By: Kendall Jones on October 14th, 2020
6 Benefits of Using a Digital Bid Board
Whether your construction company has one estimator or a team of estimators, easily and efficiently managing your bid pipeline is key to identifying the right opportunities to bid and winning more contracts to build a healthy backlog to grow or maintain your business.
Most contractors and estimators already have a system in place to manage and track their Invitations to Bid (ITBs) and sourced bid opportunities using Excel spreadsheets, whiteboards, and email calendars. These solutions are better than nothing, but they can lead to duplicate work by your estimating team, missing bid dates, and working from obsolete and outdated information and project documents.
Even if you are using a cloud-based, collaborative tool to track and manage your bids, you’re still wasting hours each week on manual data entry and missing out on the features that an online bid board provides to your bid coordinators and estimators.
Let’s look at some of the benefits your estimating team will reap from using a purpose-built digital bid board to track and manage your bid pipeline.
All Your Bids and Documents in One Place
If you’re using a whiteboard or spreadsheet to manage your bidding opportunities, you’re constantly having to refer to your email for updates and addenda as well as tracking down your plan sets, specifications, and project documents when working on your takeoffs, estimates, and bids. Even if you’re all digital, you’re probably having to toggle between multiple software applications to access all the info you need, and that’s just on one bid.
With an online bid board, you can access all your documents, addenda, notes, upcoming events and bid dates one place. By having all your info centrally located you never run the risk of missing a bid date change or an important addendum that would impact your bid. This also makes it easier for another estimator on your team to get up to speed and help out on other projects.
Better Collaboration on Bids
Being able to effectively collaborate and work with your entire team is more important now than ever before. Using a digital bid board allows your estimating team to easily conduct remote meeting and work together in real time.
Bid coordinators can quickly assign estimators of new opportunities and notify them of upcoming tasks and bid dates. Team members can share bid notes and deadlines with everyone securely connected to the same up-to-date information, including auto-formatted document storage.
This makes reviewing and deciding which bid opportunities your team pursues easier and allows for stronger collaboration when putting together your bids.
Eliminate Hours of Manual Entry
If you’re using spreadsheets or whiteboards to manage your bid pipeline, then you’re probably wasting countless hours each week manually entering new bids. Not to mention all the additional copying and pasting of or erasing and updating all the new information coming in on your current bids.
That’s a lot of lost time that could be put to better use focusing on putting together your estimates and bids. With the right digital bid board, you can forward all your emailed bid invites and have them automatically added to your bid board along with all your project documents automatically formatted so you can spend less time doing data entry and more time on bidding and winning projects.
Being able to instantly update general contractors of your intent to bid without having to make an extra phone call or draft and send an email is another great time-saver when using an online bid board.
Create Efficient Workflows
With a digital bid board, you can manage your bids your way. Move projects through your pipeline to get a clear picture of what’s new, what’s under review, what’s bidding, and what you’ve won. The ability to filter and sort projects allows you to create a customized and efficient workflow for how you review and bid on projects.
A good online bid board lets you view your pipeline in a way that works best for you. For some that might be a grid view like your Excel spreadsheets and for others it’s going to be a calendar view—find a digital bid board that gives you both. You also want to be able to streamline your workflow by archiving or deleting projects to cut through the clutter.
Always Have the Most Up-To-Date Info
If you’re using spreadsheets or whiteboards to manage your bid pipeline, do you ever worry that you’ve missed an important deadline or overlooked an email with new information? Chances are that by the time you update your bid board, your info is out of date or obsolete within a day or two, maybe sooner.
A digital bid boards lets you stay on top of all the new information coming in whether it’s a new addendum with updated project documents, a change in estimator or bid status, or a new bid date or pre-bid meeting date. All updates and newly added information happen in real time so you can rest easy knowing that you’re working from the most current and accurate data as you track and manage your bids.
Focus on the Right Projects to Bid
Do you know what your bid-hit ratio is? Is it a good number, or are you having to bid a ton of projects just to win one? The average bid-hit ratio for subcontractors varies for the type of project being bid. For public projects it ranges from 7 to 1 all the way up to 11 bids to 1 win. For private bids it averages as high as 6 to 1 and negotiated work up to 4 to 1.
An online bid board lets you easily see which projects you’ve passed on, which ones you’ve bid, and which ones you’ve won. This makes calculating and tracking your bid-hit ratio simple. Once you’ve established that baseline you can work on prioritizing and targeting the projects you have the best chance of winning.
Use your digital bid board to sort by building type to determine which types of projects you have the highest bid-hit ratio and focus your efforts there. For example, let’s say you have a bid-hit ratio of 8 to 1 for educational building projects but a 4 to 1 ratio on office construction. Given the choice, your best bet is to go after the office project.
With ConstructConnect’s online bid board, Bid Center, you can also set preferences for criteria including service area, trades, project value, and building use to hone in on projects that are the best fit for your business.
Ready to see the benefits of using a digital bid board for yourself? ConstructConnect Bid Center puts you in complete control of your bid pipeline and it’s absolutely free.
About Kendall Jones
Kendall Jones is the Editor in Chief at ConstructConnect. He has been writing about the construction industry for years, covering a wide range of topics from safety and technology to industry news and operating insights.