A medley of snail mail, email, and Excel sheets have typically been the choice for those running a ‘pen & paper’ process. This recipe is one that guarantees countless hours lost 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). And now the Amazon is burning… There’s absolutely no reason we should be printing and shipping thousands of sheets in a digital age.
Time saving, money shaving, and fulfilling an *obligation to the Earth* are all great. But the impact of a 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 an old school process can be. Especially when you’re soliciting bids for multiple projects to a multitude of vendors each needing multiple packages, simultaneously.
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. Tedious hiccups like this are inevitable with a manual bidding process.
With a software to manage your construction bids, all of your bidding documents will all be in one central location. There’s no printing, no shipping, and your vendors will have access to them from anywhere.
When you create your bid packages in the software, you upload all of your required docs 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 in sometimes less than an hour. The transfer of information for all parties is instant. No paper wasted and no shipping paid.
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 myriad of vendors you’ll be working with. Vendors typically have their own nomenclature that works for their team.
When bidding out projects on a manual process, you’re going to have to translate all of this to YOUR team’s standard format. We know some teams create standard Excel templates that help with this. Even then, someone needs to hunt down each of these in their email and take the time to copy and past everything in a central doc. You’ve probably even had vendors add their own line items to a sheet…
Your bidding software will take care of all this nonsense for you. Vendors will have one portal where all they need to do is plug in the values and upload the corresponding files. The schedule of values they see is pulled directly from the project budget with 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 a 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 RFI’s and final bid submissions. If they’re taking their sweet time, they aren’t getting your business.
Complete Bid Transparency
In your admin panel you’ll be able to see all interactions with the bids. The system will show you exactly who’s interested (or not), viewed the documents, downloaded the package, or submitted their proposal. This is particularly important early in the bidding process so you know if you need to invite more bidders or not.
As well, rather than having to answer each RFI one by one again and again, they’ll all be in one location. Vendors will be able to post anonymous RFI’s for everyone to see- just like an FAQ. Every component of project bidding is in the software for quick and easy access.
Automated Bid Leveling
Everything we’ve talked about to this point is fine and dandy, but now we have to put the cherry on top. Once everyone’s gone through the usual rigmarole and has submitted their proposals, the system will level the bids in one click. You’ll see every detailed proposal side-by-side, apples-to-apples.
At a glance you’ll be able to immediately 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. The bid management software does all the heavy lifting for you.
Once you’ve mulled over all 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. On top of that, a notification will get sent out to the winning bidder. From there, it’s time to get to work!