eSourcing For Construction Bidding?

Purchasing roles are evolving from traditional commodities procurement to also managing the sourcing of services, such as construction bidding for real estate, development and facilities maintenance efforts.

Within the lasts few years, many of the world’s largest development brands and construction managent firms have followed this trend. Sourcing departments have tried to meet the challenge of adding construction bidding to their list of responsibilities, some more effectively than others.

There seems to be two rather diverse approaches in this transition; either use current sourcing tools to approximate the construction bidding process flow, or add products that are more suited to the uniqueness of construction services procurement. To better understand this problem, a 3rd party analysis was conducted to compare TotalBid products to the popular sourcing platforms available in the market today, including the Emptoris and Ariba systems. The consultant wanted to understand why their clients couldn’t do everything with their existing sourcing systems.

As a result of this study, there is a general level of agreement that certain mission critical functionality exists in TotalBid that are not available in popular sourcing systems, including:

(1) Bid event setup & definitions unique to construction projects

(2) Plans distribution integrated to bid process

(3) Invitation to Bid meeting the specific needs of a construction bid team & bidders

(4) Online bid submittal using web formats that match client and industry formats

(5) Line item reporting and analysis including immediate dashboard reporting

(6) Collaboration with and between bid team and suppliers, and

(7) Many other considerations that address scalability, patented cost reduction and cost control processes, cost tracking, multiple prime models, lot bidding, and more.

One of North America’s largest big box retailers uses a business partner for its sourcing and construction bidding efforts. This management consulting and outsourcing company uses a popular sourcing tool as well as a construction bid automation platform. In the words of their Procurement Services Group manager:

“Our TotalBid construction bid management system offers document distribution, RFI collaboration and instant bid reporting. These are very important aspects of a successful construction bidding process. If we were to task our sourcing vendor to add these tools, and to adapt their workflows to the construction bidding process, it would be cost prohibitive. This is why we use two systems – to handle two different process work flows.”

Sentiments of “construction bid automation” are echoed by the Supply Chain & Project Management lead representing the World’s Largest Commercial Real Estate Services Firm states:

“TotalBid ensures that, among many other benefits our firm and our clients have complete transparency and quick access to everyone involved in the construction bidding process. We report measurable overall cost savings and cost avoidance due to more detailed analysis and bid leveling functionality. This innovative platform has given our bid team efficiencies and control never before possible.”

In addition to the core competencies of the leading construction bid management platform described above, the Head of Procurement for the same firm commented recently:

“TotalBid is friendlier and provides higher quality solutions and analysis reporting than SAP or Ariba!”