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Inside Information

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The bidding process is known to be an irrevocable offer whereby the property is being purchased at a named price and the highest bidder is always the lucky one to win that bid. In that bidding process, it is not necessarily as the bidder to have the needed cash in your pocket but you can bid just for the sake of encouraging more bidders of which the bid will be automatically be cancelled by the higher bidder. In history, the bidding process has evolved ever. The bidding process is normally done by the auctioneers during the auctioneering of properties. The binding process comes in different types which are reverse bids/offers, regular bids, auto bids, dynamic bid times, reverse bids and buy bids.

However, contractors of most companies seem to encourage the bidding processes because of their involvements in them and the benefits they normally getn out of them. It is because of those reasons that in most scenarios, some of the large contractors in most of the organizations have adapted those ways of placing bills for materials that are of benefit to them, for example, the construction of commercial projects. If this scenario is observed careful, one will note that they have used the reverse bids/offers type. The reverse bids/offer type is whereby, an individual or an organization is allowed to place Reverse Auctions or “Wants advertisements” to acquire the needed materials from the potential suppliers or auctioneers so as to benefit from the lowest possible cost of that material.

Nevertheless, as much as this bidding process keeps on evolving over a number of years, some bidding irregularities have began to occur. This involves going against the terms, conditions, specifications and special instructions that have been laid before by the trustee during the periods of the bid request.  Some of this bid irregularities samples are such as incomplete submittals, those bids that are yet to be signed, non-required attachments or related documents, the kind of qualifications that have been offered to the bid, conditions made on the bid form, discrepancies, submitting an unauthorized forms, mishandled or late submittal of bids and the claimed mistakes.

Relevant facts in the provided scenario

Despite having those irregularities in place, one needs to note that bid irregularities are normally classified in two ways which are the major and the minor irregularities. For example, when we look at the case of the Wood Truss, the manufacturer of wooden structural parts for commercial, we note that, through their boss Mark Smith, major irregularities have been put into consideration for the company’s beneficial because in the major irregularities, the person bidding the item normally increases the amount of the auction item and this is normally done so as to avoid any bid that is likely to outbid that person incase the bid happens to be put in place.

This fact of irregularity is evident because of the way Mark Smith accesses the competitors’ information so as to determine his bid. With the information in hand which has been given to him by the inside persons of those competitors’ company and the sensing of the competition Wood Truss is likely to face, Mark Smith goes a head to instruct Tom Jones, the new salesperson of Wood Truss, to alter with the calculations he had worked on before so as to make them be under the lowest bid. These instructions are given to Tom Jones before the due date of the bid. During that period, when giving out the instructions to Jones, Mark Smith hands him two brown envelopes that contains the copies of those bids that have been requested by the main two competitors so that he can have a look at them and see how to work on them in accordance with the instructions he has given to him of which Tom obeys after being under pressure from his boss despite his objection.

Ethical issues in the scenario

When we look at the case of Smith and the Wood Truss with its irregularities, we realize that there is need for the inclusion of the criterion of integrity and business ethics. This inclusion should act as an evaluation criterion that should be applied to bidders so as to avoid such scenarios from happening again.

For instance, when we look at the case of Tom Jones, the new salespersons for Wood Truss, we can see that he respects the ethics of business. This can be proved in such a manner he tries to respect them whereby, according to him, the highest bidder should be given the first opportunity to succeed those materials required for construction purposes. It is because of that reason that Tom Jones objects the demands from his boss, Mark Smith to alter with the calculations because to him, by doing so, it will be going against the business ethics that needs to be followed by serious business men. Nevertheless, being as unethical as he always is, Mark Smith hears none of Tom Jones’ thinking. In fact he goes a head to claim that, that is the way things are done in the construction industry so that the company can benefit.  However, because of the orders that have been given by the boss, Tom Jones is forced to follow them and do something which is against his will. This allowance of the bidding process irregularities ends up posing some disadvantages over the other competitors thus defrauding them their rights to the public auction of their property at the maximum price. All the above unethical behaviors of Mark Smith are done without any kind of consultation with the members of his company.

