Using Data in Construction Bidding

Construction Bidding

Subcontractors use construction data to stay on top of area analytics. They want to know what companies are winning the most bids for new-builds and commercial or residential renovations. The subcontractor that sent you a basket of fruit over the holidays? That’s the company that made money with you last year and wants to partner with you this year.

If subcontractors are on top of their game, they expect you to be even better informed. You have construction projects to bid. A lot of people and other companies depend on you to win the bid. What kind of information do you need to make profitable bids that hit a home run with municipalities, project managers and investors?

Ways to Bid to Win Construction Projects

You need a good software program to help you make the best bids. The construction bidding software for 2020 garnering the most favorable reviews and recommendations* include:

  • Adoddle
  • B2W Estimate
  • Building Connected
  • CoConstruct
  • Contract Complete
  • e-Builder
  • HCSS Heavy Bid
  • HeadsUp iCPM
  • iSqFt for General Contractors
  • McCormick Estimating Software
  • Methvin
  • OmTrak
  • Pantera Tools
  • PAS Concepts
  • Pipeline Suite
  • PlanHub
  • Relatics
  • SmartBid Bid Management

“Bid first, know your competition and don’t chase every job.” –

Staying profitable in a competitive bidding environment means you need to know as much as possible about your local market. Every week, the latest regional construction project bids ready to preview are listed. Armed with that info, decide which jobs you can bid for profit:

  1. Do your homework – Be able to speak to design details and their ROI.
  2. Know who the decision-makers are – Learn what they require to build confidence.
  3. Push your qualifications – Be straight-up about why your team can deliver better value, stay within the budget, and meet project timelines.
  4. Embrace technology.

When You Have Construction Projects to Bid, Technology Delivers

Your software can help, but nothing can give you a better edge than local, timely, relevant construction data. Contact Construction Monitor. When you win, we win.

*Construction Monitor does not formally endorse nor recommended any project bid/management software.

How to Keep Construction Equipment Cool During the Summer…

construction equipmentThe construction equipment you use is designed to be rugged. However, the extreme temperatures of summer can put enough strain on these vehicles and tools to cause breakdowns, sidelining progress and profitability. Here are some suggestions for how to keep construction equipment cool during the summer.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your construction equipment working properly in all temperatures, but it’s especially important in hot climates. The equipment will be better able to handle the stress of high temperatures if it has been checked and small problems corrected. A program of regular maintenance will extend the equipment’s overall working life and reduce the possibility of breakdowns and system failures.

Check Coolant Regularly

Coolant checks are part of maintenance, but they are important enough to deserve special attention. The coolant in your construction vehicles is vital to keeping the equipment cool during both normal operation and more stressful times when outdoor temperatures are high. Check coolant every day before starting work. Make sure you maintain an appropriate ratio of coolant and water to prevent equipment overheating.

Use the Right Equipment for the Job

Make sure the equipment on your site is used properly. Vehicles and tools should be used as intended, according to manufacturer’s instructions. It may be tempting to press a piece of construction equipment into service as needed, but using the equipment in ways it’s not designed for can cause damage, overheating and other problems.

Store Equipment Properly

When not in use, equipment should be stored in a shaded area to reduce the effects of heat. It’s even better if you have an indoor storage area with fans or other cooling systems. Storage areas should also be dry to avoid any effects from moisture, such as rust and corrosion, that could make it easier for the equipment to overheat.

Construction Monitor has the best interests of construction firms in mind, providing useful data, practical advice, and actionable content that can improve operations and profitability. Contact us today for more information on how to keep construction equipment cool during the summer.

How to See an ROI from Your Telematic System Faster

construction technologyA telematic system gives you the data you need to manage your equipment in more cost-effective ways, but there’s a learning curve to using one. By investing some time in planning how you’ll use yours, you’ll start enjoying the full benefits of a telematic system as soon as possible.

Set Clear Goals

Raw data won’t help you much if don’t know how you’re going to use it. Start defining your goals for using your telematic system by listing eight to 10 improvements you could make using the data.

Then focus in on the top three opportunities you want to take advantage of right now. Any more than that and you risk spreading your efforts too thin or getting tied up in unnecessary complexity. Once you’ve achieved your goals with those opportunities, move on to the next.

