Construction Bidding Software: Four Real-life Examples of Added-Efficiency

Construction bidding software allows organizations to introduce new efficiencies in a number of areas.

Of course, every team has different needs. Some encounter issues with late bids due to inclement weather, while others find themselves routinely bogged down by bid tabulation and reporting tasks. Regardless of need, these teams have found ways to add time and subtract stress from their jobs by embracing construction bidding software. Here’s how they went about evolving their construction bidding process:

A Michigan city eliminates hours of manual data entry

The City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was motivated to pursue construction bidding software for a wide range of reasons. Their downtown location often led to rushing contractors and late bids. Their addendums, sent via email, were often missed or ignored. And the paper - oh, the paper. The city found itself wasting heaps of printed plans on every project they post. But perhaps above all was the vast quantity of time the staff would spend on manual data entry.

Ema Ludge, Engineering Office Specialist, noted that bid tabs could take up to 5 hours thanks to the need to double-check figures or make out illegible handwriting. Thanks to the city’s adoption of construction bidding software, manual data entry is completely eliminated from the team’s duties. Said Ludge:

“Since we’ve adopted [construction bidding software], the longest a bid tab has ever taken me is maybe two or three hours, compared to four or five before, and it’s never an issue of putting in the numbers. Inputting numbers is the quickest part of what I do now.”

Ohio DOT pursues statewide standardization on bid forms

The construction team at the Ohio Department of Transportation is intimately familiar with the benefits of construction bidding software, as they’ve been posting and accepting electronic bids for years. Several years ago, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOT adopted a new goal: introduce the benefits of construction bidding software statewide to all the Local Public Agencies (LPAs) that the organization works with year-round.

By mandating use of the same construction bidding software statewide, the transportation agency simplifies the process of bidding with the DOT. Bid forms and items are standardized in the software to meet Ohio’s requirements, making it easy to transfer data between local and state systems. Tina Collins, an IT consultant for the state, weighed in on how this requirement improved processes for both the agency and its vendors:

“From our department’s perspective, it gives us data we don’t currently have. There are a lot of things we can build on by having that information digitally. [Contractors] have standard templates that they can use right out of the gate, so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Their requirements are built into these templates.”

A West Virginia city cuts down on bid prep and paper waste

When Purchasing Director Kim Bailey started her new role at the City of Huntington several years ago, she found an office filled with 11 filing cabinets full of old bids. She also found that preparing a complex bid would take a minimum of four hours, every time. To an experienced bidding vet, these facts were equally unacceptable. The city began vetting construction bidding software to cut down on paper and expedite bid set-up.

Tracking these activities before and after the adoption of construction bidding software revealed a 90% reduction in bid prep time and, more cheekily, an 80% reduction in filing cabinets. For Bailey, she’s happy to accept the few remaining filing cabinets in exchange for the vast time savings she experiences:

“Probably about 60% of the bids I’ve done, I’ve templated somehow. Ammunition, road slips, retaining walls, all of those I’ve templated. My bids take me 15 minutes max.”

A small island village overcomes its geographic restrictions

The small island village of Put-In-Bay township encountered many of the same challenges other organizations do with traditional paper-based bidding. However, their unique geographic location in the middle of Lake Erie added another wrinkle to the process; the meeting of bid deadlines was often dependent on the arrival time of the mail ferry. Rosann Kaiser, the township’s secretary, often found herself rushing down to the dock to meet the ferry and get bid packets in on time. Adoption of construction bidding software means Kaiser can take a break from the mad dashes to the ferry:

“The ferry delivery was very stressful for me because I take it very seriously that everyone needs to have their bids in there on time. So [construction bidding software] has been great.”

Exploring Bid Express for secure online bidding

If any of these stories sound familiar, it’s likely you’ve encountered your own issues with paper or spreadsheet-based bidding. To overcome these issues, the teams we profiled used Bid Express, Infotech’s cloud-based construction bidding software platform.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Bid Express may work for your team, explore more here.