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 communications, files, project and subcontractor data are stored in a secure online portal.
Approved users can access their data at any time, from any location via web browser or the SmartBid mobile app available for iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. SmartBid users can use custom forms or the ConsensusDocs 721 form integration to prequalify subcontractors for projects.
Users can then tap into their private sub database and filter for qualified subs or access the integrated SmartInsight construction network to select the most qualified subs to invite to bid on every project. Digital invitations to bid give subcontractors customized, monitored access to the GCs online SmartBid planroom for centralized document distribution, collaboration and communications.
Shared calendars, communication templates, administrative access controls and customizable reports on all data also facilitate complete process monitoring and feedback. Monthly software updates are shaped by user requests, and a live support team is available to users and their subcontractors.
SmartBid features exclusive integrations with STACK estimating and takeoff, Citrix ShareFile (and other cloud storage solutions), the Virtual Planroom Network of builders exchanges across the U.S., the SmartInsight online construction network and others.
SmartBid is designed for any small, medium, or large general contractor, prime contractor or design/build firm. The optional Spanish and French subcontractor portals also make SmartBid a preferred product of builders with large numbers of multi-lingual subcontractors.
Jose A. from AMEC Construction LLC
Specialty: Construction manager
Employees number: 101 to 500 employees
It helps a lot with the bidding and quoting process, keep track of what is happening, and definitely helps you keep contacts updated.
The emails, generally looked like spam. thus, most of the time, the supplier need to be previously contacted and put up to speed of what is happening. Also, It is difficult to send a quick email, e.g. there is a lot of setup to do before shooting a re-bid to a selected group or particular package.
Check if you need to send massive emails (large documents and lots of recipients), if so, this is for you. I think that it is a very goo
Seth from Stiles Construction
Specialty: General contractor
Employees number: 101 to 500 employees
The product is organized in a functional manner and offers great flexibility for the reality that every project is a little different and needs to be handled slightly differently.
Since it is web-based, I can utilize the software anywhere, even from a tablet. The only wish I have for this product is future development of the mobile app. That said, the app still does offer some useful functionality.
I recommend for people evaluating bid management software to consider the overall workflow. The organization of the steps in the system is one of the easiest to learn to use. The simplicity of the steps after that also make using the software easy to gain adoption from other users.
Cade from Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.
Specialty: Construction manager
Employees number: 51 to 100 employees
It's easy to customize to your liking. The best feature is the capability to create notes for each contractor contacted, and keep track of their bidding status throughout the bid timeline.
It would be nice to have the capability to solicit contractors that you currently don't have contact information for. For instance, if you were doing a project in a new location, to get a list of contractors who specialize in the bid categories you are looking for.
After shopping around the market (Gradebeam, BlueBook, ISQFT, etc), this program was by far the best for our needs.
Joe from Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.
Employees number: 1 employee
There are lots of options.
There are almost too many options. It's hard to find how to do certain things, but I am getting used to it.
This software allows you to fully customize your project that is out to bid.
Troy from Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.
Specialty: Construction manager
Employees number: 21 to 50 employees
The vast majority of the work we do is public work, and the goal is to reach as many companies as possible. Other software systems required subcontractors to create accounts.
The pricing was a bit higher than we are used to. We have users that only need it for a month or two a year, which doesn't justify creating additional accounts.
If you need software for public bidding opportunities, this is a great place to start (private works as well)!
Ben from Ascent Construction
Date: January 2013
We were using a bid invite program our company had developed 6 years ago when we started to have problems with the dependability of it. Invites weren't getting sent and our ability to bring in a broad base of sub bids was diminished. We were suffering from lack of work and decided to solve the problem.
After searching and talking with subcontractors and competitors we decided to use SmartBidNet as a cost effective and user friendly replacement for the outdated broken system we had. Our old system did basically the same things as SmartBidNet only without all the options and wasn't nearly as easy. After about a month and a half we feel we are up and running strong.
We like that we can easily add a subcontractor to the invited list and we can track who has viewed and downloaded drawings. We still have lots of training for office personnel but that will come with time. Customer support is wonderful and they check in on us every so often to make sure we are doing okay with the transition. We have had better sub bid coverage since switching to SmartBidNet and we have even landed a few jobs just in the last little bit we have been using it. I know this software will help us get more work, it has already made us more effective during the bidding process. They have a great product and great support that backs it up.
