Marcel Müller, HLP Architekten AG

"With the tender platform, the entire handling of the tendering process is easier and our site managers can be relieved as the secretaries can take over some work"

In the year 2002 the architectural office HLP Architekten AG, which today employs 28 people, was created by the merger of two architectural offices. They provide their services in the areas of residential, industrial and commercial construction as well as building modernization mainly regionally in the Canton of Zurich and in neighboring cantons. Marcel Müller, one of the four business owners, has been working with the Olmero tender platform for many years and has talked to us about his experiences.

Mr. Müller, you have been working with Olmero's tender platform for over 15 years and are, so to speak, a customer from the very start. What are the advantages for you?
We appreciate the simplified processes with Olmero. It's a tool for us, an aid. The tendering process can be tracked at any time. This helps us to influence events in a timely manner. In addition, the entire handling of the tendering process is simpler and our site managers can be relieved as the secretaries can take over some work.

To what extent can you influence events in good time?
If, for example, five of the six invited entrepreneurs unsubscribe, we can select additional entrepreneurs from the applicants and invite them to submit an offer. In this way, we can guarantee the building owner that the necessary number of offers will be received without wasting much time.

What do you see as the disadvantage in an offline process?
In the past, we sent the tender documents by mail. After two weeks maybe there will be an offer or not. If we did not receive any offers, the process had to be restarted. This led to delays.

How do you make contacts with contractors on the platform?
We work a lot with our regular contractors, but it is always good to get to know new ones. We sometimes receive written inquiries from contractors, but I also like to look for regional contractors in the Olmero business directory. It is important to us to let these regional contractors offer as well.

What is the contact to the contractors like?
Since the contact with the contractors takes place online, I very much appreciate the personal contact in the bidding round. I like to do this by telephone, so you get 1:1 feedback, clarify any ambiguities and can incorporate inputs from the contractors into the negotiations. For us, the bidding round is not about price cutting, but serves to get to know the professional competence of the craftsman better. The price is of course a factor, but the quality and seriousness of the contractors is just as important to us.

How many tenders do you publish per project?
Depending on the size of the project, between 20 and 30 calls for proposals.

Which tender procedure do you use? A selective or an open one?
Selective only. We do not have the philosophy that 50 contractors should calculate our tenders. We invite the contractors known to us via the platform and also consider regional contractors, depending on where the project is located.

What are the advantages of using the platform for the building owner?
Thanks to the platform, we can present the building owner several offers from top craftsmen behind whom we stand. This gives him an interesting price comparison and market overview.

We are working intensively on the revision of the tender platform. What changes would you like to see?
We are happy with the current functions and enjoy working with the tender platform. Since the tendering process will probably not change as quickly in the future, we would not have any change requests at the moment. However, the design could be relaunched. 

About Marcel Müller
Marcel Müller completed his studies as an architect HTL at TWI in 1993 and four years later, together with M. Lanz and T. Meier, he took over H.R. Lanz's architectural office.  After several years of cooperation with the architectural office Peter Hänni+Partner, the two companies were merged. This resulted in the company HLP-Architekten AG in Effretikon, known under today's name. In addition to his position as company owner, Marcel Müller is also a lecturer at the ZHAW (Construction Realization) and GBW Wetzikon (Site Manager Training, Construction Costs).

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