Construction bid management can often be the source of pain for many construction programs. Construction technology has undoubtedly been a transformational component of construction program management, yet we’re still seeing teams run their bidding process across multiple software platforms that do not communicate.
A jumble of snail mail, email, and Excel spreadsheets have typically been the tools of choice for those running a ‘pen and paper’ process. This recipe is one that guarantees countless lost hours and a myriad of unnecessary sunk costs.
That’s not to mention the environmental impact of these processes (c’mon y’all, we don’t have long to turn things around). There’s absolutely no reason we should be printing and shipping thousands of sheets of paper in a digital age.
Saving time, saving money, and fulfilling an obligation to the Earth are all great, but the impact of a construction bid management software is going to go much deeper. Take a look at these other areas where your project bidding process will improve.
100% Digital Bid Management
First off, if your team is one of those still printing out all your buyout packages and drawing sets, do yourself a favor and give us a call. Please, we can help. But more importantly, you understand what a hassle running programs on an old-school process can be. Especially when you’re soliciting bids for multiple projects to multiple vendors—each simultaneously needing multiple packages.
This is such a painstaking process as it is. But wait, you just got a call from one of your vendors. Looks like they didn’t get their drawing set. Just tack another few days on to the bid submission deadline. Repeated hiccups like this are inevitable when using a manual bidding process.
With a construction bid management software, all of your bidding documents are in one, central location. There’s no printing, no shipping, and your vendors will have access to them any time, anywhere.
When you create your bid packages in a construction bid management software, you upload all of your required documents one time. Once published, every vendor you’ve invited to bid will be able to access those docs and download them right from the virtual Bids and Plan room.
As opposed to the hours spent printing and packaging, then the days spent waiting, bidding out projects can now be done many times in less than an hour. The transfer of information for all parties is instant. No wasted paper and no shipping charges.
Apples to Apples
In construction, every team has their own rhythm when running projects. The same goes for each team along the ‘assembly line.’ It’s not any different when it comes to the numerous vendors you’ll be working with. Vendors typically have their own nomenclature that works for them.
When bidding out projects on a manual process, you’re going to have to translate all of this into YOUR team’s standard format. We know some teams create standard Excel templates that help with this, but even then, someone needs to hunt down each of these in their email and take the time to copy and paste everything in a central document. You’ve probably even had vendors add their own line items to a sheet…
Your construction bid management software will take care of all this work for you. Vendors will have one portal where all they need to do is type in the values on your form and upload their corresponding files. The schedule of values they see is pulled directly from the project budget with all of the terminology you prefer.
With all of your bidders adhering to standards your team has set, you’ll truly be able to compare apples to apples.
A large chunk of a manual construction bidding process is the waiting game. Waiting for shipping, waiting to see who’s interested, and waiting for bid submissions, and more waiting. A construction bidding software has you covered here as well.
We cut out the waiting on shipping just by having everything online. In the system you’ll set hard deadlines for things like RFIs and final bid submissions. If they’re taking their sweet time, they aren’t getting your business.
And, when you issue addenda in a construction bid management software, each vendor will be notified as soon as it’s posted. The bidding software will require them to acknowledge they’ve reviewed the bid modifications. No more excuses.
If a vendor is serious about getting your business, they’ll adhere to these deadlines. “Our proposal is in the mail” will be a thing of the past. You set your deadline. It’s clear-cut, painless, and now you’ve got one less hurdle to jump.
Complete Bid Transparency
By using a construction bid management software you’re giving your team ultimate control. From front to back, you’ll have full transparency on every project detail. Bidding will no longer be done hastily on hope and a prayer, but with full confidence.
Bid by invite only if you have a select group of vendors you prefer or make it public for maximum exposure. Either way, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at everything going on.
In your admin panel you’ll be able to see all interactions with the bids. The construction bid management software will show you exactly who’s interested (or not), viewed the documents, downloaded the package, and who’s submitted their proposal. This is particularly important early in the bidding process, so if you see you’re not getting the response expected, you know you need to invite more vendors to bid.
And, rather than having to answer each RFI one by one again and again, all will be in one location for easy access. Vendors will even be able to post anonymous RFIs for everyone to see—just like an FAQ. Every component of project bidding is right there in the software for quick and easy access.
Automated Bid Leveling
Once everyone’s gone through the process and has submitted their proposals, the construction bid management software will level the bids in one click. You’ll see every detailed proposal side by side, apples to apples.
At a glance, you’ll immediately be able to see who the lowest-cost vendor is. In the same view, you’ll get a breakdown of bids by category, company, and pair it directly against all your budget values.
Once you’ve reviewed the data and awarded the bid, you’ll be able to easily convert the winning bid into a contract. The system will automatically pull over the schedule of values to that project’s budget and notify the winning bidder. From there, it’s time to get to work!
The savings in time and cost from adopting a construction bid management software are evident. A construction bid management software streamlines the entire process, in one location, all online. And in the long run, that means less fires to put out, less stress, and a faster project launch.
The faster you can launch projects, the more projects you can run. Definitely a win-win. The owners are happy, vendors are happy, and so is the Earth.