This year, we’re celebrating a major milestone for our Bid Express service. Many companies don’t last 20 years, let alone software platforms. Though we’ve improved and evolved Bid Express over the past two decades, the core notion of online bidding is the same as it was when we introduced it to the highway construction community 20 years ago. As we don our party caps to celebrate the service that’s become a core part of our business, let’s look back at where Bid Express got started and how it grew into what it is today - the standard for bid submission to DOTs nationwide.
In order to understand how Bid Express came to be, we need to go a little further back than 1999, to the days when Infotech was just getting started.
1981 - Dr. Tom Rothrock Officially Joins Infotech + the Florida DOT Case
In the early days of Infotech, Jim and Tom we’re building a name for themselves by providing testimony and statistical support to bid rigging and collusion cases. One such case concerning highway construction in Florida would lay the groundwork for much of Infotech’s work in identifying collusive behavior - for the Software and Consulting businesses alike. Shortly after this case, Tom officially joined Infotech as he and Jim began to see the potential for software in their work.
1982 - The First Iteration of BAMS/DSS is Developed
After seeing the potential for computerized analysis, Infotech develops the first iteration of BAMS/DSS for Kansas DOT as a software platform with an integrated historical database for preconstruction and construction activities. Impressed by the platform’s ability to foil bid riggers, other states begin to license the software. This is Infotech’s first successful foray into software development involving bidding.
1992 - The Development of EBS
Time jump! A lot happened in the previous ten years, but not much in the way of bidding growth. Then, in 1992, Infotech develops an electronic bid preparation system (EBS) for highway construction contracts. EBS formed the basis of what is now known as AASHTOWare Project Bids™ - the nationwide standard for over 40 state transportation agencies.
1996 - An Early Form of Bid Express Goes Live
In collaboration with Wisconsin DOT, Infotech develops Bid Express® as an online hub for advertising construction bids - which is the first time anyone posted lettings online. Though this isn’t Bid Express in its final form, it laid the groundwork for adding submission capabilities to promote widespread adoption in 1999.
1999 - Bid Express is Born!
The Euro. Gameboy Color. Napster. Spongebob. 1999 was a big year for debuts, but to us, none is bigger than the launch of Bid Express. In collaboration with the Georgia DOT, Bid Express was launched with internet bid submission capabilities for the first time - effectively introducing online bidding to the highway construction community.
2005 - Bid Express Hits Big
Six years after launch, it becomes clear that Bid Express is a resounding success, now serving more than 50 agencies. The success of Bid Express enables Infotech to put more resources into developing other platforms like Appia®.
2010 - Bid Express: The Sequel
Not wanting to leave out non-DOT markets, Infotech launches a secondary version of Bid Express for vertical construction and general procurement as part of the growing ITI Products line. While we may question the naming decision, there’s no questioning the success of the platform.
2015 - We Beat Bill Gates
Perhaps one day the Microsoft founder will be a trillionaire, but Bid Express beat him there. Bid Express celebrates over $1 trillion in bids processed without a single bid lost.
2019 - Bid Express Turns 20
You are —> here. Today, the Bid Express service is used by 43 state agencies and has processed over $1.4 trillion in bids without a single bid lost. Not one stage agency has ever stopped using our software.
We hope you enjoyed this retrospective on Bid Express. It’s a testament to the skill of our developers, customer support, and leadership that we’ve experienced this level of longevity. Here’s to 20+ more years of providing secure online bidding as we continue to evolve and improve our products.