What's one of the easiest ways to show your customer that you're better than your competition?
Submit a better bid package!
Is your bid package substantially superior to your competitions? Does it give your customers a reason to want you to do their work? If not, then it should.
Honestly, one of the main reasons that TurboBid's founder, Bill Ruffner, created TurboBid for his own contracting company was for the bid package. He understood that his bid package was a direct representation of his company's capabilities and professionalism.
He knew that his bid package had to be better than his competitions. So much better that his customer's would have more confidence in his capabilities and want him to do their work. He knew that if he could do this, his customer's would not require him to be the lowest bid price.
All of TurboBid's reports are automatically generated from the information entered during the estimating process. This means that you can generate highly professional bid packages and reports with a click of a button.
Following is a sampling of the various customer bid packages and reports that TurboBid generates.
New Construction or a Large Remodel Project
A typical bid package for new construction or a large remodel consists of the following: (TurboBid's bid package applies to all types of work whether it be electrical, plumbing, residential, commercial, industrial, etc.)
The formal proposal should be extremely black and white. There should be no gray areas to argue about after you’ve been awarded the job. It should detail exactly what is included in your proposal, as well as what is excluded from it.
There is a "Format Formal Proposal" section in TurboBid that allows you to format each section of the proposal. It includes dozens of inclusions and qualifications that you can easily select to include in your proposal. You can also take ownership and add whatever you want. You'll create a proposal template for new project that can be edited for any specific project as needed.
Click the following image to view a sample of our Formal Proposal.
Bid Price Report
Contracting is all about cash flow. As soon as you finish a phase of the project, you need to invoice your customer for the work. The payout phases can be anything that you want, such as a single phase like "Upon Completion" to a multitude of payout phases during the project like "Down Payment", "Service", "Rough", "Trim", etc. The payout amount can be a set dollar amount or it can be a percentage of the total bid price.
The bid price report is what TurboBid uses to present your bid price to your customer. You have the ability to break the bid price up into payout phases.
TurboBid's Take-Off tab includes two tabs by default. These two tabs work together. You can use tab #1 to take-off exactly what is on a blueprint. Nothing more, nothing less. Then you can use tab #2 to take-off what needs to be added to the blueprint in order to pass inspections, etc. The bid price report can display the values for tab #1 by itself or you can choose to have it display the values for both tabs, and then the total of the two tabs combined.
If you're providing the added service of value engineering and you're showing your customer what needs to be added to the print, you're starting to look really good in their eyes. This is important to them and they appreciate it. Not only that, but if your competition is not providing this kind of information, the customer is going to wonder why not. They're going to be thinking, "What kind of game are these guys playing? Are they going to try to hit me with change orders?". Your customer does not want that kind of grief. They will pay more to have you do the job if your bid package makes you look detail oriented, well informed, and professional. You won't have to be the lowest bid. Trust us, it's true. We know from experience from our years of contracting.
The take-off tab also features "options" tabs. An option could be something that your customer isn't sure if they're going to do or not but they want to know what you'll charge them if they do. The bid price tab will display any option pricing directly beneath the main bid price section. It also displays the pricing for the contents of TurboBid's quotes tab. For example, your customer isn't sure if they'll purchase light fixtures from you, but they want to know what you'll charge them for the fixtures so they can decide if they want to get them from you or not.
Click the following image to view a sample of our Bid Price report.
Quantity Take-Off Add/Delete
If you use tab #2 for value engineering, you'll want to include this report in your bid package so that you can show your customer what you have added to the blueprint in order to pass inspection, as well as what you recommend to delete in order to save money.
Click the following image to view a sample of the Quantity Take-Off Add/Delete report.
Quantity Take-Off by Category
This report shows your customers the quantities and descriptions of the assemblies in the estimate's take-off tab. The assemblies are grouped by category and will allow your customer to compare your estimate quantities against your competitions.
You can easily check a box in an assembly maintenance screen and the assembly will not appear in the quantity take-off reports. There are certain things customers don't need to know, like home runs distances, etc.
Click the following image to view a sample of the Quantity Take-Off by Category.
Quantity Take-Off by Column
This is where you can show off. While the quantity take-off by category report shows the total quantity per category, this report breaks it down and shows the location of where the assemblies are actually installed.
Click the following image to view a sample of the Quantity Take-Off by Column.
Service Work and Small Remodel Projects
Many contractors use Time and Material for service work and remodeling projects. While this is a safe way for contractors to price these types of jobs, it has a couple of major drawbacks.
One problem with time and material work is that it limits the potential profit. When a time and material job has been completed, the customer is provided with an invoice that outlines the labor cost, the material cost and the agreed upon profit percentage. While this ensures that the contractor makes a profit, it does limit the profit.
The best way to maximize profits is through flat rate pricing. Flat rate pricing is where the customer is provided with a price up front.
Click the following image to view a sample of the Flat Rate Price Quote.
The key to flat rate pricing is to make sure that you have the correct amount of labor needed to complete the task. It needs to be a realistic amount of time, as well as a little buffer time to cover any worst case scenarios. Since you’re using an amount of time for a worst case scenario, you’re going to end up beating the labor hours most of the time. When you beat the labor hours, your profit margins go up
Flat rate pricing allows you to increase your profit margins through your performance on the job. For example, let’s say that your customer wants to have you run a circuit and hook up their new hot tub. You would provide them with a price upfront. Once they agree to the price, they don't care how much the material costs or how long the job takes.
Here's an example of why you can increase your profit margins. Open the Flat Rate Price Take-Off Detail report displayed below and you'll see these values listed on page 2 for the Hot Tub task.
- Material: $312
- Hours: 6.75
- Labor Cost: $479
- Overhead: $79
- Break-Even Cost: $869
- Profit: 18% @ $156
- Flat Rate price: $1,026
Click the following image to view a sample of the Flat Rate Price Take-Off Detail report.
Your customer has agreed to the price so as far as they’re concerned, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. If the technician completes the task in 6.75 hours, you will make an 18% profit. However, let’s say that your technician does a great job and completes the task in 5 hours instead of the budgeted 6.75.
What’s the result? Through the genius of flat rate pricing, this task’s profit margin increased from 18% to 39%! This potential increase in profit cannot, and will not, happen with time and material pricing.
The second problem with Time and Material pricing is that customers simply do not like it. They want to know how much something is going to cost them before they agree to have you do the work. While there will always be a place for time and material work, the use of flat rate pricing should not be discounted.
This sample project is based on a blueprint found in Mike Holt’s Illustrated Guide to Electrical Estimating book. The sample estimate consists of a 2 story commercial building with a basement. Within the building is a bakery, drug store, beauty salon, doctor’s office and an insurance agency. The common area includes a boiler room, service equipment room, common hallways, rooftop cooling systems, switch gear, etc.
What makes TurboBid really good for estimating this type of commercial work is its unique ability to break up the project into separate models (Bakery, drug store, etc.) as well as separate rooms or locations (Pharmacy, Merchandise Area, Boiler Room, Restrooms, Common Areas, etc.). It’s also faster and easier using TurboBid’s extensive database of assemblies rather than having to complete a take-off using all individual parts. However, in addition to using assemblies, you can still add individual items to the take-off.
Click on the following reports to view the actual PDF reports.
Bid Price Detail
Qty Take-Off by Category
Qty Take-off by Room