Donny from Alfred Palma, LLC
Date: November 2011
SmartBidNet is magnificent, easy to learn and use. It is powerful and precise; the tech support is knowledgeable, and quick to respond. They have resolved the few problems I've had, (typically not with SBN) within the hour. SmartBidNet has always worked above and beyond my expectations. It used to take days to sort and email drawings and specifications to 50 or so subcontractors, now I have a sub list of hundreds who have plans and specs online, every time, 24 hours a day.
With the current addition of "Cloud Take Off" my subcontractors now have onscreen take off abilities, and real time collaboration capabilities. I can mark up drawings with notes, select any number of subcontractors and communicate my request for quotations in minutes instead of hours. I don't know how we were able to manage the bid process without it. We bid more projects in less time with fewer resources than ever before. The old school bid process was a pain, but SmartBidNet is a breeze. I love this priceless piece of software heaven.
Hank from J. E. Dunn Construction
Date: September 2011
JE Dunn Construction is an ENR top 20 General Contractor with offices from Charlotte, NC to Seattle, WA. We have been using SmartBidNet nationally since March of 2010 and regionally in the Southeast for another year prior to that. Before using SmartBidNet, we used iSqFt for several years and several other systems including Pipeline and BidFax.
SmartBidNet is the right bid management software package for our organization for a multitude of reasons, several of which are:
- Flexibility and customization of the system set-up
- SmartBidNet's commitment to adopting current technologies
- Ease of use for subcontractors
The SmartBidNet system can be configured to accommodate firms ranging in size from only a couple of users to the largest multi-divisional, multi-office organizations. We currently have a total of 431 users across 20 different offices. SmartBidNet allows us to configure our system so that we can group our internal users, projects, and subcontractors by office and our offices by regions so that we can tailor the access of our users to fit what those users should be working on. We can limit or allow access to projects and subcontractor records by user, by proficiency, by office, by region, or by function (preconstruction, operations, accounting, HR, etc.). As an administrator, this flexibility is invaluable and crucial in maintaining security and accuracy of our information.
The directors at SmartBidNet have adopted a shrewd practice of releasing new versions of their software about once a month. All subscribers to the system automatically get these new releases by virtue of the system being web-based. In these releases, SmartBidNet will implement (usually) small changes. Users benefit from this methodology by not having to go through extensive training following the typical 'Major Product Release' pattern of most software vendors. This method also allows SmartBidNet to run a continually changing list of product development activities and can more quickly adapt to incorporate newer technologies into their system. This has been particularly important to us as an organization as we have begun to integrate our custom in-house software applications with SmartBidNet in various ways. SmartBidNet offers a refreshingly open policy of allowing our internal systems to push or pull information directly to / from the SmartBidNet system, commenting to us at one point, "It's your data, you can do whatever you want with it".
The last item I want to highlight speaks for itself. SmartBidNet leads the industry in ease of access and ease of use for subcontractors. One button access of project information was pioneered by SmartBidNet. Their commitment to a simple subcontractor interface is second to none.
SmartBidNet has allowed us to pull together all of the offices for our entire company into a cohesive, well-organized, properly restricted system for the first time ever. This has allowed us to capitalize on many of the synergies that a multi-office general contractor should have in regards to shared resources and shared contacts. It has been a major improvement over previous systems.
Brandon from Hodges & Hicks General Contractors
Date: June 2011
Since we purchased SmartBidNet 3 years ago, we have been very impressed with the value of the product and with the improvement it has brought to our estimating process. The product is very user-friendly and functional. Our subcontractors had very little trouble getting used to the software, and the SmartBidNet support staff made themselves available to them as well to help them get acquainted to it. The product does everything we need it for and much more, without the nuisance of advertisements or promotional offers. The support staff have always been very available and helpful, through our initial implementation of the software and still today with the most minor problems or questions. SmartBidNet has provided drastic cost and time savings for our estimating department. It has also created an efficient tool for managing and communicating with our database of subcontractors.