31 May 2023 6 min read

8 Best Construction Bidding Software (2023):

A Comprehensive Guide


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Performing accurate cost estimates is important to win high-ticket projects in the construction industry. On the other hand, having relevant subcontractor bids as options is important to reduce contract management risks.

To achieve success both as a bidder and client, using construction bidding software helps streamline the time-consuming bidding process and submissions for construction projects.

In this guide, we feature the 8 best construction bidding software in 2023. We cover its top features, pros, cons, and share genuine customer reviews to help you make an informed choice.

Best construction bidding software and tools in 2023

What is construction bidding?

To win projects, construction companies have to participate in a bidding process described by the client. Here, the client will share bid invitations where they define the bidding rules and share project documents for construction businesses to submit competitive bid proposals.

For example, residential builders may open a bid for their roofing work. They will open bid invitations for roofing or construction firms to fulfill the necessary requirement. Depending on how close the submitted bids are to their needs, they will choose the winner of the contract.

Advantages of having a construction bidding process for construction project management:

Streamline vendor selection: by adopting a bidding process, construction companies put efforts into designing a fair and transparent vendor selection process.

Vendor evaluation: bidding helps create a level playing field for interested vendors to showcase their expertise, experience, and capabilities in meeting project demands.

Competitive pricing: more options to choose from submitted bids means better pricing options for construction professionals.

More options: with multiple bid submissions, you get to understand various approaches vendors take to manage projects.

Risk mitigation: bidding helps in risk mitigation as you're not restricted to a single vendor with their project management style or profitability ambitions.

Overall, construction bidding helps gain market visibility for clients, while for vendors, it means a fair chance in acquiring new construction projects.

What are construction bidding software and tools?

Construction bidding is a frequently recurring workflow as business developers in construction businesses work hard to win projects. These bidding workflows have very demanding submission timelines. It can get difficult to keep up with managing bids across document management, estimating costs, bid tracking, etc.

Construction bidding software is an all-in-one solution that helps users organize, automate, and manage bids.

"Construction bid management software lowers costs, improves efficiency and enhances estimates with tools to streamline and automate the proposal process."

- Software Advice Buyer Guide

Types of construction bid management software tools

There are 3 major types of construction bid management software depending on which aspect of bidding you want to manage:

Construction estimating software:

Construction estimating software provides access to relevant databases and templates for cost estimating of projects. It also helps optimize costs so that you prepare and submit a competitive bid. It is important to have good construction estimating software since many construction projects place good importance on final costs submitted by participating vendors.

Integration and CRM tools:

This software focuses on integrating various bid management workflows with customer relationship management software and other tools. This helps various accounting, project management, or CRM tools to communicate information for streamlined bidding.

Document management and reporting:

This helps store proposal documents and ensures it is kept secure from any unwanted access. It also enables quick retrieval of documents as required. A good construction software will include a powerful search feature for finding relevant information.

A good bid management software will provide the above 3 major types in a single software. For larger construction businesses, it may make sense to adopt separate software and use integration tools to pass or retrieve data.

Key features of construction bidding software and tools

Bid management helps automate multiple workflows across cost estimation, communication, documentation, etc. It includes a set of features that help improve efficiency by automating manual tasks across the following:

Bid tracking: helps track how the proposal is shaping the entire bidding process. For example, it will help you track bid deadlines so that construction professionals can ensure timely submissions.

Access control: it helps protect any sensitive information that your bid contains. For example, a project manager can ensure only authorised construction teams can edit or trusted subject matter experts can review documents.

Construction estimating: helps use past project data and material or labour databases to prepare accurate cost estimates. A good bid management tool also helps with forecasting and construction accounting as a feature. Ensure you have comprehensive estimating software to avoid using other dedicated apps.

Subcontractor management: during the cost estimating process, you may have to connect with your suppliers to get quotes. The software will help you track, save their responses for quick usage, and approve subcontractor payment applications when you win the project.

Lead management: construction firms participate in multiple bids to acquire desired projects. Construction bidding software helps with contact management, customer relationship management, and handling construction contractors' support requests.

Not every construction management software will include every feature mentioned. Construction companies must carefully evaluate their construction bidding workflows and prioritise features accordingly.

Why use construction project management software for managing bids?

A good construction bidding software will help you manage below aspects of construction bidding:

Cost estimating:

An important criterion in bid selection is project costs. Hence, construction firms take special efforts to ensure they prepare accurate estimates. Construction bidding software helps with cost estimating across labour, materials, vendors, equipment, etc. Good software will include a database of prices updated as per the market, which makes it easy and quick to calculate estimates.

