Very effective bidding tool!!
Saved time (which equals $$$) and now we have a great place to store our bid documents, and easily distribute them to all of our subcontractors and suppliers!!
As a general contractor/construction manager firm, we use SmartBid on almost all of our projects. It's a great tool to let our subcontractors and suppliers know what projects we're bidding on, and ensure we have proper coverage for the scope of work involved. I was part of the initial setup when our company first began using SmartBid. We used to make a "call list" and someone would actually call up to a few hundred subs and suppliers for every project we bid. WOW. I can't believe we wasted so much time! Now, just a few clicks of a button and all of our bidding documents are in one, easily accessible place, and all the appropriate subs and suppliers are notified! Amazing!
The initial setup was a bit time-consuming. This was partly due to our own company's massively outdated subcontractor and supplier list. Most of our time was spent "trimming the fat" and updating old contact information. There are also limited user profiles, when it would be nice to have more people in our company be able to interact with SmartBid.
There are more affordable options
It did get us out in touch with the trades, but the coverage was week.
I do like the way a project is created and the publishing features. I do feel that it was advantageous in the way we were able to take a project that we were going to bid and get the information out to the trades
I hated the fact that their database is so out of date. Many times our bid invite was going out to the wrong person or that person was no longer with the company. The software needs some form of check and balance to ensure that the information is accurate and that companies are keeping thier information correct.
Response from JBKnowledge
Thank you for your review!
In SmartBid, clients primarily rely on results from their own private database, which they alone maintain.
Use of our SmartInsight database of contractors is included with SmartBid as an additional resource for those situations where you will need additional subcontractor coverage, and is especially helpful when you find that you're bidding in a market that you're new to.
It's a very large database, and as with any database, the maintenance of those records to keep them updated is a full-time job. People come and go, businesses shut down, etc. and naturally they don't notify us. :)
Because of this we work hard to make those records as reliable as possible. Last week for example, 2,000 records deemed as invalid were purged from the system.
Overall, this free resource offers a lot of value and we will continue to work hard to make it as reliable as possible!
Smartbid for soliciting proposals
We use this software during the bidding process. It gives me the ability to add contacts, change addresses, email, ect. with ease. Quick communication options such as email solicitations or faxes if needed. The reports help, as well as creating Non Disclosure agreements. Adding files and having security control of who views those files is a big benefit.
User friendly, and easy to navigate the site. Not too many clicks of the mouse, and has the ability to add and delete unwanted fields. Very fast and friendly customer support for easy or hard questions.
Not too many cons. I am a big fan of this software for the use of getting quotes for bids.
The right tool for the job in regard to construction management bidding services.
Great product, open API, and pretty good customer support. Its between this and building connected, but Smart Bid trumps Building connected because it does not require sub contractors to login.
The ease of use and the right amount of customization. The learning curve is present, but should not hinder a person that is at least somewhat comfortable with computer use. A great product that streamlines the bid process and allows the user the ability to tune the it to their needs.
The incorporation of the pre-qual process and other administrative tools into the software can be a bit clunky, but they still work, however, they require a bit more fiddling with.
This is a bid database that my company uses for the bid process for construction projects.
An up to date database that can be filtered to different areas depending on where the project is located.
We are able to store potentiometer trade partners and send out communications regarding projects with ease. Trade partners are able to respond to the bid invitation and they are able to upload their proposal.
This software still has a couple of kinks. If at anytime you click the back button, you will be required to log back into the program.
Great Bid Software for GC's
SmartBid is a great resource especially for contractors that bid in multiple markets. Our sub database on SmartBid consists of thousands of subcontractors that work with our six regional offices across the US. Our primary precon department is located at our headquarters in Michigan, and often have to support our other offices with estimation. The software makes it easy to find qualified subs with an almost limitless amount of ways to set up a work area in the location of the project. It is full of features that we could make use of with more training. So of the simpler features are the activity report, allowing us to see whether a sub has viewed the project or downloaded the files, and a feature where you can see the browser and IP address of a sub that is viewing projects, to find out if they are forwarding your invitations to others.
Very easy to pick up the basics, and a very powerful database tool.
Some of the more in depth features could be very powerful but it would require having more time or assistants to setup for each project.
SmartBid is a fantastic resource that enables us to send out bid invitations to our choice of subs at the click of a few buttons.
Being able to quickly let our subs know new information at a moments notice.
The user interface needs to be updated. It is very difficult to understand how to send out even basic invitations to bid without the assistance of someone that has used the program for several months.
Response from JBKnowledge
Kohl - Thank you for the honest feedback and review! We're working on some updates to the system that will get users up and running quicker. In the meantime, please note you can schedule live, one-on-one training at any time with our Customer Service team. Please let us know if we can help you further at [email protected] - Liz Welsh, Marketing Director
SmartBid - Review
Overall, SmartBid is great! It is very user friendly and is a huge help in the project bidding process!
