Are Your Hands Tied in the Competitive Bidding Process?

October 9, 2017

tied hands

There are always going to be different ways of looking at solving a particular design issue or fulfilling a customer’s odd request. But one thing all MEP BIM services professionals can agree on is the fact that the estimating and bidding process is highly competitive. Always has been and always will be.

While that’s just the nature of the beast in the construction trades, it becomes a bigger issue if you feel like your hands are being tied — that something is keeping you from putting together the most competitive bid you can. As the person responsible for mechanical estimating or electrical estimating for your firm, is that how you feel?

If so, take a deep breath and relax for a few minutes. You’re going to want to read what follows.

What’s holding you back from putting together a competitive bid?

When you boil the MEP estimating process down to its core elements, it’s pretty straightforward:

You need to determine the best way to achieve the customer’s goals within the constraints of their schedule and budget, then you need to present that solution as appealingly as possible.

The bid that accomplishes this two-fold mission best wins, plain and simple.

But, what factors impact how well you’re able to accomplish that?

  • Your understanding of the customer’s needs and desires
  • Your access to up-to-date information regarding material and labour costs and availability
  • Your ability to pull together and analyse various combinations and ideas to determine which are most effective
  • Your overall workload and how much time you have to spend on each bid

There are probably a hundred other factors that could be weighed as well, but you get the point.

To produce a highly competitive bid while maintaining the required volume of bids to meet your firm’s conversion goals, the optimal circumstances really need to be available to you, and you need to know how to capitalise on them effectively. Otherwise, you’re either going to end up with a non-competitive bid that gets rejected in favour of the competition, or you won’t be able to get a bid to the customer in time to even be part of the decision.

Either way, you lose, along with everyone at your firm who is relying on you.

clipboard with estimate spreadsheet

How can technology play a part in improving your mechanical and electrical estimating?

A large part of untying your hands and consistently producing more competitive bids lies in how well you’re taking advantage of technology. Specifically, MEP estimating software and other BIM modelling and design tools can enhance your competitive edge during the estimating and bidding stage, and throughout the entire job workflow.

In fact, choosing the right mechanical estimating software can make your entire estimating process:

  • Faster
  • More accurate
  • More flexible
  • More appealing to the customer

And, it can lay a solid foundation on which the rest of the job you win can be built, including processing any necessary variations, resolving issues involving implementation, billing, and more.

In all likelihood, the thought of investigating new technology fills you with excitement or dread. There’s rarely a middle ground. But, as always, knowledge is the key to making a smart decision.

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