Outsourcing Your Bid Document Distribution – Smart? We Think So!


In the design world of construction, one of the more stressful and hectic times is when  a project goes out to bid. On top of working on other projects, and that current project,  companies now have to worry about distributing their bid documents to interested contractors.

 For fun, let’s take a look at the following questions and scenarios to demonstrate how outsourcing bid document distribution can save stress, time and money for your  company, as well as potential bidders!

“How many sets should we initially print?”

At the beginning of the distribution process, especially if the project is open to the public for bidding, there is no way to know for certain how many contractors will be interested. If the amount of printed sets is over estimated, you have wasted money on printing those left over sets.

If bid distribution is outsourced to a print house, then bid sets can be printed per order. Only the number of sets requested is printed. Saves you money!

“Our office is filled with contractors reviewing the plans.”

Many contractors want to look at what the project entails before they decide to purchase the bid documents and make a bid. If you are handling your own bid document distribution, this means that several contractors may be in your office at the same time or consistently throughout the day trying to review the documents.

If a print house manages your bid document distribution for you, contractors can review the documents conveniently online and at their home, office, or favorite coffee shop. Therefore, it saves you the stress of a crowded office and saves potential bidders time. As they say, “time is money!”

“A contractor is here to pick up the prints and we are out of bid documents already!”

Once a project is advertised for bids, contractors will start to flood your office to pick up the documents. Unfortunately, not everyone will provide a courteous heads-up that they are coming to your office to retrieve the documents. In the event that not enough sets were ordered initially, or the printed sets went quicker than anticipated, now contractors have to wait longer and come back to your office once more sets are available. Now you also have to scramble around and figure out how many more sets to have printed, and what if this scenario happens again after placing the second order?

If a print house was handling your bid distribution, instead of instructing bidders to pick up bid documents from your office in your bid advertisement, you can direct them to the print house. Therefore contractors do not have to place orders with you or just show up at your office. Contractors will then be able to place orders through the print house, who will in return notify them when the order is received, and when the prints will be available for pick up or when they will ship out. Therefore, eliminating stress and aggravated contractors!

“Did I add that company to the plan holders list?”

Throughout the course of the day, you have multiple contractors picking up the bid documents. Each time, you have to stop what you are doing and make sure to record their contact information and add it to your plan holder list. In the event of updates or addendum, you need to have this information to be able to notify all plan holders. Let’s say you forgot to add someone to the list, or lost the piece of paper you wrote their information on – now what do you do?

If you outsource your bid document distribution to a plan house, you will never have to worry about this happening. Whenever a contractor places an order online, all of their contact information, including address, phone number, and email, must be provided before the order can be placed. Their information is automatically added to plan holders list and is available for you to review at any time.  Saves stress and saves time!

“I don’t have time to issue this addendum.”

When addenda need to be issued, documents need to be sent to all current plan holders as soon as possible. If you are handling your own distribution, you either have the documents printed and sent to all the plan holders, or you email the addendum to them.

Since the print house already has the most up to date plan holder’s list with emails, they can send an email blast with the addendum documents in the matter of minutes. If plan holders request hard copies, the print house can print per request. This would save you money if you typically send hard copies of addendum to all plan holders. Not only can money be saved, but time as well!

Let someone else handle the logistics of your bid document distribution. Not only will some stress be eliminated, but time and money will be saved in the meanwhile. Not so sure you believe that yet?

Let Avalon prove it! Call your local Avalon today and ask about our Planroom services and how to get started on outsourcing your next bid document distribution.

Check out our Planroom now! Visit http://www.avalonplanroom.com/

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author avatar
Ian Gattie