Building a better bidding process

As those of us who have been sucked into a social media vortex can well attest, thinking we know how we spend our time is not the same as actually knowing. Sure, it’s a bit alarming when it turns out that those 15 minutes spent on Instagram was actually two hours, but it’s downright scary when it turns out that the hour you thought you spent finishing the job was actually four.

Finding accurate bidding processes can be a real headache because understanding where the time has gone takes valuable time that many businesses, especially smaller stores, don’t think they have. It can be hard enough to just kick off jobs without tracking every minute spent on a range of tasks, especially if you’re on a team or running a large operation with multiple moving parts. Although it takes some effort, understanding how long staff typically take to complete tasks leads to more efficient and accurate bidding, ultimately allowing you to get paid for the work you actually did.

Leveraging technology that will automate much of the bidding work can save a lot of time and lead to significant cost savings in the long run. However, if you plan to implement software that includes bidding functionality, you should always tell the software how much time it should allocate to specific tasks so that bids accurately reflect the amount of work spent on your projects. .

Survey of your store
A great way to get to grips with the cogs and bolts of knowing where time is spent is to conduct a real-time study of time spent on common tasks. Once you have a good idea of ​​how much time is typically spent on each task, you can use the results of your study to help lay the groundwork for your bidding process.

How much time do we spend moving parts around the workshop? How much does the time spent moving these parts vary with the size of the job? Organizing, labeling, moving, and sometimes even locating parts can take your team more time than what’s currently expected in your offerings, so it’s worth taking a closer look.

An added benefit of studying your time use is that it can reveal potentially simple ways to streamline your workflow. If a significant amount of time is spent handling parts, for example, rearranging your workshop so that parts are closer to where they need to be from the start can reduce travel. Likewise, real-time studies of time spent on assembly, finish work, and other common tasks may reveal that you’re spending more time than expected on some tasks and less time on others.

Improved bidding thanks to digital tools
When researching options for auction software, it is best to look for solutions that offer flexibility and customization, as flexible solutions allow users to price items as they see fit. Similarly, it is ideal to implement solutions that take into account the way products are designed and allow users to price these works accordingly.

Rigid tendering software can make it more difficult to generate accurate tenders based on the actual process used if it differs significantly from the process used by the tendering system. Programs are available that include powerful bidding capabilities, including design-to-manufacture software that provides flexibility.

Regardless of the software package used, the cornerstone of the success of any tendering system is the quality of the data used. In other words, you need to start with good information to generate accurate offers. This includes data derived from time studies, as well as accurate supplier and pricing information. Although it takes time and effort to get the software up and running, the time saved on future tenders is worth it.

Source: Cabinet Vision, Hexagon production software. For more information, call 800-280-6932 or visit Read a longer version of the article.

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