Preparing project documents:

Document management is important to prepare bids quickly as some projects may be similar in specifications. Also, many clients define formats in which one has to submit the bids. A construction project management software includes features that help prepare, edit, save, and share project documents with relevant parties.

Subcontractor management:

Organizing and having accurate estimates from suppliers is key in preparing robust and winning bids. The software helps manage subcontractor data, and external parties and collaborate with them to prepare competitive bids.

Takeoff and measurement:

A construction project management software will help you manage drawings, prepare new diagrams or determine measurements from available drawings. This helps in having the right measurements for cost estimating.

Real-time communication:

Since working on bid proposals requires team collaboration, having real-time collaboration helps increase efficiency. Construction project management software helps you communicate and share information in real-time with relevant security in place. Typical features include features to collaborate within documents, real-time communication, commenting, etc.

Preparing and submitting inaccurate estimates in bid proposals hurts your cash flows and your reputation as a reliable construction management company. With bid management software, construction firms improve their chances of proposing relevant, accurate, and competitive bids.

8 Best Construction Bidding Software to win construction projects

Here are the top construction bidding software for 2023:

1. Archdesk 

Archdesk's website hero section

Archdesk is a cloud-based management platform specialised in supporting all kinds of construction processes.

The software offers tools to manage bidding, takeoff, project delivery, finance management, and much more.

Data is gathered and updated in real time, so you always know where you are with your projects.

Also, you can access the system  from any device, which makes the communication site-office faster and more efficient.

With Archdesk, you can make data-driven decisions that will make your business flourish.

Archdesk features

  • Real-time tracking of submitted bids and project progress
  • Various tools to manage project budgets and company finances 
  • One platform that accelerates internal and external communication
  • Custom reporting and documents templates
  • Modules to manage construction estimating and takeoff

Archdesk Pros

  • Real-time collaboration between teams and departments 
  • One platform that gathers the company’s data and supports construction processes from A to Z
  • Automation of time-consuming and repetitive tasks making the bidding process faster and more efficient 
  • Customised reporting dashboards, giving complete control over bidding and project delivery 

Archdesk Pricing

Archdesk Packages Pricing

Archdesk Reviews

Capterra Rating: 4.6/5
G2 Rating: 4.3/5

There is no doubt in my mind that we wouldn't have grown as far as we have without Archdesk. Knowing my company has a solid structure and system in place, I have every confidence that our growth will continue and will be manageable.

-Capterra Review

Software like Archdesk is the lifeblood of most organizations. It is the system of record for everything. I've worked at an organization before that didn't use it and life was miserable. It just keeps everything so organised, helps us to track almost everything within the company. Sing in and out feature saved us lot of time and money tracking our employees. Like I mentioned before, everything is run out of Archdesk. 

- Capterra Review

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2. Stack

Stack's MEP screenshot

Stack's pre-construction solution helps users organize and manage bidding projects. It is designed to provide a centralized place to work on construction plans, collaborate on documents, or annotate drawings. Stack helps ensure construction professionals experience frictionless project collaboration to prepare a winning bid.

Stack's main features:

  • Cost estimate and takeoff

  • Real-time communication between field service labours and back-office teams

  • Centralised dashboard for bid management

  • Tracking bids and manage projects

Stack Pros

  • Cloud-based storage

  • Real-time collaboration

  • Intuitive user interface

Stack Cons

  • Online customer reviews suggest bugs in takeoff features

  • Short trial period with an expensive annual plan

  • Inadequate document-sharing features

Stack Pricing

Stack offers annual pricing depending on the features required.

Stack's software pricing page for 2023

Stack Reviews

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5
G2 Rating: 3.9/5

Pricing structure is little bit restrictive. We do not need most of the feature that we currently pay for, but there is no option not to pay for the whole package.
- Capterra Review

Stack is simply well-built software, from an intuitive interface to the detailed and customizable archive of items and assemblies. The trial period is short and limited, with a hefty upfront annual price tag. Accurately determining the value Stack can bring is challenging in the trial period.
- G2 Review

3. Clear Estimates

Clear Estimate's knowledge base page

Clear Estimates software focuses on the use case for residential builders. It is a construction project management software that helps with residential remodeling estimates, customer relationship management, and generating reports. From general contractors to handymen, Clear Estimate is a suitable software, especially for residential construction businesses.

