The plan room
When you send out a bid request, there's a good chance you will have files that you want to share with your bidders.
The plan room is the place to house all of these files.
There is a plan room for each and every job you set up within CoConstruct, but this room is not specific to a single area of that job. So, files that you upload to the plan room will be visible to all trade partners who are bidding. This is meant for any plans, specs, scopes or work, or other supplemental files your trade partners may need to reference.
Creating a new bid request and inviting trade partners to bid
When creating a new bid request, you will be entering bid lines. Each bid line is an aspect of the job for which you you want to receive a price. You may only have a single bid line, or a lot of detail to capture different work or different rooms.
If you've got an estimate in progress, you can use the cost lines in your estimate to quickly create a new bid request in no time at all. Doing this will let you easily and accurately update your estimate and budget later on when you receive the bids.
When creating a bid request, you will also specify the people you want to bid. This list comes from any trade partner users in your account (Main Menu > Users > Trade Partners) who have an email address and who have been selected for "Show in Work Lists".
Before you send out the bid request, you can add additional information for any instructions, inclusions, or exclusions that you want to convey to your bidders, and you'll be able to set reminders to let CoConstruct chase down any trade partners who haven't submitted their bid to you when the due date is approaching.
Notifications and communication for the bid
Your bidders will receive their notifications and reminders by email, both for the initial bid request as well as for any updates or comments that you send to them from the bid request.
Since the bidding process for your trade partners happens over email, it is only available for users who have an email address within your trade partner list. This also means that default notification preferences will be ignored for the bidding portion of CoConstruct.
As an example, if you have your plumber set up as a trade partner and have entered an email address for him or her, but they are not set to receive any comments or work requests by email, then they will still receive bidding updates at his email address.
When you first choose to "Send" the bid request, your bidders will get that request in their email.
Directly from that email, they can let you know whether or not they intend to bid.
They can also reply to that email to send you a private comment or a private file attachment that will not be shared with your other bidders.
You will see all this communication at the bottom of the bids page, organized with an individual tab for each bidder.
If your trade partners have replied "No" to let you know that they will not be bidding, they will not receive additional reminders or updates on the bid request.
- How are notifications handled for bid requests and communication?
- Who receives reminders of upcoming bid deadlines, and when?
- Communicating privately with individual bidders
Entering and comparing bid amounts as you receive them
When your trade partners have a bid amount ready for your review, they will do one of three things:
- Include their bid in a reply to your bid notifications, in which case the bid will be tracked within the comment thread
- Include their bid in a file attachment in a reply to your bid notifications. In this case, you will see the file attachment within the comment thread
- Send you their bid completely outside of CoConstruct, either through a separate email, a phone call, or in-person
In any of the cases above, you will need to review their bid and enter in the bid amount at the top of the bid request page.
Entering in the bid amount will change the status for that bidder to "Submitted". Once a bidder is marked "submitted", any additional reminders that they have been set to receive will not be sent out, since you've already got their info.
You'll have the overview of all the different bids that you've received at the top of the bid request, alongside your current estimate values for quick comparison when you review, letting you award a bid or push bid amounts back to your estimate or purchase orders.
Awarding the bid
At the end of a bid, you can select a bidder for whom to award the bid. You can do this no matter whether the project is already in motion, although you may not wish to award a bid if you haven't yet gone to contract with a given client.
When you award a bid, you can choose to send them an award notice by email, and you can add a custom message that you want to use to that notice as well.
Pushing a bid to the estimate
For projects where you are tracking the budget in CoConstruct, you have the option of selecting bid lines directly from your estimate when you create a new bid request.
For those instances, you will have an additional option after the bids start coming in, to let you push a bid back to your estimate.
This will overwrite the financial information for that specific cost line, instead replacing the estimate amounts with the amounts from your bid request.
If there's ever a scenario where a line has been deleted or modified from your estimate before you push the bid, you will see a warning at this step of the process.
Otherwise, sending one of your bids to the estimate is completely separate from the process for awarding a bid. As a result, you can award the bid without sending the updated amounts to your estimate, which would be useful if you've already finalized the estimate. Or, you can send amounts to your estimate even if you aren't ready to award the bid.
Pushing a bid to a purchase order
If you're utilizing CoConstruct's purchase orders, you can also create purchase orders directly from your bid request. To do this, select the "Generate Purchase Orders" button at the top right corner of the main bids page.
CoConstruct will default to show you only awarded bids, but you can de-select that box to see your entire list of bid requests and create a PO from any of them.
Generating your PO's from an awarded bid request will automatically populate the purchase order Title, Issued To, Scope of Work, Inclusions, Exclusions and Line Items fields based on the bid information. This will save you time and help prevent mistakes or omissions in transferring information.