I love the ability to compile lists of subcontractors in a database form where we can search them and send Invitations To Bid to them with ease by sending to any subcontractor in a certain area(state/area code/zip code/etc.)
I really cant think of anything that I do not like about SmartBid.
This is one of the main programs I access when bidding projects for clients. It is reliable and easy to use.
No real issues with it, adding projects is pretty simple but accepting invitations can only be done from the email address of the person that was invited.
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.
A simple-to-use platform to collect and access contractors and pricing data for bids
It provides enough functionalities that you don't really need another software to manage your bids. I used it in the context of construction project bids.
It acts as a good yellow-pages book, but lacks some analytical components that would be beneficial. One of them is the ability to see what percentage of trades have been covered for a project. Meaning, do we have enough bids for every trade that goes into building a building so that we can confidently say that at least one of the bids will be of a price that is fair and covers the required scope? That's a very specific question, and one that SmartBid itself can't answer because it doesn't offer many data analytics options.
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.
Smartbid Software Review
I use the software to bid construction projects. It is very easy to use and is a great tool to have when bidding construction projects. Very easy to keep notes within the project. The ability to track whether a subcontractor has viewed, or downloaded the project is very helpful.
Sometimes subcontractors have trouble viewing Invitations to Bid.
SmartBid has been a very useful tool to our company the last few years. Their customer service is top notch. They are constantly adding features and components to make the software better and always looking for feedback and suggestions. The SmartInsight function is one of the most useful features i have seen from a bidding software. I would highly recommend this software.
Response from JBKnowledge
Tim - Thank you for the feedback and review, I will be sure our Customer Service team sees this! It's a pleasure working with companies like yours.
SmartBid Review 4.3.2017
Customer Service is always amazing! I do have a few suggestions as far as making the program easier to use.
Response from JBKnowledge
Natalie - Thank you for the feedback and review! It is a pleasure working with companies like Coastal and I'll be sure our Customer Service team sees this! Please do send any and all suggestions to [email protected] for our consideration. - Liz Welsh, Marketing Director
Smartbid- Great for general contractors!
The benefits included are ease of access, multi user capability, subcontractor functions, and the blast emailing projects out to get the project to as many subcontractors as possible. We like the fact that it is cost efficient and allows our subcontractor pool to benefit from the program as well. You can also import public data agency information that includes new subcontractors.
I enjoy that smartbid streamlines the bidding process in construction. It allows you to upload drawings & specifications, as well as selecting trades to solicit to easily. Most bidding softwares are too complex for small subcontractors to understand and easily access documents. Smartbid offers ease of use for these subcontractors as well as allowing subcontractors to benefit the way the general contractor is. Having the availability to create takeoffs in Smartbid for the subcontractors you invite is so important.
The only thing I struggle with for Smartbid is the options to having subcontractors change their information within the program. We would like to see that subcontractors can update their license information as well as contacts for their company. Hopefully changes will be made in the future to allow these features to be utilized.
PreConstruction and PreQualification Solution
This software is easy to use, customizable, and their customer service is excellent. yet to find a software that compares.
I would like if it was dummed down a bid for subcontractors. I dont like they have to create a login.
Response from JBKnowledge
Chris - Thank you for the review and feedback! I wanted to make sure you knew that subcontractors are not required to create a login - they are giving an access code to your project in the email you send and can view documents and bid project details quickly and easily. If you have any doubt, please reach out to [email protected] so they can walk you through the process your subs encounter!
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.
One of the best bid softwares on the market
I prefer receiving bid invites through smartbid than other similar softwares due to it's overall simplicity
The software is easy to use from a contract and subcontractor standpoint. Can submit bids directly through the software.
It can be slow and slightly laggy at times. The folder layout can get confusing if somebody isn't keeping things organized at the top.
Powerful Bidding software
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.
One month into use - so far so good!
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.
Part Time User
I help out in the estimating department when we are slow and need to land more projects. In turn, I use SmatBidNet for a few months a year. Overall I like it. There was a bit of a learning curve in the beginning but that is to be expected with any software. I have noticed that even with the updates and the such I am able to jump back in year after year without much if any lose of how to use the program. Of all the estimating/soliciting programs I have used this one is superior.
I organize and manage my company's projects that are out to bid
Must have tool
Love the endless features
We have been using iSqFt for so long until we stumbled on this amazing product. Absolutely love it. Its very simple to use and got tons of more features. I actually never thought I would use the "Activity" feature . We used this to show the sub when the email we sent was opened and read and held him accountable for the changes he said he never was aware of. Also, there are constant updates and enhancements made to the program based on user review and comments, which is wonderful.
Features and ease of use
For users of old fashioned software's, It has a learning curve
Response from JBKnowledge
Kalpana - Thank you for the honest feedback and review! We're working on some updates to the system that will surely solve any existing learning curves. Please let us know if we can help you further at [email protected] - Liz Welsh, Marketing Director