Clear Estimates main features:

  • 10,000+ parts pre-loaded database of area-specific material and labor costs

  • 130+ templates to manage jobs

  • Custom boilerplate for making proposals

  • Create reports

Clear Estimates Pros

  • Designed for residential building projects and custom home builders

  • Material and labour rates based on specific locations

  • Good user interface

Clear Estimates Cons

  • Does not take care of different taxation requirements

  • Inadequate customisation options

  • Lacks adequate integrations

Clear EstimateS Pricing

Clear Estimates offers both monthly and annual pricing as follows:

Clear Estimate's pricing page screenshot as of 2023

Clear Estimates Reviews

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

Software Advice: 4.52/5

Easy to put together an estimate with in minutes. Reports page needs more options. You should be able to put the disclaimer, project disruption etc... any where you would like. Right now it's gets all jumbled at the top of e proposals.

- Capterra Review

What I like most about this software is being able to set up Parts & Templates which makes putting together an estimate a lot faster which means you have more time to oversee your business. The thing I least like about this software is not being able to use it for insurance work. What I mean by that is some jobs I get may be from insurance companies and the estimate might call for dehumidifiers and fans board ups stuff like that. But I can get by with it.

- Software Advice Review

4. Procore

Procore Software - floor plan feature screenshot

Procore is a web software that helps smoothly manage projects by improving team collaboration. Their estimation software focuses on streamlining communication, construction financials, and document management for preparing competitive bids. It is useful for a variety of bid management needs for specialty contractors, general contractors, building owners, construction managers, custom home builders, etc.

Procore main features:

  • Automated area detection in floor plans

  • Historical rate tables, database and manage subcontractor data

  • Budgeting and financial management

  • Manage document revisions

Procore Pros

  • Centralized platform for bid management

  • Real-time communication

  • Adequate team collaboration features set

Procore Cons

  • Non-intuitive user interface

  • Expensive plans

  • The software has a learning curve and is not beginner friendly

Procore Pricing

Procore provides a custom quote that is based on the use case, business model, annual construction volume, etc.

Procore's pricing page screenshot

Procore Reviews

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

G2 Rating: 4.6/5

Procore provides a centralized platform for managing projects, allowing users to access project information, documents, and workflows from anywhere. Procore can be expensive, especially for smaller construction companies. The software is priced per user, so as the number of users grows, the cost of using Procore can quickly add up.

- Capterra Review

Expensive for CMs with a large Annual Construction Volume. Slow response to some improvement ideas. More server downtime after Procore went public (less reliable uptime), but this seems to improve recently; nothing too serious. Analytics tool is basic; not enough endpoints are exposed.

- G2 Review

5. InEight bid management software

user specific estimate views in InEight's software

InEight bid management software enables real-time construction management to prepare competitive bids. It includes a complete suite of features across pre-construction planning, design, and project management for the entire project life cycle. They cater to various industries like energy, chemical, oil, and gas, for construction managers, general contractors, specialty contractors, etc.

InEight's main features:

  • Track negotiations and bid status

  • Construction estimating and bidding

  • Manage bids from concept to under contract

  • Contract management

Ineight Pros

  • Good for large or complex projects

  • Comprehensive construction management software with project management features

  • Adequate construction estimating features

Ineight Cons

  • Non-intuitive user interface

  • Inadequate team collaboration features

  • Too much customisation gets overwhelming and requires training

Ineight Pricing

InEight bid management software provides a custom quote. You can email [email protected] to get customized pricing as per the requirements of your construction projects.

InEight bid management software's custom pricing page screenshot

Ineight Reviews

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5

G2 Rating: 4.3/5

It takes a long time to learn the program and get familiar with the actions when putting an estimate together. Because of the complexity of the system our firm was hesitant about continuing to use it shortly after I started working here. Once they saw the rewards of the work we procured they have since changed their minds. I believe smaller firms would be more apt to using the software if there was a less complex version that could be offered.

- Capterra Review

It was great for tracking budget and schedule for a large team. The upload and download icons are not intuitive-just the opposite of the standard icons for these. Also, it was expensive to implement-we had to train every single user prior to them jumping in.

- G2 Review

6. Buildertrend

Buildertrend software job information screenshot

Buildertrend is a cloud-based construction project management software that also includes construction bid management features. With Buildertrend's project management products, you need not opt for separate cost estimating software, construction bid management software, project scheduling, or any app for construction accounting. It focuses on enabling frictionless project collaboration till project completion, which includes pre-construction activities too.

