If the closing date is approaching for a tender and you need to chase up some invitees there's no substitute for ringing round and talking to them - but you don't always have time to call everyone.

BidContender's new Messages feature allows you to easily send an email to all the invitees who haven't yet quoted with just a few clicks.

Messages is still a beta

We're still adding in some features, but we wanted to let you use the feature and give your feedback as early as possible. Currently the subcontractor receives the message as an email and they can reply by email straight back to your email address.

Future improvements may include allowing them to reply from within BidContender and allowing you to view their replies in BidContender as well as in your email.

Other ways you could use Messages

Icon for resending

Resend the invitation email

If a subcontractor loses the invitation email, just send them a message. It includes a link to the invitation, plus other details of the tender.

Awarded icon

Let subcontractors know you've won

It's great to share good news. Now it's dead easy to let every subbie who quoted know you've won the tender.

Message icon

Let people know about a site meeting

If there's an announcement about the tender that doesn't warrant an addendum, a message is the quick way to let everyone know.

How it works

Choose "Send message" from the list of tender invitations

Screenshot of choosing to send a message.

You can choose a set of invitees to send to - such as "All invitees who have not quoted" - and send them a message reminding them that the closing date is approaching. We'll be adding other sets of invitees in the future.

Write your message

Screenshot of creating a message.

Just enter the details for the message.

The recipients then receive an email

Screenshot of the email that recipients will receive.

The email includes your message, details of the tender and a link to access the tender in BidContender.

Let us know what you think

We're still working on improving Messages but we wanted to get the Beta feature live so we could find out what you think of it.

Email us any thoughts to feedback@bidcontender.com, or leave a comment below. We'd love to hear what you think.

Our industry is constantly changing and evolving, meaning there tends to be frequent staff changes and movement within and between organisations.

As such, contact details and information can sometimes be out of date or incorrect. If you happen to notice that an organisation in your network needs to update their BidContender details, you can now notify them straight away. Simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Find the organisation in the “My Network” tab of the Network Directory.Screenshot of finding an organisation.
  2. Find the user who’s details need updating in the organisation’s list of users. Move the cursor over the user and you will now see a ‘Report an error’ option. Click on it to confirm you want to report the error.
    Step 1
  3. Once confirmed, an ‘error reported’ message will replace the ‘report an error’ message.
    Step 2
  4. An email will automatically send to the administrator of that organisation alerting them that their contact details require reviewing and updating.
    Step 3
  5. If you have any feedback on this new feature, please let us know at feedback@bidcontender.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Recently we explored the Top 3 reasons to use online tender management. Today, we’ll take you through the two tendering options: Private and Public tendering and why smart Contractors choose both to drive their business.

Online public tendering announces to the market you are looking for pricing on a job, just like putting an ad in the paper. While that may reveal you intentions to competitors, it has many benefits.

1. Reduces the time and labour involved in reaching out to subcontractors over the phone or via print ads, which in the long run becomes an expensive exercise.
2. Allows you to keep an eye on market prices to remain competitive. Having visibility of the competitive landscape and market value of certain trades, helps protect margins.
3. Provides you with volume. Whether you’re working in a regional area or looking for a specialty trade, public tendering will increase your chances of getting more quotes.

On the other hand, private tendering can feel like a ‘closed’ option, relying on established partnerships and a smaller base of contractors to quote. That may be the case but it does come with it’s own set of benefits.

1. Effective when you need to maintain a level of confidentiality and keep the information within a focused network.
2. Control and manage the process with subcontractors you know to avoid resource intensive review cycles including business reference checks.
3. As your projects grow in scope and complexity, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that the subcontractors you are selecting deliver on a standard that you want and trust.

Striking the balance between Public and Private online tender management, can be extremely beneficial to Contractors looking to maintain a competitive edge while developing partnerships with subcontractors to support ongoing growth and mutual benefit. It’s a winning combination!

ApprovalWithin the construction industry, workflows are a great way of managing work through a review process. They can be applied to a number of different activities from RFIs to quote evaluations. In the simplest terms, a workflow is a set or sequence of tasks that facilitate a process in order to complete work. Workflows help lead to more efficient business processes by coordinating the required stakeholders, organising their contribution and managing duration.

Let’s take a look at publishing a tender. In a large organisation, the role of uploading documents and collating packages is up to the Junior Estimator with a Senior or Head Estimator reviewing it prior to being published to Open Tenders or subcontractors being invited to quote. In BidContender, the Junior Estimator can create a tender and upload the documentation and packages, then click ‘Save as Draft’. Once saved to draft, the tender invitation is then marked as such on the tender invitations. From there, the Head Estimator can then review the tender and publish when it is approved.

The ‘Save as Draft’ function is a valuable workflow tool, that will help your business manage tender preparation smarter and faster with the right approvals in place. Essentially, it gives you the ability to review that it’s done correctly the first time around.

