6 Ways Estimating Software Improves Contractor Bidding
Mar. 10, 2021
The process of bidding and estimation for contractors has changed thanks to modern estimating software. Today’s systems are designed to make project quoting easier, faster, and more likely to succeed.
Accurate estimating is a must-have for HVAC contractors. A simple error in dimensions or materials can result in a million-dollar mistake, just like that. However, with the right quoting software either built into a field service management (FSM) software or a standalone dedicated solution, contractors are better equipped to tackle bidding challenges head-on for more accurate estimates.
By bringing much of the process to the cloud, project management software eliminates a lot of the problems found in traditional quoting and bidding processes to make HVAC estimation more accurate and more efficient.
1. Faster, More Efficient Estimation & Bidding
Generating high-quality bids and turning them around quickly is a challenge to almost any HVAC contractor. It can take weeks for bid documents to be put together and get approved before submission, which is a grueling process when you have an eager client waiting and dozens of potential bidders to compete with.
While there are many other factors that determine whether bids are accepted, the ability to quickly assemble a bid gives contractors a huge advantage. More importantly, it cuts down on the costs and effort involved in the whole bidding process.
Estimation software allows contractors to create more bids in less time, increasing their chances of landing lucrative contracts. HVAC estimation software is a ticket to the success of commercial HVAC contractors when implemented properly.
2. Making Quoting Easier for Your Clients
As much of a pain as the process is for you, it can be equally annoying for your clients. In the field, techs are often tasked with quoting on the go, but require approval from someone back in the office, a communication process that can take days.
That’s where technology helps. When your technicians in the field identify pull-through work, they can carry out estimations on the spot and submit them to the office for finalization before customer approval. With advanced software, an approved quote can become a scheduled job for the field teams in just one click.
For clients, this means everything moves along faster. They’ve got a problem, they get quoted, they have someone on the job resolving it in no time. .If they’re on a maintenance contract and a necessary repair is identified, they’re made aware of the problem, quoted, and getting it fixed. No more non-stop back-and-forth or losing sight of the whole purpose of this process in the first place. And that’s not even getting into the impact on your bottom line that maintenance contracts (when executed well) can have.
3. Increased Accuracy
One of the biggest problems of manual estimating is the risk of inaccuracies and everyday human error. Usually, field technicians have to communicate with dispatch to describe projects, calculate quotes, order parts, and get approvals.
This method of project quoting and estimation leaves lots of room for error. It becomes even harder to trace any mistakes for accountability. Estimation software avails all the tools that both dispatch and technicians need to create and update quotes on the go. It also makes it easier to respond to RFIs because all the necessary data is available on a shared platform.
For bigger HVAC projects, the accuracy of your bids becomes even more mission-critical. Bid too high and you risk losing the project to a competitor, bid too low and it could end up costing your business. Software built to mitigate these challenges is a game-changer for both your jobs won and their eventual profit margins.
4. Detailed Reporting for Better Targeting
Commercial HVAC contractors know a thing or two about finding the right projects to bid for in terms of scope and relevance. And yet, a lot of resources and effort is wasted on bids for projects in which there is little chance of success.
On average, GCs are successful in 1 of 6 bids. For subs, that’s 1 in 7 bids. Lucky for today’s contractors, software makes it possible to analyze and act upon hard data to increase those win rates. zeroing in on the types of customers and bids with a greater chance of success.
On more robust platforms featuring customer management functionality, you really have insight into which customers are most profitable, what types of jobs you’re winning more often, as well as the flip sides of those. And that way you can focus on what’s working.
5. Easier Quote Management
When you’ve got (seemingly) countless projects going on at a time, having a solution for managing your quotes automatically is crucial. A platform like BuildOps with built-in project management features keeps all your quotes and other project information in one place.
You can also store and pull up relevant images at a moment’s notice. This a feature clients and contractors can both appreciate as clients are three times more likely to approve a quote when it contains a photo or video in it.
The right software can also manage unresponsive clients with follow-up calls or emails to keep prospects from going cold. A completely comprehensive solution is invaluable to keep your projects moving with minimal effort.
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6. Create Quality Bids to Improve Chances of Winning
A good bid is one that gets accepted, right? However, most contractors start off at a disadvantage, given that 80% of bidding documents presented by clients are likely to be incomplete or erroneous.
Clients tend to hurry along the process of creating bidding documents, which makes it much harder for contractors to create good quality bids.
Again, software to the rescue. First, the right software can create far more accurate takeoff estimations. Second, bids created digitally are far easier to change and adapt to different needs. For example, clients often request for review of materials used, project costs, and timelines, among others.
Bids created with intuitive estimating software are far more responsive and can be crafted to client needs, ensuring a far better bid success rate.
Manage Your Quotes With BuildOps’ Quoting Feature
At BuildOps, we’ve built a dedicated quoting feature into our all-in-one software. It enables commercial contractors to easily generate and manage quotes from a centralized place, together with other service and project management features. Demo BuildOps for free today to experience how our comprehensive solution can transform your operations.