Construction bidding is a great act of orchestration on any project complete with a broad range of complexities and activities that happen before breaking ground. Whether you’re a subcontractor trying to win more work or a general contractor looking for the right team to execute your project, keeping all the balls in the air throughout the bidding process is an immense effort of collaboration. Thankfully, construction bidding software has been helping contractors streamline the process and improve efficiency in recent years.
But with so many solutions available today, how do you choose the best solution for your teams and projects? Read on to learn why construction bidding software matters, how it works, and how you can implement the right solutions for your company.
What we cover:
Construction bidding technology enables teams to manage and automate various aspects of the bidding process. On a basic level, bidding tools will typically help teams perform tasks like creating, tracking, and managing bids from one place. Beyond that, certain solutions may also include advanced capabilities to discover and find qualified subcontractors as well as solicit bids.
Bidding software is used by both general contractors and subcontractors but in different ways. Think of them as two sides of the same coin:
Alternative to manual spreadsheets and bidding processes that waste time, increase risk of mistakes, and ultimately open teams to risk, the right construction bidding software can improve efficiency and accuracy across the bidding process.
As mentioned above, construction bidding software works differently for GCs and subcontractors, but it’s a virtuous cycle. When both are using it well, the other’s job becomes easier.
General contractors use construction bidding software to create custom templates for proposals, send invitations out to specific contractors, and collect bids for that project. Different software solutions accomplish this in different ways.
For instance, certain ones will help you find qualified subs, which mitigates your risk upfront, with qualification capabilities. Other top bidding technology solutions allow you to compare bids side-by-side, access historical bid data to provide better estimates, and communicate easily between all stakeholders.
As a subcontractor, bidding software lets you see all of your bid invites in one place, preventing redundant work and reducing missed bids that end up languishing in your inbox. It also allows you to increase transparency, so you can keep your team on the same page, manage workloads, and facilitate collaboration.
Top construction bidding software will also include robust reports and analytics so you can see which GCs you’ve won the most work with and prioritize the projects you want to bid on. The fact that bidding software facilitates communication and collaboration between project stakeholders also works in favor of subs, who have an easier time getting access to decision-makers.
The right software for you will depend on several characteristics.
These include the size of your business, your specific business needs, and the size and complexity of your projects. They also include your product features and capabilities, the ease of implementation, compatibility with existing tools, and cost versus value.
Head spinning already? Here are some key features to look for:
The right centralized bid management solutions are cloud-based, so they’re accessible anywhere and update automatically to share the latest information with anyone who needs it. Technology like this alleviates the problems caused by manual spreadsheets and helps subcontractors win more business.
Plus, a cloud-based centralized solution offers a single source of truth. It’s where all the bids come in and where subcontractors get a bird’s-eye-view of the entire bid process.
Additionally, cloud-based systems allow for constant access to bid management. You can assess bids in real time, and team members can determine and filter where bids are coming from and who’s working on what.
Construction bidding software allows you to view all bid invites across your entire office or division from one place. Now you can track project files, job walks, due dates, and more. Know what needs to get done, who’s responsible for it, and when it’s due at all times.
By combining your bidding and qualification processes into one seamless workflow, risk data can instantly influence estimator decision-making and optimize the way you assess costs. It can also help you identify, predict, and mitigate potential risks early on.
Good bidding software provides general contractors access to a huge network of crowdsourced construction professionals in real time. The software maintains them automatically, keeping data private and secure, yet simultaneously making it accessible from anywhere.
For instance, to date, there are more than a million construction professionals available in BuildingConnected’s Builders Network. That represents huge potential to find subs in new markets, filter for required certifications such as DEI and DBE, and choose the best ones that work with your processes and business requirements.
Advanced data provides a ton of value. For instance, it’s important for subcontractors to know which GCs always invite them and which only do sometimes. That, coupled with your win rates, can tell you exactly with whom to prioritize relationships.
On the other hand, static boards that don’t provide data analysis and trendspotting make it much harder for you to find the information you need to succeed. That impacts your team’s ability to make smart decisions now and in the future.
When you integrate bidding, estimating, qualification, and cost tools, contractors can reduce risk and make smarter decisions during the bidding process and beyond.
So, what are some of the top construction bidding technology options available today? Here are a few solutions to know:
This software, geared toward GCs, relies on the simple concept that the success of any project hinges on the expertise and professionalism of the subcontractors involved. With it, you can crowdsource construction professionals to find the ones that meet your project descriptions, possess the right qualifications, and are looking for the kind of work you’re offering.
How many projects you bid versus how many you win is a basic numbers game: you’ll have to bid a lot to get a few. But if there’s anything that drives subcontractors nuts, it’s having to find and follow up on bids. Bid Board Pro takes the guesswork and spreadsheets out of it, giving you access to new job opportunities and previously bid projects in one centralized location.
If you’re a GC, then you eventually want to build your own network of qualified subcontractors. With TradeTapp, you can do just that by tapping into a crowdsourced database of professionals that meet your needs. Through this construction software, you can vet and compare the financial health of various subcontractors and ensure you work only with the best.
Easily linking with other construction bidding software platforms such as Autodesk Construction Cloud, Dodge Data & Analytics provides an integrated solution to sharing and managing plans, project specs, and other necessary documents between GCs and subs
At the end of the day, the right software won’t make or break your company – but how well you organize your bidding process certainly could. Why wouldn’t you find the top software to streamline your daily tasks, get better bids as a general contractor or win more bids as a subcontractor, and do right by your business?
We’ve got good news for you: Autodesk can provide all the key features and benefits listed above, and then some. We’d love to tell you more about it and help you improve your bidding process. Learn more today!