More and more industries are shifting toward paperless operation, digitizing files and forms and moving data from filing cabinets to hard drives and cloud-based storage solutions. Yet while this trend continues to move forward throughout many industries, the construction bidding process seems woefully left behind.
We all know that the bidding process is no simple matter – there are multiple steps and large amounts of communication required for every bid. Because of the complexity of the process, traditional methods have held strong for years, with physical blueprints and printed documentation, personal bid delivery, and a range of other processes that are dependent on real-world interaction and physical documentation. There simply haven’t been enough practical solutions (or industry demand) to shift away from the current model.
Modern advances in collaborative software, online security, and cloud-based storage, however, make electronic bidding a very real possibility for the near future.
As showcased in other sectors of the construction industry, electronic documentation can propel efficiency forward by leaps and bounds, and this could have tremendous impact on expediting the bidding process. Electronic bidding also opens the playing field to non-regional contractors, and allows companies receiving bids to employ totally trackable, real-time communication throughout the process. Changes can be effectively delivered to all bidders, and complete bids can be securely presented over the internet, removing the need for physical delivery and the potential hassles it creates.
Electronic bidding is ultimately inevitable, if the move toward digital communication in other industries is any indication, and it may take a few brave leaders to begin the transition. Fortunately, many of the technologies that make this possible are no longer emergent, but tried and true elements of successfully digitized industries!