contractors using estimating software on phone

5 Reasons Why General Contractors Should Use Construction Bid Software

March 17, 2021

General contractors are looking for the best subcontractors at the best prices for their projects. Finding quality subcontractors can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. However, there are tools that can help general contractors quickly and easily find the subs they need.

Construction bid software can help GCs find more subcontractors, centralize their bid communication, improve data security and access, and improve their communication with subs throughout the bidding process.

Reach more subcontractors

Finding subcontractors to bid on projects can be difficult, especially if you’re working in a new location. You don’t have relationships to rely on, and you don’t know who you can trust to get the job done. Searching the internet for subs can be frustrating since you don’t know what their work is like or if they’re even still in business.

Using bid software, you can quickly search for and find new contractors to bid on your projects. You can sort by location served and the particular scope of work or trade you’re looking for. This search capability allows you to quickly have a list of subs who could bid on your project.

Publicizing your bid opportunities through bid software also allows you to reach more subcontractors who may work in the area near the project. Listing your project will get you more bids, and your pricing will be more competitive.

Prequalify subcontractors

When searching for subs through the internet, there’s no way to know if they’re still in business or if they have the capacity to perform the work. When you search through a database of subcontractors, you know that these companies are dedicated to growing their business because they’ve invested in their company. This helps you weed out smaller companies and fly-by-night operations.

When you use bid software to search for subs, you can view a company’s profile before issuing an invitation to bid. The profile will allow you to review basic information about the company so you can ensure that they will meet the needs of your project. You can then send them an invitation to bid on the project, letting them know that you are looking for a bid from them.

Centralize your bid communication

There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving bid questions by email, phone, cell phone, and text all at the same time. You want to document as many of the questions as possible so that you can refer to the responses when you’re putting together your bid. Phone calls and texts don’t lend themselves to being documented easily. Not only that, but the volume of calls can be overwhelming.

With a bid software platform, there’s only one place you have to check for questions. Subcontractors can quickly and easily send you questions, and you can respond while creating the necessary documentation.

Communication is further centralized by keeping all your bid activity, including your bid calendar, in one centralized location. You can quickly share information with other team members and easily communicate to all subcontractors through the software. Drawings or other bid documents can be uploaded, and bidders notified immediately about the updates. This saves you the time it takes to craft individual emails or call subs to provide the new information.

Improved data security and access

Instead of storing bid documents on local servers or computers, all the project information is stored in the cloud on a hosted website. This means your team and subcontractors can easily access bid documents from any device with an internet connection. This improves your team’s ability to respond to questions, update information, and communicate with potential bidders from anywhere at any time.

When your bids are hosted online, all the data is backed up and saved on multiple servers to provide redundancy. You don’t have to worry about hacking or cybercriminals holding your data hostage and not allowing subs access to the documents.

There’s also no need to provide special hardware or software in order to access your bid documents. This lowers the barrier of entry for subcontractors and other team members. Anyone with a phone or tablet can easily access your bidding projects and download the documents to read on their device.

Improved communication with subcontractors

Estimators deal with a lot of questions during a bid. Subs contact them by phone, email, and text. Keeping all the questions and answers straight and documenting the responses can be difficult when they’re coming from different sources. And if an estimator doesn’t understand a question because they missed the email or didn’t check their voicemail, a sub can be left hanging waiting for a response.

Bid software allows GCs to communicate directly with subs from within the platform. Subs can ask questions through the software and communicate directly to the project team. The questions and answers are documented, so the whole team has access to the information. Some software packages, like PlanHub, provide instant communication through messaging within the software. This allows subs to get immediate answers, speeding up the proposal process.

Creating better bids

Construction bid software allows GCs to improve their communication with subcontractors, reach out to more subcontractors, and secure their data and documents while allowing subs to access the information from anywhere.

There are lots of platforms available for managing bids and contacting subcontractors. If you’re looking for a free platform that provides all the services above and more, check out PlanHub for GCs. It’s free, and it allows you to find and reach out to subcontractors, communicate with them instantly, and centralize all your bid information.

contractors using estimating software on phone