Choose an Experienced, Responsive Provider

When you’re choosing a telematic system provider, take your time to investigate each company. Find out how long they’ve been in business, who their clients are, and how many telematic boxes they’re managing.

Talk with them enough to get a feel for their level of expertise. A provider should be able to explain the benefits of a telematic system in plain English and help you understand how to use the data to improve cost savings, safety and efficiency. If they can only throw jargon and statistics at you, it’s a sign they don’t truly understand what they’re talking about.

Put Someone in Charge

It’s all too easy to collect data without actually using it to make improvements. To make sure valuable information is put to use, assign one or two people to the job of implementing your telematic project.

Your field workers are ideally positioned to make use of the data, but first they need to get it in a format they can understand. The job of analyzing data, creating reports, and getting information to the right people in the field should be the primary responsibility of at least one person.

For more guidance on realizing the full benefits of a telematic system, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Understanding the Dangers of Silica Dust

silica dustBecause silica dust is nearly ubiquitous on construction sites, it’s easy to underestimate the threat it poses. By practicing conscientious silica dust safety, though, you can greatly mitigate risks of exposure without slowing down your workflow.

A Common, Yet Invisible Threat

Silica, also called quartz, is found in many construction materials, including sand, many types of rock, brick, mortar, tile, grout, drywall and asphalt. Your workers create silica dust when they cut, grind or otherwise process any of these materials.

Silica dust particles are too small to see, yet it takes only a small amount to cause health problems. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations set acceptable exposure levels at just 0.1 mg/m3.

Breathing this dust can lead to a condition known as silicosis, in which scarring occurs in the lungs and breathing becomes difficult. The condition is disabling and can be fatal.

Symptoms usually appear only after long-term exposure, but once they start, the disease will inevitably progress. There’s currently no cure. Despite the known risks, thousands of new silicosis cases are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. Silica dust is also a known carcinogen, contributing to lung cancer.

Protection for Your Workers

Good silica dust safety practices can save your workers’ lives, and these practices are neither difficult nor expensive to implement. On every project, identify all materials and tasks that could lead to silica dust exposure and devise a plan to minimize this exposure.

Use equipment with built-in dust control features, such as vacuums or water sprays, to hold down dust. Provide respirators when necessary. Designate areas for resting, eating and drinking that are away from anywhere dust is produced. Encourage workers to practice good hygiene by changing into washable or disposable work wear, showering (or at least changing into clean clothes) before going home, and parking their cars away from dusty areas.

Another option is to reduce your reliance on materials containing silica, such as by switching to aluminum oxide or silicon carbide instead of sand for abrasive blasting.

To learn more about effective silica dust safety practices, contact Construction Monitor.

3 Must-Have Digital Strategies for More Construction Leads

shutterstock_382516216The online world of blogs, social media sites, and digital communication offers many powerful ways to attract attention and gain leads for your company. Methods for acquiring leads through the digital space take time to produce results, and they demand consistent effort and contribution if they are going to work. However, with the following three strategies, you can soon see results that can bring you more potential customers.

1. Use Social Media

Social media seems to be everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — all of these services and more have become a daily part of our lives. They provide a powerful but gradual way to built your online presence. Establish accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and the other important social media sites. Create videos and post them on YouTube. Start a blog and contribute to it regularly. Use these resources to provide useful information and, at the same time, establish your credentials as a credible expert.

2. Use Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a method of publishing online content that improves the likelihood that your business website will appear on the first page of search engine results. It involves integrating specific keywords and phrases into blog posts, websites, and other content that search engines find relevant. Done properly, SEO can ensure your site appears in search results before those of your competitors.

3. Use Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is another method of getting attention online. You bid on certain keywords or phrases and, when search engine users enter those keywords, they’re presented ads containing them. You pay the bid amount each time someone clicks on an ad shown to them this way.

Be very careful with PPC advertising, as it can get expensive quickly, and can be ineffective if your leads are sent to ineffective sales pages once they click your ads.

Construction Monitor gives today’s construction companies the edge with up-to-date building permit data, industry insights, and suggestions for how to best harness the power of the online world. Contact us today for more information on how to use digital strategies to generate the construction leads you need.

