5 Things All Construction Bidding Software Should Do
Shopping for construction bidding software? We don’t blame you.
Countless organizations have made the switch to online bidding for its time-saving, risk-protection, and efficiency benefits. Of course, countless businesses have also spent time and effort creating a wide variety of bidding platforms to choose from. Like with any significant purchase, the options can be overwhelming. But don’t worry - in this article, we’ll outline five key things to put on your checklist when you’re evaluating construction bidding software. If your preferred construction bidding software does these five things, you’ll be in good shape after implementation.
1. Enable Secure, Encrypted Online Bid Submission
Believe it or not, there are some construction bidding software platforms that are entirely focused on the bid preparation and estimation process, but don’t actually allow you to post your projects for bid! First and foremost, your construction bidding software should also be a marketplace for interested vendors to find work, so you’re not taking extra steps instead of streamlining.
Security is also essential, as vendors won’t trust construction bidding software if they don’t believe their bids are encrypted and processed fairly. Ensure the bidding platforms you explore offer end-to-end encryption, digital signature verification, timed lockboxes, and other features that help guarantee secure, authentic bid submission.
2. Checks Bid Submissions for Errors and Omissions
One of the most frustrating occurrences for agencies and vendors alike is when a low bid gets rejected due to a minor error or omission. Unfortunately, lengthy bid packets and last-minute updates make those errors all too likely. The first step to minimizing discarded bids is implementing a system to thoroughly check for errors and omissions before submission.
Many online platforms will do this automatically when the letting is set up using a form builder. Though implementing a system like this may incur costs to the agency, the return on investment is evident in the reduction of both discarded bids and the probability of a bid protest from the vendors.
3. Offers a Notification System for Addendums & Opportunities
Having a notification system in place to alert vendors of addendums and changes is essential to eliminating discarded low bids. Vendors are required to acknowledge addendums in order to be responsive and considered for award. In the paper world, this is incredibly difficult to track, especially when it involves physically mailing an updated bid packet to vendors. Online notification logs help agencies track vendor communications and ensure vendors understand the scope of work and updates in real-time.
Additionally, a notification system can help increase the quantity and quality of bids your agency receives. Certain construction bidding software can alert vendors of relevant work opportunities so they never miss out on one of your projects.
4. Automatically Processes Bid Tabulation Data
Construction bidding software that includes features like notifications and omission alerts usually boast some type of form building tool. Forms allow agencies to structure the information they’re receiving in a way that allows for easy analysis after the letting closes. Many platforms will quickly tabulate everything from item cost to labor estimations to give agencies a snapshot view when reviewing bids.
This analysis helps agencies and their consultants identify unbalanced bids and areas of work with a high risk for change order; valuable information to have before beginning construction. Doing this manually leads to errors, and can result in agencies overpaying or underpaying for work - which snowballs into a host of other issues.
5. Allows Agencies to Template Bids for Expedited Set-Up
At several points, we’ve referenced forms and the associated benefits for post-letting analysis and error/omission avoidance. However, perhaps the most beneficial aspect of bid forms is also the most simple: they save vast amounts of time! If your organization bids out similar projects, most construction bidding software will allow you to template those projects and clone them for future use. This functionality can be especially useful for complex bids that involve federal funding and ample bureaucracy.
Secure online bidding can have a massive positive impact on your organization’s bottom line. We should know - we created the first online bidding platform for the highway construction industry over 20 years ago. To learn more about construction bidding software that may work for your team, explore Bid Express.