Guide to Construction Bidding

Knowing the right strategies for construction bidding will allow you to land more projects and increase your business success. In this article, we’ll walk through what it takes to draft a great bid - and how ALICE can help.

The way a bid in construction is presented usually determines if it makes the short stack or the trash can. In the modern world of construction, clients are very tech savvy, so they’ll often weed out potential contractors who don’t appear to be on the technological bandwagon.

Incorporate ALICE into your construction bidding process, and your clients will notice the difference. Better bids on construction jobs will land you more projects, and take your business to the next level. In this article, we’ll walk through what it takes to draft a great bid - and how ALICE can help.

What is a construction bid?

Construction bid, construction proposal, or bid proposal - you’ve likely heard these names before, but they all reference the same essential document. A construction bid is a professional offer that outlines and proposes services to a potential client. It’s usually created and submitted (at the client’s request) by the contractor or construction professional interested in performing the work.

A good construction bid will provide all the details the client needs to hire your company. A poorly written construction proposal, on the other hand, will often generate more questions than it answers.

Well-composed construction bids should include any and all details about the project, such as what will be done, when it will be completed, and who will pay for it. It should also include copies of the contractor’s license or professional certifications, proof of insurance, and documentation and photos portraying past projects. In the same way a resume might help a prospective employee, well-written bids on construction work demonstrate to the client that your company is interested, qualified, and professional.

Clients looking for an actionable construction bid often select contractors based on value, not price - so delivering a well-organized, professional-looking bid in construction is often enough to win the project - especially if competitors fail to do the same.

When a client receives your construction bid, they immediately compare it to other bids they’ve received. Clients want to know that a construction bid deserves their time - and vague, incomplete, or disorganized bids will pale in comparison against the competition. Proper formatting and structure demonstrates the organizational skills and commitment to quality work that most clients are looking for. Remember, a construction bid represents your firm - so design it with the same care you would a business card, or a sales brochure.

Why is construction bidding important in projects?

Construction bidding is vitally important, because it serves as a base document, providing valuable information relevant to all aspects of the project. A good construction bid is more than just numbers and dates—it anticipates and answers questions, proactively. It outlines information regarding the scope of work, what is included (and what isn’t), and who the key partners (e.g. architects, engineering firms) in the contract will be, as well as general timeline and cost.

Clearly defining these elements helps ensure that both parties are on the same page - and allows the client to compare and contrast proposals, to find the best fit. The more comprehensive your construction bid, the greater your chances of project success - and the less exposure to risk (for both you, and the client).

ALICE can help you more effectively bid on construction jobs, by providing more detailed and accurate information to the potential client. By modeling all major contingencies on the construction project, ALICE assesses the constructability of your bid schedule, so you can submit a more comprehensive bid for client review - and set realistic expectations, from the beginning.

What is “tendering” in construction?

Tendering in construction is a process in which clients offer potential contractors the opportunity to provide a bid on required construction services.

For example, a school system might need several construction bids to comply with a work order. The school system would ask select contractors to submit a bid for the work, tendering a request for proposal, also known as an RFP.

Businesses, churches, and other organizations “tender” an RFP to qualified contractors and select from the construction bids they receive. A client who searches out a contractor, and submits a request online is also effectively “tendering a request” for a contractor’s services - while a business might send out a tender requesting a proposal from a contractor.

How to bid on construction projects

Construction bids can vary in complexity, depending on the project. Generally, bids are provided to clients in response to a tender, or other formal request from a person or organization. 

Bidding on these tenders is a simple process, but the structure of the bid itself may change, depending on who requests it. To bid on construction projects successfully, it’s important to provide as much detail as possible.

Construction bids should always include:

  • Contractor information. Always double check details, to ensure that your names, addresses, and license numbers are included, and correct.
  • Duties & responsibilities. When multiple vendors are involved, note the specific services and responsibilities assigned to each vendor. These details are critical to avoid future confusion.
  • Estimated scheduling. You may not know the exact dates during the construction bidding process, but providing estimated start date, end date, and duration of work is essential to a successful bid. Make sure to note any important milestones which must be met, prior to continuing each phase of work.
  • Contingency approval. Weather, delivery timeframes, and unforeseen circumstances can affect a contractor’s ability to fulfill the commitments proposed in the construction bid. Clearly outline when work can safely be performed, and who will make that decision. 
  • Payment schedule. State exactly when funds are to be paid to the contractor, for what purpose, and who is responsible for the payment.
  • Service after the sale. If you really want your construction bid to shine, outline parameters for supporting your client post-completion, so they can plan well for issues arising after the final payment changes hands.

How ALICE helps with the bidding process

ALICE Technologies uses cutting edge technology to analyze available options for inclusion in your construction bid. Using new methods of construction optioneering, ALICE effectively changes the way developers, owners, and general contractors create their construction bids.

ALICE is the world’s first platform for construction optioneering, and offers solutions designed for the scheduling and planning of complex infrastructure, industrial, and commercial construction projects. Information supplied by the user (e.g. pricing, labor productivity, and construction delay data) is used to create a framework for selecting and displaying a nearly infinite number of constructable options.

Gone are the days when project bids in construction were delivered on notebook paper. Using ALICE’s platform, general contractors can offer the client something few other companies can - the best course of action.

Contractors that leverage ALICE can rest assured that their bids make the most efficient use of project resources, whether that be material, labor, or equipment. This is not only attractive to the owner, it directly translates into higher margins for the contractor - on every winning bid. 

Using ALICE’s platform to bid on construction projects can help contractors provide more accurate, detailed time frames - and outline contingency plans for construction delays, weather, or material delays. ALICE users reduce their exposure to risks posed by unexpected delays - while presenting a client experience that emphasizes their passion for quality, attention to details, and dedication to complete transparency. 

Using ALICE to optimize your projects

If general contractors and other decision makers kept track of how much time they’ve spent in response to unpredictable events, they’d be shocked at how quickly the days add up to months (or years!) of lost time. ALICE can’t stop these events from occurring, but it can help decision makers prepare by including contingencies during the bidding and preconstruction phase. Doing so helps save time and effort, further down the road. 

When the project deviates from the original bid on construction, changes to the project can be integrated in real time. This allows stakeholders to explore new strategies, and create new plans which allow the project to continue moving forward.

Using ALICE for project recovery

Large construction projects often veer from the original construction bid and plans, but running behind quickly becomes very costly - often triggering liquidated damages

ALICE can get your delayed projects moving again, solving scheduling concerns, to get your project back in alignment with your construction bid. Swiftly resequence your entire project schedule, save time and money - and often avoid significant costs posed by project overrun.

Quickly update issues, and model multiple scheduling options to help you catch up. You may even discover that when new information is factored in, the updated strategy is superior to your original plan.

Tender in construction projects: can ALICE assist? 

ALICE can assist with your tender response, and help your construction bid stand out. Powerful simulations and scenario modeling can help you respond to tender requests for construction with data-backed insight that helps you avoid issues before they occur. Clients tendering bids for construction on projects requiring precision will immediately see the benefits offered by ALICE.

Are you ready to boost your construction bidding?

When your tender response is pending, ALICE offers a leg up - and gives your construction bidding process a boost. Designed to serve four primary functions, our first three commitments (saved time, reduced risk, and faster recovery) all culminate in the fourth - making your business more profitable.

Intrigued? Great! Learn more about how ALICE supports construction optioneering throughout the entire lifecycle of your project. Request a demo with ALICE today!

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