If you have any suggestions on this new feature let us know at feedback@bidcontender.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Top 3 reasons to use an online tender management solution

In our rapidly evolving industry it’s vital to maintain a competitive edge and find new ways of doing things. Today, we’ll take you through the top 3 reasons why smart Contractors choose to use an online tendering solution to drive their business.

1. Efficiency

With an online tender management solution, you can publish a tender to the public subcontractor marketplace or send private invitations to tender to your network of preferred subcontractor organisations within minutes.

2. Control

Keep track of tender documents, revisions, addenda and quotes. See all your tender information in one place and have full visibility of packages and subcontractor response rates, deadlines and other key metrics.

3. Return on Investment

Online tendering can provide significant ROI when compared to traditional methods like newspapers. Some BidContender contractors report a monthly saving of up to 65% off their previous monthly tender advertising costs since making the move to online.

At BidContender, we’ve been working on product enhancements based on your feedback, along with improvements that we trust will make your BidContender experience simpler and faster.

  • Auto-supersede – when you upload a new document revision to BidContender, it will automatically detect files with matching file names and supersede the old, existing one in the system. For those that use Aconex, you’ll be familiar with this function. Find out more information on our support pages at Support Central.
  • Login – logging into BidContender just got easier. We’ve updated it to capture your email address and added the call centre phone number should you need further assistance.
  • Package allocator performance improvements on IE11 – For those using the IE11 browser, we’ve made improvements to speed up the process. It will be most noticeable for small to medium sized projects. We’re working on performance for larger projects, however if you are experiencing difficulties, we recommend you change your browser from IE11 to Google Chrome. Our testing has shown that Google Chrome performs BidContender tasks significantly faster.

Internet Explorer logoAs of the end of December 2014, BidContender will no longer support Internet Explorer (IE) versions 7 or 8. This will affect any users accessing BidContender on these browser versions.

Will I still be able to use BidContender in IE7 or 8?

Yes, you will still be able to log in and work with BidContender using these versions of IE. However, we will stop testing on these browsers, which means that BidContender may occasionally look or perform differently, and some new functionality will not be available.

Why should I upgrade?

  • Security: Older browsers are more likely to have security problems that aren’t addressed by their manufacturers.
  • Speed: Using a newer browser can make your experience of the web faster and smoother.
  • Fewer bugs: By focusing on support for current browsers, we can respond more quickly to iron out bugs and issues.
  • Get more out of BidContender: Like most websites and apps, BidContender uses the latest technologies to bring you the most advanced functionality we can. These technologies require current browsers in order to work reliably. Without them, you may not be able to use the BidContender features you need.

How can I upgrade?

If your company has an IT department, we recommend you speak to them about upgrading your browser. If you have access to upgrade your browser, please download the latest version from the Microsoft website.

Can I use a different browser?

Of course you can. We highly recommend our users switch to Google Chrome where possible, as our testing has shown that BidContender runs significantly faster in most tasks when using this browser. Please download the latest version from the Google Chrome website.

What browsers do you support?

We provide full support for IE11, IE10, IE9, Firefox 11 or later, Chrome 25 or later.

Thank you to all of our customers who have shared feedback with us so far. We have been overwhelmed by your response and ideas to help us make BidContender a better, more intuitive product to help you manage tenders and quotes more efficiently.

Based on your feedback here are the latest releases:

  • RFI before you quote – you can now send a RFI to the contractor to clarify and understand the project better before you invest valuable time and resource submitting a quote.
  • Quote and accept in one – you can now review the project details and then simply submit a quote. Doing this will automatically acknowledge your interest in the project and capture your details.
  • Politely decline – you can now add a note when you decline an invitation. This allows you to provide a reason for your decision and manage the relationship.
  • If you have any suggestions on this new feature let us know at feedback@bidcontender.com. We’d love to hear from you.

    We’re in the early stages of releasing a new feature that allows Gold and Platinum users to manage document revisions more easily.

    Currently, you’ll only run into the feature if you upload a file with exactly the same filename as a document in the same discipline. In this case, BidContender will offer to supersede the existing document automatically. However, if you don’t want to supersede, just deselect that file.

    Very soon, BidContender will start to recognise filenames that appear to be updated revisions of existing documents and will also offer to supersede these. This will make it much easier to upload a lot of new files automatically and ensure the same document remains tracked through its revisions in BidContender.

    A document controller’s dream!

    If you’ve any suggestions on this new feature let us know at feedback@bidcontender.com. We’d love to hear from you.

    MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION (2)The BidContender Team are excited to congratulate more of our winning clients from the 2014 Master Builders Association of Excellence in Construction Awards in Queensland and Victoria. These prestigious awards recognize and celebrate the outstanding commitment to craftsmanship and professional standards demonstrated by these organizations.

    Alder Constructions Pty Ltd
    Badge Construction Projects
    Lend Lease Building Pty Ltd

    APM Group
    Foursquare Construction

    Well done to everyone! You can click through to see the winners list for Queensland and Victoria.