Customer Reviews: Your Gateway to More Construction Leads

shutterstock_306779165Choosing a construction firm to work with is a major decision, and good customer reviews give your prospective customers the confidence they need to choose your firm. Reviews do more than improve your image, though. They also provide insight into your clients’ needs and interests, and help more people find you online.

Greater Trust, More Sales

Reviews tell you (from your clients’ perspectives) what you’re doing right and wrong. They bring problems to your attention quickly so you can solve them before they cost you more customers.

The fact that you encourage reviews lets your customers know you genuinely care about what they think. They feel appreciated and understood, which wins you their respect and loyalty. Through reviews, your customers get involved with your firm and with each other. Customers who leave reviews or comments often come back to see what others have said, which keeps your firm in their mind and increases your chance of getting referrals.

Most importantly, reviews show your prospects that people just like them have had good experiences working with your firm. Social proof like this inspires trust more than any marketing campaign you could create.

Improved Visibility Online

In order to rank highly in Google, Yahoo, and other search engines, your site should be frequently updated with content that contains keywords your clients might use when searching for a construction firm. Reviews give you valuable content like this with no extra effort from you. Reviewers will naturally use words related to their project, such as “green construction” or “commercial building,” which helps customers with similar needs find you online.

It’s not just reviews on your own website that help you. Your clients’ input on review sites such as Yelp and Houzz also boost your search engine rankings. Mentions of your company’s name tell the search engines you’re an authority and a relevant player in the construction community, causing them to rank you ahead of less talked-about firms.

For more information on getting the most from your customer reviews, contact Construction Monitor today.


How a Proactive Marketing Plan Helps with Construction Lead Generation

shutterstock_289952918One of the strongest and most effective marketing concepts is proactive marketing. Here is a brief explanation of this strategy along with some tips on how you can use it for lead generation and to encourage more business from existing customers.

What Is Proactive Marketing?

Proactive marketing should be seen in contrast to reactive marketing. In reactive marketing, a company gathers data, results and other information from a marketing campaign and analyzes it, looking for areas that worked and those that didn’t. The company then reacts to this data, making changes to an existing marketing plan or launching an entirely new campaign.

In proactive marketing, a company uses existing knowledge and data to act before a formal campaign or the application of new techniques. Proactive marketing is predictive, anticipating the needs and wants of customers before they are expressed. Proactive marketing is also more active, compared to the more passive stance of reactive marketing.

Applying Proactive Techniques to Your Marketing Plan

  • Marketing in anticipation of need: Proactive marketing will present your message to existing customers and potential leads before they need what you are offering. For example, a photocopier company might market replacement toner cartridges to customers at about the time when a new cartridge might be needed. In a construction contest, you might target market your renovation services in a neighborhood of older homes, or window replacement services right before winter.
  • Marketing as a social interaction: Customers and leads who receive proactive marketing messages that address their real needs will have a more favorable attitude toward your company. This happens because you satisfy one of their social needs, that of being liked and noticed. By taking steps to fulfill their needs before they even have to come to you and ask, you will generate considerable interest and goodwill, and even a sense of obligation to respond.

With the data and industry insight offered by Construction Monitor, construction companies can effectively build their marketing and lead generation plans. Contact us today for more information on how to use proactive marketing techniques in your search for new leads and customers.

3 Offline Ways to Get More Construction Clients

shutterstock_239060812When it comes to getting new clients, the tested traditional methods are often best. Certainly it pays to use online marketing methods, but you can still attract plenty of clients with offline techniques. Here are three ways you can use offline marketing to get your company noticed and to get more clients during all seasons.

1. Advertise

Advertising remains an incredibly popular and effective way to attract clients to your business. Look into some traditional and non-traditional ways of getting the word out about your company.

  • Media: Advertising in newspapers and the Yellow Pages can still be useful. Talk to your advertising representative about the best ways to use these media.
  • Signage: Make sure your business location has attractive, easily readable signs. Put magnetic signs on your company vehicles, or painted signs and logos if you intend for them to be permanent.
  • Billboards: Purchase billboard space strategically. Look for billboards on well-traveled routes or in areas where commercial or residential expansion is expected or underway.
  • Non-traditional ads: Put your advertisement on the back of cash register receipts in supermarkets, diners, or other places where potential clients frequently go.

