by client

Solar Choice informs all competing installers that tender is proceeding to the next phase.

Phase 2 – Project Refinement

(a) Questions from Installers to Client – within a further 10 days

(b) Answers from Client – within a further 10 days

(c) Final Questions– if required, within a further 4 days

(d) Final Answers – if required, within a further 4 days

Phase 3 – Formal Offers

Formal and final binding offers provided by installers – within a further 10 days

Phase 4 – Decision making and debriefing

(a) In depth analysis of possible solution portfolios between client and Solar Choice Commercial. Decision on most appropriate option is made

(b) Successful installer informed

(c) Debrief and feedback from client and Solar Choice to unsuccessful installers – within a further 10 days

(d) Solar Choice remains in facilitator role – ongoing

Solar Choice Commercial stays with the client to facilitate communication with the successful installer and act as a third party advocate where necessary up to and after installation.

Contact the Solar Choice Commercial Tenders Management Team

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