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- Construction bidding software manages bid project data, documents and subcontractor communications during preconstruction. Sometimes found as a part of a larger construction management software , construction bidding features are accomplished by commonly included functionality modules such as contact management, project calendars, proposal request management, prequalifications, RFI creation tools, and more.
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- BasisBoard. Visit Website. By Basis. 4.9 (12) BasisBoard is a modern bid tracking &. bid board solution for your team. BasisBoard connects to your inbox, automatically finds all bid related emails, and intelligently sorts all your bid opportunities into a simple to use dashboard.
- PASKR. Visit Website. By PASKR. 4.3 (98) PASKR is a cloud based construction management solution built for every member of your construction team to bid, build, and track great projects.
- Procore. Visit Website. By Procore Technologies. 4.5 (2422) Procore construction software manages your construction projects, resources and financials from planning to closeout.
- ProEst. Visit Website. By ProEst. 3.8 (44) ProEst's general contractor estimating software helps you quickly respond to customer bid requests and accurately calculate the cost of any size project.
SmartBid is an online construction bid software designed for general and prime contractors to manage subcontractor data, prequalify subcontractors, share project documents and send invitations to bid. As a web-based system, all co...
- Understanding Construction Estimating
- Understanding Construction Estimating Software
- Construction Estimating Software Cost
- Finding The Best Construction Estimating Software
- The Best Construction Estimating Software
Construction estimating is part of the bid process, during which contractors and suppliers submit proposals, or bids, to project owners, offering to provide services or supplies for a construction project. These bids summarize the costs that the contractor / supplier expects to pay for the development of the structure or infrastructure. Typically, for large construction projects, companies and governments accept bids from many different contractors and then decide which contractor will perform the project. The process begins with the owner, or project sponsor, creating bid documents, which are collectively referred to as a bid package. This bid package summarizes key details about the project in order to give contractors all of the information they need to make accurate estimates and produce a proposed schedule and budget for the project. The documents generally include project blueprints, location / schedule constraints, insurance requirements, and other information. For privately...
To save time and money, contractors, subcontractors, and anyone who frequently makes cost estimates for projects or bids on construction contracts can use technology to manage the estimating and bidding process. This portion of the guide will provide an overview of this software and how it can be used in the bidding, estimating, and takeoff processes.
Construction estimating software is typically a very affordable piece of technology, especially compared to enterprise software solutions. These tools save significant time compared to manual methods of calculating and totalling costs of construction. Often, the pricing model will vary between software providers, but the cost is usually dependent on three key things: 1. Number of users– most companies typically charge a specified cost and multiply it by the number of users that will be sharing access to the product. 2. Features included– Typically many of the features that each company offers with their products are optional. The more features included in the deployment, the higher the cost of the tool. Not all companies have multiple versions of their product, however, so this won’t always be a factor in the final cost of the software. 3. Online vs. desktop deployment– On-premise products are those that are installed locally on the users desktop, or on a server owned by the busines...
Construction estimating software and companies differentiate themselves on a number of factors, including their company reputation, their product’s ease of use / access, the feature set, pricing, and more. Here we’ll cover the details of each factor that buyers should consider when comparing construction estimating software.
In our research, we consider the above criteria and make sure to only recommend products that are top of their class in each of these categories. Read on to see how the best estimating, takeoff, and bidding software compare in terms of functionality, pricing, customer service, and more.
SmartBid is the leading construction bid management software for general contractors. The preconstruction software simplifies bidding for prime, commercial & residential GCs. With SmartBid, users can access a secure web-based & mobile platform to streamline their bid project data, documents and subcontractor communications.
A construction bid is the process of providing a potential customer with a proposal to build or manage the building of a structure. Its also the method through which subcontractors pitch their services to general contractors. Integrated project delivery (IPD), sometimes called integrated team, is the newest of the major project delivery methods. This method sets up the owner, the architect, and the contractor as a team that shares risk equally. Often, they become legally bound in a single contract, and this may expand to include other consultants and subcontractors.