2. Network

  • Join local business groups: Find and join local business organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, or business networking clubs.
  • Offer to speak: Offer to make presentations or give lectures at local meetings, and be sure to make yourself available for questions and lead-building afterward.

3. Build Your Reputation

  • Sponsor programs: Sponsor local programs or groups, such as youth sports teams, or charitable causes, such as fund-raisers.
  • Make contributions: Contribute financially to charities, social organizations, aid organizations, and other groups. Your contribution will usually be acknowledged in some way and will increase exposure.
  • Get awards: Seek out awards and recognition in your field. These may seem trivial, but they can give your company a strong image of authority.

Construction Monitor provides construction companies, managers and planners with the data and tools they need to grow their businesses and attract customers. Contact us today for more information on offline ways to get and keep more clients for your construction business.

Best Practices for Social Media in Construction

shutterstock_189811238-2Because the use of social media in the construction industry rarely gets the attention it deserves, too many contractors are left wondering how to best leverage these sites. Social media can be a rich source of construction leads, but only if you approach it correctly.

Share What You Know

Social media sites aren’t advertising platforms, but rather places to make genuine human connections with the people in your target market. Providing information that helps them reach their goals is one of the most effective ways to do that. Offer tips and guidelines to help them make better buying decisions. Share resources such as websites, articles and videos. Educate your followers on the pros and cons of the different construction materials, technology and methods your firm specializes in.

Post content that demonstrates your expertise and highlights your accomplishments. By doing this, you can not only help your followers, but also build your reputation and show your prospects why they should work with you.

Don’t be afraid to show a little personality. Candid photos of your team, behind-the-scenes shots of your office, and the occasional personal story let your followers feel like they know you. Rapport like this gives you an edge over the dozens of faceless companies out there.

Engage With Your Audience

The opportunity for nearly effortless, two-way communication is one of the biggest advantages of using social media in the construction industry. Just listening to what your potential clients are saying — their interests, complaints, and frustrations — gives you insight into how you can win their business.

Social media also lets you ask for feedback in a way that’s more personal and direct than a web form. Ask specific questions in your posts and videos, and encourage your audience to leave comments.

Follow people and companies that interest you and strike up conversations relevant to your shared interests. You’ll develop your knowledge while also building relationships that help you win construction leads without the need for pushy sales pitches.

For more information on the most effective uses for social media in the construction industry, contact Construction Monitor today.

Using BIM for a Safe Construction Site

shutterstock_426500653BIM software can do more than help you design your project and manage your budget. Using BIM for a safe construction site helps you spot potential hazards so you can either eliminate them or plan ahead to reduce the risks.

Clear Visualization

Sometimes a design document just can’t clearly represent what a situation looks like on the ground. BIM software provides an easy-to-understand 3D visual representation of the job site that allows your entire team to familiarize themselves with the conditions there before they go in. This helps your team identify potential dangers so those dangers can be removed or minimized before work begins.

Instead of relying on documents or verbal explanations, workers can take a virtual tour of the site to explore the environment so they’ll be informed and mentally prepared when they arrive.

More Accurate Scheduling

A construction job is a continually developing project with numerous steps that must be carefully choreographed to avoid scheduling conflicts that could put worker safety at risk. With BIM software, you’ll be able to plan your project using 4D scheduling and sequencing. This reduces human error in scheduling and gives everyone involved a clear picture of what work is being done where and when at every phase of the project.

Comprehensive Preparation

While it’s impossible to remove all risk from a construction site, unavoidable risks can be reduced through preparation. This kind of preparation is a major part of using BIM for a safe construction site. BIM lets you focus in on specific tasks in order to assess the risks and decide which tools, machinery and safety equipment will be needed.

Workers will have time to get what they need to work safely and efficiently, rather than compromising their safety by making do with whatever is available.

In addition, the automated systems included in BIM software will help guide you in implementing safety measures by suggesting optimal locations for railings, barriers and other safety structures.

For more tips on using BIM for a safe construction site, or to get the latest construction leads, contact Construction Monitor today.