How to Improve Your Business with Construction Bidding Software
September 06, 2021
Your bid helps set the tone for each project you’ve been awarded. But it’s not just about one project. Your bids, taken together, set the overall tone for your business as a contractor of choice.
So how do you improve your odds of winning bids in such a competitive capital project market? Construction companies like yours are turning to technology — specifically construction bidding software — to assemble bids with a high level of accuracy that meet even the most demanding submission timelines.
Increase your project win rate with improved bid accuracy
Those capital projects you’re bidding on have become progressively more complex. The level of detail and precision that go into your bids are vital to demonstrating not only your ability to meet job requirements, but also the project’s cost feasibility. Clients are understandably cautious about encountering cost overruns resulting from bids that missed the mark.
Accuracy is necessary to win bids — and repeat business. Your best bet is using a bottom-up estimating approach, which is ideal for capital projects and other substantial builds that are expected to account for every dollar spent. This is where the details matter.
It all starts with the quantity takeoff. This has typically involved days, weeks and even months buried in counting, calculating and updating the details of every component that will go into the build. Nowadays, you don’t have to be a math whiz or even adept at working with Microsoft Excel® spreadsheets to do this. Instead, construction bidding software is becoming the tool of choice, taking over the time-consuming, complicated process of calculating the thousands of takeoff quantities that feed into your estimate — particularly when this capability is already integrated within the software.
Beyond the takeoff? Further details for the bid can be pulled by reaching out directly to suppliers and subcontractors for their current rates — or from industry averages downloaded and modified to reflect local rates. If you’ve worked on similar projects in the past, make that real-world data you’ve accumulated work for you here by importing it from the relevant portions of those builds that will be replicated in the project you’re bidding on.
Once these facts are gathered, the construction bidding software houses it all in one database, performing real-time, error-free cost calculations. As things evolve and new details are added during this early stage, these digitally created bids can be updated and adjusted instantaneously, so accuracy is still maintained throughout the bid assembly process. The result is more precise bids that reflect a more realistic view of what it will actually take to complete the work.
With accuracy comes more upfront cost certainty, which can mean less likelihood of the ubiquitous cost overruns that have plagued large-scale construction projects. In turn, that can boost not only the level of confidence clients have in your ability to complete the projects according to their expectations, but also your odds of winning the bids.
Improve ROI for your projects and your business
The bidding process can seem like a delicate balance between art and science. On the one hand, you don’t want your bid to be met with wide eyes at its perceived high price tag. On the other, you don’t want to leave fair, hard-earned profit out of your reach.
Construction bidding software helps you navigate that fine line. How? We all know how easy it is to unintentionally leave out the things we can’t “see.” There are the actual costs for everything from office trailer rent to hand sanitizing stations, one-time or infrequent expenditures for insurances or building permits, and necessary yet unpredictable expenses for maintaining and servicing heavy equipment and tools that can add up for longer-term builds. The software makes sure you’re not overlooking costs like these that can put a noticeable dent in your ROI across your projects.
Once those expenses are itemized, now you can use the software to test and analyze different margins to hit that sweet spot of being both competitive enough to win the bid yet profitable enough to ensure continued growth with the least risk to your bottom line.
Streamline and standardize the complex, time-consuming bidding process
How many of your projects have been exactly alike? Likely very few. Each capital project bid comes with its own unique set of requirements that must be estimated, contributing to an already lengthy process and adding to the pressure of meeting looming bid deadlines. With construction bidding software, there’s no need to start from scratch every time.
Like we mentioned above, you can leverage historical data and modifiable rate libraries. Now combine these with cost item assemblies (your own or from an outside database) and built-in templates (estimate reports and bid packages, for example). The result is a simpler and faster bidding workflow from start to submission. Of course, there will be variations among projects, so for each individual project you can simply adjust any necessary numbers which are then automatically reflected across the developing bid. From there the software recalculates everything for you, removing the human error factor.
But what about the human error factor behind the workflow? When multiple people are contributing to the bid development, as there likely are for substantial projects, you’ll want to make sure there are no hold ups that threaten its timely completion. If your construction bidding software includes notification capability, use it to alert contributors when their action items are due to keep the pace moving. Again, saving time during this bid process with a streamlined workflow ensures you meet bid deadlines with no problem.
With a more uniform, manageable process that consumes less of your time and resources, you’re freed up to bid on more projects, further enhancing your chances of securing new capital project contracts.
Exploring options for construction bidding software? Look for a solution that benefits your business and the kinds of capital projects you bid on. InEight’s Estimate is one such option that delivers the accuracy and thoroughness your capital project bids require, which can reinforce the confidence and competitiveness of your bid for both you and your clients. Check it out by scheduling a InEight Software demo today.