In order to create successful construction bids, remember the industry golden rules: Start with highly accurate cost estimates, and submit the lowest bid of all the competing contractors. The process of forming a bid begins with examining construction plans and performing material quantity takeoffs. If you're interested in learning more about construction planning, visit this comprehensive guide to construction plans. However, there are a lot of nuances and complexities behind this seemingly straightforward formula. We will delve into those in detail later on. In construction bidding, price is always a key consideration. On many projects, especially in government construction, the owner must choose the lowest bid. On other jobs, however, qualifications or other factors can be equally or more important than price. The selection process depends on the project delivery method well break down the different methods shortly. The basic construction tender process involves the following activities: To bid on construction, you need to understand three important structural decisions that owners make and that shape construction projects. An owner must decide on the following elements:
First, its important to distinguish between a bid and an estimate, terms that are sometimes used interchangeably. The definitions of the two are somewhat elastic. Generally, an estimate is the calculation of the contractors internal costs (including materials and labor), while a bid is the final price charged to a customer. We consider a bid to be a firm offer to the customer. The difference between the bid amount and your expenses is your profit. Using construction bidding software can help ensure youre bidding the right amount. Sometimes, on small jobs, the customer may move quickly after reviewing just an estimate, treating it, in effect, as the bid that will represent the formal terms of the deal. In design-build, aka D-B or D/B, the owner contracts with one entity that handles both design and construction, and one price covers both phases. That entity goes by the title design-builder or design-build contractor.
Traditional project delivery also goes by the names design-bid-build (DBB) and design-tender and is the most common process for the construction of nonresidential buildings, especially government projects. In this approach, an owner hires an architect or designer independently from the contractor who manages construction.
Some advantages of DBB are owner control of design and construction and ease of implementation. In addition, because an architect finishes a design before an owner awards a construction contract, it is easier to determine the cost of construction. The drawbacks of this particular project delivery system include that the owner must bring substantial expertise and resources, and also share responsibility for project execution. The owner is also at risk of dealing with increased contracting costs if there are any design errors. Multi-prime contracting also enables the owner directly to obtain materials for the project. Rather than obtaining materials through the general contractor, the owner can avoid markup and be certain that materials will be available when needed. Multi-prime also works well when construction proceeds in phases. The owner enters contracts sequentially for each part of the job (for example, foundation would come first, followed by structure). Owners find design-build attractive because it streamlines the process of commissioning a new building, and it increases collaboration between project participants. The design-build firm usually contracts out some aspects of the project rather than doing everything in house, but all participants work together on the same team. Proponents cite this characteristic of collaboration as an advantage over traditional design-bid-build. This is because one of DBBs greatest vulnerabilities is the potential for conflicts and disputes to arise among all the independent parties when things go awry. In design-build, the design-builder stands accountable to the owner for all aspects of the project. The Design-Build Institute of America says that when one person possesses sole responsibility for a job, owners experience better project delivery, including faster execution, fewer change orders, reduced administrative burdens, lower costs, and fewer disputes that result in litigation. According to research by the Construction Industry Institute and Penn State University on 351 projects from 5,000 to 2.5 million square feet, design-build achieved 6.1 percent lower costs and 33.5 percent faster delivery speed when compared to design-bid-build. Having faster delivery also creates financial benefits since construction loans, carried while workers are building a structure, charge higher interest rates than those of permanent financing, which kick in when the project is done. Early participation of the general contractor and continued active involvement by the owner are hallmarks of IPD. This closer cooperation drives the advantages of IPD, and project participants generally have fewer disputes, claims, and conflicts. Therefore, the absence of litigation and arbitration offers another source of cost savings and efficiency. Because the architect and contractor participate in the project entity equally, they are a jointly accountable. In discussing the advantages, IPD specialist firm gkkworks notes, Experts in design and construction contribute to ALL phases of the project. The method works well for complex private projects, projects with tight deadlines, or those where the scope is not well defined. Government entities usually are barred from IPD because it lacks competitive bidding. The American Institute of Architects has compiled an in-depth guide to implementing IPD.
Multi-prime, also called multiple-prime, contracting is a variation on design-bid-build. Here, the owner contracts directly with all participants, including the architect, subcontractors, and a construction manager (either an owner staff member or a hired party). In this scenario, the owner acts as the general contractor.
Owners turn to this method when they need to fast-track construction or when there are urgent considerations. Project managers can solicit bids for each of the projects systems or specialties as soon as the projects design is complete, which gives them greater control over the schedule.
