When to choose a Joint Venture, Consortium or Sub-contracting

Many people ask us: how do you decide between using a Joint Venture, a Consortium or Sub-contractor in responding to a tender?

In choosing which business type to use (Joint Venture, Consortium or Sub-contracting) in responding to a bid depends on how many partners (if any) is needed to comply with the specific bid specifications.

The best option is to respond to a bid on your own. This is not always possible. There are many reasons, i.e. Sub-contracting criteria (30% Regulations), minimum B-BBEE levels, minimum Financial requirements, and the most common reason – Purchasing Authorities that combine goods and/or services that they think is one supply or product. Some bids specify that only Consortia may respond due to the complexity of the contract. All these factors will play a role in deciding which business type/tender vehicle bidders will use in responding to a specific bid.

Joint Ventures and Consortia are partnerships that is established to execute a tender. Both type of partnerships has their advantages and dis-advantages.

The next question is: how many partners in Joint Venture or consortium? The general guideline is that Joint Ventures do not have more than 3 partners. Any number of partners above three will be better suited by forming a Consortium.

Sub-contracting is always a better option in complying with bid specifications than restricting yourself to one or more Joint Venture/Consortium partner/s. With sub-contracting the main contractor stays in control of the contract execution. It is easier to replace a sub-contractor than getting rid of a partner.

In some cases, bidders will find it necessary to establish a Joint Venture/Consortium and sub-contract a portion of the contract.

The answer to the question: When to choose a Joint Venture, Consortium or Sub-contracting will thus depend on all these factors mentioned above. Read the bid specifications carefully and make an informed decision in choosing partners and/or sub-contractors.

 

Werner van Rooyen

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