Saving Time, Reducing Waste and Increasing Subcontractor Participation with ICI’s new Construction Bidding Software
I had a conversation with a colleague the other day about “the old days of bid management”; the days of faxing out Invitations to Bid, Addenda and RFI’s, of printing countless hard copy project drawings and specifications, and then sending those massive drawing packages via UPS or Fed Ex. We discussed how subcontractor prequalification was done manually.
Oh! The countless man-hours and money spent! It’s hard to believe how much has changed in a time span of less than 10 years. These days, using on-line bid solicitation software, we have increased our efficiency, grown our response rates and reduced an incredible amount of waste and complication.
Having had limited success with “one-size fits all” plan rooms in the past, ICI decided it was time to partner with a team that could make our plan room our own. In April 2014, ICI implemented new Bid Solicitation Software by Pantera Tools, recently voted as the Top Product for Bid Management in 2014 by Constructech Magazine. The efficiency built into ICI’s new plan room, which is connected directly to our website, allows our staff to focus their time on putting out quality bids with much less effort than ever before.
A few of the benefits:
Increased Staff Productivity
With on-line subcontractor registration, subcontractors can add themselves to ICI’s bidders list. The registration process includes mandatory pre-qualification data, ensuring that ICI’s quality standards are being enforced. Accessed directly through our website, ICI’s staff needs to do nothing more than direct interested contractors to our home page. Once registered, they can download drawings, access specifications and addenda; send project messages and RFIs to the ICI team, and much more. All of this allows our team to focus on the bidding process instead of the document distribution process.
Rapidly Growing Response Rate from Subcontractors
ICI sends Invitations to Bid, with a direct link to the project documents, right into the subcontractors’ inbox. With just a few effortless mouse clicks, the recipient has instant access to project documents and the ability to reply to us with their intention to bid. Not only is the process simple, but responses are more accurate. The subcontractor can determine the scope of work and make a decision about their ability to bid and perform the work. Our response rates have drastically increased since we began the use of email communication for bid solicitation; and ultimately this benefits our clients.
ICI has not only radically reduced the amount of time and money utilized by our staff during bid management due to the online platform; we’ve also massively reduced the amount of waste generated.
At the height of our document reproduction days, ICI was averaging over 180,000 SF of printed drawings a month. Last year, we printed less than 10% of this figure; an average of just 17,000 SF per month!”
Certainly, we have faced a few challenges along the way; email addresses tend to change more than fax numbers and new technology can at times seem daunting to learn, but with the right team working with you and an easy-to-use, friendly interface, the possibilities seem much more endless than ever before!