Construction bidding software: get headache free estimates

Drive-thru:

  • Traditional methods of bidding jobs aren’t always expedient.
  • Construction bidding software can make bidding easier and faster.
  • Improve bidding and win more bids with digital bidding systems.

Are you still bidding the “old-school” way with paper, pencil and a calculator? If so, chances are you get a massive headache each time you have to manually determine how much a job will cost. Thanks to technological advances, there is a better way. Use construction bidding software and save the problem-solving for the job site.

“Traditional bidding methods involve manually calculating square footage, linear footage, sheets or whatever your common denominator of material is,” says Brian McHugh, owner of McHugh Construction. “Then, you need to calculate cost and markup and add labor and overhead to reach a certain profit margin.”

For McHugh construction, company growth made it necessary to augment various practices and processes, including bidding.

“You also need to make copies of the bids, which often come out in a format that isn’t easy to understand, unless you’re a contractor,” says McHugh, whose company has been in business in Colorado since 1988.

Construction bidding software

Up until approximately a year ago, McHugh did bidding the old-school way. Then his company began turning a substantial profit. He soon realized that his former way of bidding was no longer working for him. Company growth made it necessary to augment various practices and processes, including bidding.

“We switched to a cloud/Internet-based bidding system. The software stores all of our costs, overhead, and formatting used for certain projects and produces a nicely formatted bid to present to customers,” says McHugh. “If clients want certain options broken out, changed, or modified, it’s now a much easier process than re-doing everything manually.”
'The only real downside to a bidding software system is if the information you put in is inaccurate,' says McHugh. Click To Tweet

Benefits of using bid management software

Construction bidding software can help your company automate this critical, bread-and-butter procedure—which, ideally, will streamline your bidding process and produce more accurate bids. Here are several good reasons to switch to virtual bidding.

  • Win more bids. A more thorough, accurate bidding practice is bound to result in winning more work. Construction cost estimating software does the tedious job of reading blueprints and syncing with online databases to consider and include labor and material costs. The software does the calculations much more quickly and accurately than you can. This saves time, which you can use to make more bids, which means more business.
  • Allows for scaling. If you’re juggling multiple jobs and bids at once, and you want to continue to grow, construction bidding software makes scaling possible. “Most small companies looking to grow MUST master cost controls and standard processes before they can grow profitably,” says McHugh.
  • Provides a virtual “paper” trail. If you’ve done your share of traditional bids, chances are you’ve searched your truck in vain at least once for a critical piece of paper that you needed to calculate a bid. A digital cloud-based system allows you to gather all of the pieces of the bid puzzle in one location, including blueprints, quotes, purchase orders, and contracts. Even better, it’s a searchable location, so nothing ever goes missing.
  • Improves future bidding. The digital paper trail allows for more efficient new bids. “The construction bidding system does a great job of keeping track of estimates for completed projects,” says McHugh. “That allows you to track important information, such as projected cost versus actual cost. This results in more accurate future estimates.”
  • Enables easier, more successful communication with clients. The software McHugh uses allows him to send electronic copies of bids to customers, after which he follows up by meeting the clients in person and reviewing the bids.

“The only real downside to a bidding software system is if the information you put in is inaccurate,” says McHugh. “Garbage in, garbage out applies. It’s critical that your data be accurate.”

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