General contractors find work in several ways: open bidding, negotiated contracts, submitting proposals, design-build contracts, etc. Regardless of the solicitation method, they all have one thing in common, the general contractor will need to subcontract out some, or all, of the work to trade contractors and other vendors.
Bid management is a time-consuming process. From prequalifying subcontractors to creating Invitations to Bid (ITBs) to providing each invited bidder has the information, plans, and specifications needed and ensuring adequate bid coverage, bid management can eat up a ton of time. Not to mention all the follow-ups calls, emails, and addenda between you and your subs throughout the entire process.
Keeping track of all the information flowing back and forth with all parties is about as easy as herding cats. This is why general contractors who use a bid management software can not only bring order out of chaos, but they also can get a leg up on their competition and come out the victor on bid day.
Here’s a look at some of the benefits of using bid management software.
Streamline Your Bid Process
Creating and sending ITBs is tedious work. After you identify all the trades you’ll need, you have to identify which subs work in the project area and are capable of doing the work. Email and the ability to host or share plans electronically has been a vast improvement over fax machines and shipping out plans or relying on plan rooms and reprographers for subs to access plans.
With bid management software, general contractors can quickly identify who they want to invite to bid, create ITBs, and share plans and specs with all their invited subs all at once is a huge time saver. Providing online access to each project’s plans and specs
The better the communication is on a project, the better the ability to effectively collaborate. Historically, construction projects have been a disjointed mess with the various, disparate trades working independently from each other. The need for stronger collaboration in construction, even during the preconstruction phases, is due to tighter schedules and budgets along with the increasing complexity of projects.
With bid management software, general contractors can easily share information and addenda with all their bidders. Some bid management software allows general contractors to track which documents and files they’ve accessed and viewed, allowing them the ability to reach out and review plans and specs together with their subs to ensure a better understanding of the project and what is expected from each sub.
Ensure Bid Coverage
With bid management software, general contractors can easily track how many bids they have received for each trade and which subs have responded to their ITBs. In addition to being able to access their private network of subs, most bid management solution provides access to a larger network of trade contractors and vendors.
This allows general contractors to reach out to trade contractors who they might not be familiar with to invite to bid on their projects. Not only can this help to ensure proper bid coverage on a project, but it also will general contractors to build relationships and grow their network for future projects.
Keeping on top of everything is critical to effective bid management. Being able to store and access all of your project data and documentation from a central location makes it easy to keep all of your bids organized. Being able to create notes for each sub, track responses, and generate call logs allows you to quickly keep track of all communications.
With bid management software, general contractors can keep all of their subcontractor contact info up-to-date and easily filter through information and contact lists to find what they need when they need it.
Making informed decisions is critical when it comes to selecting which subcontractors to work with. To mitigate the risks of safety issues, schedule delays, and subcontractor default, general contractors should always vet and prequalify trade contractors before inviting them to bid on projects.
Most bid management tools allow general contractors to prequalify trade contractors using customized forms or industry-standard ConsensusDocs preconstruction forms. General contractors can then assess the risk factors of each individual trade contractor based on their safety records, financials, bonding capacities, current workload, past work experience, etc.
Ready to see for yourself the benefits of bid management software and how to simplify preconstruction? Regardless of your needs, ConstructConnect has a solution.