Let's face it – when you're bidding every potential job from here to the Moon and aren't getting enough projects to keep everything moving, it's tough. But how do you win more jobs without spending all your time in the office, bent over your computer or paperwork? Fortunately, electrical bidding software can help you win more jobs without having to devote all your time to paperwork. But how does it help and what can it do to improve your company's profits while giving you more time to get the job done out in the field? Here's a quick look at how it works.
Pick the Right Jobs
With today's network connectivity, it's easier than ever to find out about new projects. This can make it very tempting to bid on every single job that comes up, but that way lies madness. After all, if your experience and knowledge are in commercial installations, are you going to make any money on residential retrofits or repairs? Knowing what kind of projects are the most profitable can make the biggest difference in your company's bottom line without forcing you to bid every project on the board.
When you incorporate good quality electrical bidding software as part of your takeoff process, many packages include analytics that take a solid look at how much you spend on every project versus how much you make. Instead of having to stare at confusing financial reports or endless spreadsheets, the system will do the work for you, analyzing each job and determining how profitable it is. This allows you to determine that not only are you better at residential, but that your most profitable projects are new installs at subdivisions with homes between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet. By knowing this information, you can then limit the projects you bid on to those that you're most likely to complete successfully and profitably.
Get the Prices Right
There's nothing as embarrassing as being told that your prices are way out of line, and then realizing that it's actually true due to an error in pricing your bid. Whether the mistake happens because of a typo in the price, using an outdated price list, accidentally screwing up the formula on the spreadsheet or making a mistake on your count, pricing and quantity issues can cost your business a project or a lot of money, turning what you considered to be a profitable project into a serious money pit that drags down your bottom line. Almost as bad are errors when the project's price is sent across to accounting and a mis-keyed price generates serious customer service issues, requiring you to take time off the job to smooth ruffled feathers.
When you use electrical bidding software, you can avoid a lot of these mistakes in the estimating process. By keeping everything together on the same page, you reduce the chance that you'll make a mistake in count or measurement. Formulas to calculate cost are protected against accidental changes. Price databases are automatically updated, giving you the right price without a lot of run around on common items. Automatic price inquiry emails can be generated and sent to your suppliers for items you don't have in the database. Better software programs will make sure your bid is in line with national averages for similar projects, helping you catch obvious mistakes that are harder to see after a twelve hour day on the job. When you assign a task to a team member, you can immediately pull up plans on your smartphone to determine whether the fixture in question should be a 1010-50A or a 1010-50B. Pricing is automatically carried across your accounting system, helping avoid errors in data entry.
Create Better Estimates
If you've received bids on a project, you've probably seen the same Quickbooks layout so many businesses use, time and again. How can you make your estimate stand out from the crowd? Though some businesses then pull that information into Excel or Word to further dress up their estimate, that process takes time and requires even more manual tasks for your business when you're trying to get everything done and get onto the job site.
When you work with better electrical bidding software packages, you'll gain more options to create a customized estimate form that stands out from the crowd. Good-quality estimating software allows you to customize and then export your estimate in a number of different formats, including Word, Excel and PDF formats. But once you've sent the bid, you can still automate your back-office workflow, adding pricing to accounting software, analyzing job data, sending out marketing emails and similar tasks. This keeps you in the field working instead of transferring information from one system to the next.
Follow Up Without Wasting Time
But what about after you've made a bid? Sales departments have long operated with constant phone calls and emails to clients to follow up on a bid. Unfortunately, that process is time-consuming for both the electrical company and the prospective client, wasting time that would be better spent on the job site, getting things done.
Fortunately, digitization has created an easier way. Because high-quality estimating software includes marketing automation, you can set up your project contacts to automatically receive follow-up emails, satisfaction surveys, special offers and similar information without having to spend a lot of time in the office. This allows you to keep your company's name in front of prospective clients without spending a lot of time doing so.
When you add electrical bidding software to your business' toolkit, you can ensure that you'll win more profitable jobs without spending all your time in the office. By digitizing your electrical business with high-quality estimating software like Esticom, you gain a suite of comprehensive solutions to keep your business moving. Why not give our free electrical bidding software trial a try today and see where it takes your electrical business?