There are several drawbacks to the multi-prime delivery system. The owner carries the heavier burdens of coordination and management as well as the resulting increased risks of work duplication or omission. The owner cannot confirm the final cost of the project until theyve secured the last contractor. There is a higher potential for poor coordination, change orders, quality defects, and delays due to the number of project participants. Plus, multi-prime projects sometimes suffer from a lack of strong central authority and management among the contractors. In DBB, the general contractor would play the role of that strong authority figure. When the design is complete, the construction manager solicits bids from subcontractors to execute the project. The construction management firm takes on the risk that bids may come in higher than the GMP. In the CMAR method, you shift some of the project risk to the construction manager because if actual costs exceed the GMP, such as through higher subcontractor bids, change orders, or imprecise forecasting, the owner does not bear that burden. If the construction team builds the project for less than the GMP, the owner may receive the savings, or the owner may have an agreement to share them with the construction manager.
The design-builder concept has its roots in the historic master builder, who in pre-Renaissance times was a highly skilled individual responsible for both the design and construction of a structure. During the Renaissance, the roles of designer and builder split, and each position became more distinct and specialized over time.
Design-build has become increasingly popular. A 2013 DBIA study found that owners used this method on more than 40 percent of non-residential construction projects in 2010, up 10 percent since 2005.
Within design-build, there are different models. One of these models is contractor-led design-build (CLDB), also called builder-led design-build, in which the general contractor manages the project. CLDB accounts for most design-build projects. Recently, the architect-led design-build (ALDB) model, also termed designer-led design-build, has grown. In ALDB, the architect is responsible for delivery of the building. A 2005 survey cited by Architectural Record magazine found that 55 percent of design-build projects were headed by a contractor, 26 percent by an integrated firm with both design and construction expertise in house, and 11 percent by designers.
While design-build has compelling data on speed and cost, construction experts say that it also has disadvantages. The design-builders very incentive to reduce speed and cost can impact quality and put the owner at the mercy of the contractor, who may or may not act with integrity and expertise. Also, because the architect works for the design-builder rather than for the owner, the architect does not represent the owners best interests. (In DBB, the architect does work for the owner and therefore represents their best interests.) Moreover, because there are so many unknowns about the future of a building at the beginning of a D-B project, owners must define more of the projects requirements, objectives, and materials before soliciting bids.
With no construction documents yet to work from, design-builders also assume risk in cost estimating because the scope of work is not well defined. Contracts on design-build projects can address how to handle unexpected developments without financial penalty to either the owner or the designer-builder.
Construction manager at risk (CMAR), also called construction management at risk, CM at risk, CM@R, construction manager/general contractor, and CM/GC project delivery, is another alternative to traditional design-bid-build and has a track record for reducing cost.
Like design-bid-build, in the CMAR method, different firms handle design and construction. Unlike design-bid-build, however, the construction manager joins the project at the start before the architect designs the building; the construction manager may even help choose the architect. The CM and the architect work together during the design phase. The construction manager acts as a consultant to the owner during the design and construction phase and often handles some of the construction itself.
The construction managers bid to the owner is a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) representing the total of pre-construction services, actual construction, and the construction managers fee and contingencies. According to an article by Tommy Brennan, Business Development Manager for Ulliman Schutte Construction, most CMAR projects require the contractor to provide the GMP when the design phase is 60 to 90 percent complete.
The benefits of this approach for owners include greater cost control, reduced risk, and superior project management. The construction manager can work with the architect and the owner during the design phase to make sure that the construction team can build the plans within budget, and the owner knows upfront what the project will cost. The project may also move faster because you may be able to start construction before the design phase is complete.
The construction manager acts on behalf of the owner and manages the project with the owners best interests in mind. In addition, the construction manager brings expertise regarding value and constructability. These attributes translate into fewer burdens on the owner and ensure a high quality outcome.
CMAA, the national organization for construction management, has training and resources for both owners and construction managers on the types of projects best suited for this method.
However, there are some drawbacks: Finalizing project criteria and reaching a contract can be difficult and time consuming, the CMAA says. In addition, the smooth management of the team may depend most on the individuals involved, and team selection can be challenging.
Once project delivery method is selected, the owner faces the decision of how it will procure construction services. A number of factors influence this decision. Government owners often fall under laws that dictate how they must make purchasing decisions.
Other influences include the political, economic and social environment, the owners experience and expertise in construction and construction procurement, the size, complexity, location, and uniqueness of the project, the timing of the project and whether schedule compression is needed, and cost considerations such as how much price certainty the owner needs.
Construction procurement is generally divided into four types: lowest bid, traditional, integrated, and, negotiated and managed.
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