Buildertrend's main features:

  • Bid management templates

  • Information management

  • Construction accounting

  • Estimating and bidding

Buildertrend Pros

  • Dedicated features for lead management and follow-ups

  • Client portal and adequate communication features

  • Intuitive and easy to use

Buildertrend Cons

  • Expensive pricing

  • Inadequate reporting features

  • Limited customization options

Buildertrend Pricing

Buildertrend provides custom pricing and quotes. You need to contact their team to get an exact quote. There is no free version available.

Pricing Unavailable

Buildertrend Reviews

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

G2 Rating: 4.2/5

The one thing I don't like about Buildertrend software is the cost. While it offers a lot of features, the price can be a bit steep for some businesses. However, the cost is worth it if you need a comprehensive project management system.

- Capterra Review

The real-time updates and scheduling features have been a game-changer for me. I no longer have to constantly check in with my team to see what's happening with the project. While the platform is user-friendly, there is a learning curve to getting used to all the features and functions. This may take some time and require training for new users. Some users may find that the customization options are limited and that the platform doesn't fully meet all their specific needs.

- G2 Review

7. SmartBid

SmarBid's subcontractor bid comparison screenshot

SmartBid focuses on providing bid management software for general contractors. This web software streamlines the pre-construction project management process across project data management, construction estimating, contract management, etc. It also promises 24/7 customer support and guarantee project data security.

Smartbid's main features:

  • Central location to send bid invitations

  • Project document management

  • Construction estimating and bidding

  • Manage subcontractor data

Smartbid Pros:

  • Dedicated features for pre-construction activities

  • Data room feature to manage project data and documents

  • The brand focuses on serving general contractors

Smartbid Cons:

  • Inadequate calendar and scheduling features

  • Inadequate training material for new users

  • Clunky user interface

  • Nothing beyond the bidding process - no complete construction software features

Smartbid Pricing:

SmartBid provides an annual license, whose total pricing depends on the number of users. They do not charge for subcontractor bids. For an exact quote, you need to fill out the 'Request Demo' form and connect with their sales team.

SmartBid's pricing page screenshot

SmartBid Reviews:

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5

G2 Rating: 4.4/5

The setup and layout is very nice. The project information page is not over crowded with information, making it difficult to find what you need. There are many times when a GC will take bids even after the due date. SmartBid does not allow for downloading of material after bid date.

- G2 Review

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.

- Capterra Review

8. Contractor Foreman

Contractor Foreman's dashboard screenshot

Contractor Foreman is a complete construction management software that includes bid management features. You can analyze bids side-by-side for choosing the best solutions for your construction projects. It helps manage bids and bid requests from vendors too. You can also manage bid responses and procurement.

Contractor foreman's main features:

  • Online bidding for construction projects

  • Place, award, and manage bid requests

  • Track bid responses and analyse submissions

  • Generate purchase orders and use its construction management features to execute projects won

Contractor foreman Pros:

  • Fast customer support

  • Adequate features for the price charged

  • Good project and bid-tracking features

Contractor Foreman Cons:

  • Lacks sufficient reporting features

  • Inadequate CRM features

  • Does not allow more than one active estimate for a particular project

Contractor Foreman Pricing:

Contractor Foreman starts at USD 49/month. You can try the software for free for up to 30 days. Their pricing page is transparent about various plans and includes both annual and quarterly billing options.

Contractor Foreman pricing page for 2023

Contractor foreman Reviews:

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5

G2 Rating: 4.4/5

Contractor Foreman does not allow you to have more than one active estimate on a project. While this may not affect a smaller contractor, it complicates things for us. I have been assured that this feature is in development. The constant development is a plus, as they are continuously tweaking and adding features and functionality.

- G2 Review

There is a lack of a committed account manager that we can navigate best practices with. They have group sessions that do overviews, but then have to book a session to get into specifics. You're not always getting the same person so there's a continuity gap.

- Capterra Review

Roll up your sleeves and get competitive with a construction bidding software

It is advised to choose a complete construction management software that includes comprehensive bid management features. This reduces the need to purchase different apps for construction estimating, construction accounting, or other project management tasks once you win the project.

Archdesk helps you achieve success with winning the bids, while also managing unlimited projects immediately. Your construction business need not get stuck in managing or transferring data, as you have a single place to manage pre-construction and entire project life cycle workflows.

Book a demo today to understand how Archdesk can enable winning bids or managing bid invitations for your construction projects.

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2024-04-16 01:16:27