The goal of any estimating team is to win more work and make more money. The problem is, there’s only so much time in a given week, and deadlines always approach faster than you’d like. That means you can’t bid on every request that crosses your desk, so estimators need to make decisions quickly and manage their workload to be successful.
Here are three tips to increase the productivity of your estimating team and send out as many proposals as possible with the highest hit rate.
1. Track proposal information in one place
Many subcontractors waste a lot of time finding the correct information before they even begin working on a bid. Usually, teams store bid updates and files in email and desktop folders, calendars, whiteboards, and notebooks. This results in data being stored in multiple silos, with no easy way to view all of the data in one place. If you also track bids on a spreadsheet, that’s one more place for you to manually enter and update info when addenda or changes occur, and necessary steps can get missed — costing you time and money.
You know how you put your car keys in the same place every day, and then one day, you don’t? You usually lose a lot of time retracing your steps to find those keys! This happens in the bidding process all the time.
If you keep all necessary bid requirements, files, due dates, and team communication in one place, it will prevent information from slipping through the cracks or ending up in the wrong place. Even though you can eventually find what you’re looking for, you lose valuable time that could be spent on winning more bids.
2. Focus your efforts on high probability jobs
You can’t respond to every single bid invite you receive, so you need to prioritize jobs that will produce the most money for your time. If you only have time to submit one out of every five bid invites, then you need to recognize the proven characteristics of a quality bid invite to know it’s the best option.
Once you’re tracking bid information in one place, it becomes easier to consistently track key pieces of information like trade, general contractor, and building size so you can make decisions on your bid history. From your bid history, you can identify trends, key areas of success, and where you can improve so you can decide where to invest more resources or cut altogether. Teams that focus on the right jobs win more.
3. Minimize manual error with technology
Bidding as a subcontractor is fast-paced and difficult, with a ton of information to keep track of. We all make mistakes, but the difference between May 15th and May 12th is a missed bid submission. The less information you need to manually update, the lower the chance you’ll have for manual error.
Technology is designed to support teams and increase efficiency by automating manual processes. Automating manual entry and connecting your tracking tools like calendar, files, and bid log in one place helps ensure information isn’t missed or incorrect. The goal is to be efficient so you can bid better and faster.
You’re already keeping track of your bid information somewhere. All you need to do is connect the dots and leverage the right tools. Identifying where you might be wasting time gives you the opportunity to improve your team’s productivity so you can get in front of more clients and win more bids.
As a Renewals Manager at BuildingConnected, Darlene Bereznicki works with the best estimators in the business, helping them become efficient in their bidding process so they can focus on bidding and increasing their win rates.