December 19, 2023

ConTech: Innovation in Subcontractor Construction Bidding

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ConTech: Innovation in Subcontractor Construction Bidding

Technology has become a critical capability in construction operations, and as we look to get more out of that investment, we have to tackle issues and opportunities by considering all aspects of innovation, including people, process and information

Reviewing issues and opportunities from the lens of innovation, we can look to companies like RG Construction, which began considering how to apply more sophisticated analysis on its bid process and project outcomes. By pursuing a higher level of consistency in its bid response process, RG Construction wanted to drive better outcomes, both in terms of project wins and profitability. “The foundation for our successful projects starts with a superior estimating and bid response process,” states Brian Garcea, RG Construction executive. Building on the bidding processes would allow the company’s estimators, regardless of years of experience, to quickly leverage past performance and current backlog data to augment pricing decisions on bid day. Through this exercise, RG Construction wanted to find ways to help trade contractors respond to bids more consistently and efficiently. This would help them avoid:

  • Missed scope because of the chaos of managing volume of bids and the lack of both a standard template or process as well as time for quality review of bid packages.
  • Failure to add appropriate inclusions, exclusions, clarifications and qualifications.
  • Lack of experienced senior/chief estimators creating a bid response bottleneck that can be partially solved with standard terms, inclusion/ exclusion libraries and consistent process.

The company also wanted to give its people the tools and resources needed to be able to automate repeatable, standardized tasks. It also wanted estimators to focus their attention on the more meaningful parts of the bid processes. The answer included a reengineering of how to handle the bidding process, leverage historical information to better inform bid pursuits, and adopt trade contractor-specific bid response management technology to reinforce process and aid employees. It chose RhinoDox because it allowed for scoping templates, terms and conditions lists, inclusions and exclusions prompts, easy data collection and other key aspects, which reinforced process standardization.

The platform creates consistent bid packages and allows the team to focus its attention on higher value aspects of bidding, such as project go/no-go analysis, pricing strategies and bid quality reviews. Today, employees can make decisions based on past performance by project type, general contractor, estimator and actual vs. estimated. Critical project dates can easily be updated, which means improved planning and forecasting. As a result, RG Construction is backing up years of experience and intuition in order to offer the highest chance of success.

Reprinted with permission from FMI