A Grading System-based Model for Detecting Unbalanced Bids during the Tendering Process
Unbalanced bidding is a common practice used in both unit price and lump sum contracts. Contractors may unbalance their bids in different forms for various reasons. The studies in the literature either focus on developing optimization models that assist contractors in winning contracts and maximizing profits of their bids through unbalancing or developing models that assist owners in detecting and/or preventing unbalanced bids during the bid evaluation stage. Unbalanced bidding is one of the most controversial subjects in the construction management literature and practice. Although there is no consensus on whether it is unethical or not, this practice is not usually for the benefit of owners. Therefore, owners have the right to reject the unbalanced bids and create a fair competition environment if they have a mechanism to detect it during the bid evaluation process. The main objective of this study is to propose a model, which consists of five different grading systems and helps owners in detecting unbalanced bids during the tendering process. In the proposed model, owners may either calculate the individual grades of each bidder or calculate the final score of each bidder by assigning different weights to these grading systems according to the project characteristics or their own needs. The final scores and bid prices of the contractors can be simultaneously evaluated. In order to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed model, an illustrative example is presented. It can be concluded that the proposed model can be effectively and easily used by owners for detecting unbalanced bids. This paper is the revised version of the paper that has been published in the proceedings of the Creative Construction Conference 2018 (Polat et al., 2018).