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When SOLID was looking for the right platform to take its growing construction and concrete polishing division to the next level,they turned to iSqFt to connect nationwide to a network of more than 1,500 general contractors.
In 2016, SOLID, a concrete, stone, metal, and wood maintenance and restoration contractor, set out to grow its market share in each of its 19 locations throughout the U.S. Yet, it did not want to lose sight of who it was and who it serves with this ambitious goal. The customer-driven SOLID sought a platform that could tune them into bid opportunities across the U.S. but also give them the contacts and connections needed to build deep, long-lasting business relationships.
SOLID’s success has been built on providing stellar service, innovative solutions, and true craftsmanship. With more than 50% of its annual volume coming from repeat clients, the company’s work spoke for itself. As the company extended its footprint and grew its business, SOLID needed to grow its network and expand its abilities beyond traditional sales methods.
“Previously we relied on bid forms and bid lists from various municipalities and reaching out to general contractors by phone or by person if we could,” says Scott Calabritto, Technical Support Manager at SOLID. “Cold calling was a big process in the past.”
“We had the goal to expand our Construction and Concrete divisions. In order to do that, we needed access to a broader base of general contractors, not on a local level but on a regional and national level.”
To realize its business growth goals, Scott says SOLID needed to streamline the bidding process as well as find bid opportunities earlier in the process to influence the budget.
“We started researching different software and internet-based services that connected subcontractors, such as ourselves, to projects nationwide,” says Jim Crippen, Process and Operations Manager, Concrete, at SOLID. “I had heard of iSqFt’s project leads from a colleague in the industry and we checked them out.”
“iSqFt is a bidding and opportunities platform that will allow you greater access to projects and potential customers within your area of expertise that you might not find elsewhere.”
—Jim Crippen, SOLID
With iSqFt’s assistance, Scott set up AutoSearch and created a list of keywords focused on the services and products most relevant to the company. The program searches through projects details, specifications, project status, and location to find the jobs that offer the best opportunities for SOLID. These searches are saved into the team’s portfolio to find and categorize new and updated projects with minimal navigation.
“One of my favorite features of iSqFt is the keyword searches,” says Scott. “Some of these project manuals are 1,400+ pages. Keyword searches quickly gets us to the sections that qualify for us. We use them for administrative keywords, so our legal and accounting teams can review their portions as well.“
They have access to the general contractors bidding on their most relevant projects and key contacts to connect with all general contractors bidding on a construction project at once. “This gets us in on the bidding process early enough to have influence and to build relationships with those general contractors,” Scott says
They’ve been able to identify and follow up with the awarded general contractor to gain insight on why they were or were not selected and build relationships from there. Jim states, “We’ve been able to speak with general contractors who have shared information with us on why we were not successful and how we could be more successful going forward. We’ve been able to develop relationships based on these conversations.”
Their 19 locations can quickly and easily share information and project details to streamline and speed up the bidding process. Now, Scott says SOLID “can move bids along within the team with relative ease from one department to the next and get it through the entire bidding process.”
“We started with a small market sample to beta test,” Scott adds, “Over the past six months, we’ve seen how it works. With the number of bids we’ve been able to put through the pipeline, the relationships we’ve established and the successes we’ve had, we’ve decided to expand the product to our entire national network and bring iSqFt to the table for all of our locations.””
“iSqFt gives us a competitive edge. Through iSqFt, we’ve been able to interact with general contractors who we might not have had the opportunity to before. Many have shared information with us on why our bids were or were not successful, and assisted us in moving forward. That’s the type of information that we need and the types of relationships that we need to grow the organization the way we want to.”
— Jim Crippen, SOLID
“iSqFt has definitely increased our ability to respond to more individual bid opportunities as well as reach a broader base of general contractors than we would with our previous process,” says Scott.
“We’ve been able to streamline the bidding process dramatically. iSqFt gives us the ability to produce quicker, better proposals in a pipeline that has been very beneficial to SOLID’s growth,” Jim adds. “To be able to submit a large volume of proposals for concrete polishing over the last six-month period within our test market is significant and a vast improvement compared to what we were capable of doing before.”
“iSqFt also has connected SOLID with regional and national commercial and retail general contractors who work on several projects for the same owner/operator. These connections and relationships have been a great benefit to SOLID,” says Scott.
“Our investment in the iSqFt product has definitely been worth it,” sums up Jim. “Just having completed the beta testing and with the successes we’ve had at this point, I think this is an investment in our future.
“We would absolutely recommend iSqFt to anyone in the construction industry… as long as they weren’t competitors of ours.”