The primary stakeholders in the scenario

When we look at the provided scenarios about the Wood Truss and the contractors, we note that the main stakeholders are the contractors and Mark Smith. Reason being that, these are the main people who have been making decisions for the company especially when it comes to those things that are meant to benefit the company.

This can be seen in the way the contractors give out their requests when bidding for the construction materials. This is normally achieved in accordance to their planned budget. For example, Strong Built, a commercial contractor gave out a bid of materials that are meant to construct a 300,000 square foot warehouse. This is done according to their budget and that is why companies such as Wood Truss are capable to do anything in their means to win the bid even if it is unethical.

Possible action alternatives

When we look at the above scenario, one cannot fail to learn that, following the bidding process in the right manner is very important and it is the key to good business ethics and benefits. The purchasing agent is at liberty to reject those bids he seems to sense some irregularities in them. For instance, for the large contractors who have been lured by the Wood Truss, they should ensure that before accepting any other bid, there is an agreements which needs to provide some surety which should be submitted with the bid itself especially when the bid request indicate that such agreement are very important and are required.

The authorized signatures and the corporate seals of both the bidder and the bonding company needs to be supplied on the bid bond forms and agreements to bond. With the above put into consideration, then it means that the likelihood of irregularities occurring during the bidding process will be a far a way gone thing. This can happen if all the concerned parties which are both the bidder and the company involved following the right ethics of business when signing up the bidding forms. By doing so, then it means, those set rules and procedures or regulations of the company have been followed to the latter.

Ethics of the Alternatives

When it comes to the ethics of alternatives, the utilitarian approach is the best and it fits Tom Jones character because the person bidding needs to have the truth in hand about the bid and that is what Jones was advocating for. Apart from that, the competitors privacy needs to be respected whereby, the inside people are not mandated to give any details about the company they are working for without the concert or knowledge of the company as it was done by the insiders of Strong Built. By doing so, it will be like working against the companies rules and regulations.

The rights approach is another alternative because all companies have the right to compete with the other companies when it comes to bidding. This creates equality among the companies thus opening ones ways of dealing with the next challenge, for instance, when we take the case of Smith, stealing ones privacy so as to benefit Wood Truss company, this might end up posing greater challenges in the near future by running out of ideas especially if the other companies realizes the trick you have been using. There is need for the boss of the company to follow the needed ethics of the business.

Justice approach is all that is needed especially when the bidder goes a head to complain on how he has been duped or even when the one auctioneering brings a complaint about the bidder. Nevertheless, most courts do prefer the lower bidder because these are the people who are likely to challenge the bid as compared to the major bid. This normally happens according to the facts and the evidence that is presented to the court and the lower bidder is in a position to challenge whatever he has taken to court. For instance, when we look at the Truss company case, Smith can be sued because of ordering ones to interfere with the price that had been calculated before by Tom Jones after getting the inside information of the other companies of which it is unethical.

Finally, the virtual Approach should be applicable to ones mind especially when making the right decision that goes hand in hand with the ethics of the business. For instance, as much as Jones decided to follow his boss’s instructions, perhaps, he did it for is own good, maybe avoiding risking his job by being fired since he was still new in the company. He knew very well whatever Smith was doing, was against the set ethics of business that needs to be followed.

Practical constraints presented in the scenario

When we look at the presented scenario, it is quite clear that it was a challenging thing for Tom Jones who undergoes some pressure to alter with the calculations he had done before to the lowest bid so as to win the contract. This becomes challenging because, Jones respects the Business ethics codes and he cannot alter them but due to the pressure from the boss, he has to do so.

Actions to be taken

Despite the entire above scenario, more issues do arise whereby, some think that Smith is right for the profitability of the company while others think Jones was right for the sake of ethics but all in all, what is needed is the justice Approach should be observed because both parties are involved. Members of the companies should also be informed before making any kind of decision. This might end up giving out a positive image of the company to both the outside world and the community at large. Following the case of Smith might be a way of jeopardizing the company.

To some extent, the rights approach can also be used for those parties involved in signing the contract because they need to be in the know how of what is happening before an agreement is met. This normally happens in terms of following the set terms, conditions and procedures. Going against like Smith, is not recommended at all.

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