Creating accurate bids is one of the toughest tasks your business faces—but it’s crucial if you want to secure new work.
Today’s uncertain economic environment doesn’t make it any easier. While always-present factors, such as incomplete drawings, continue to influence bid accuracy, construction companies must now manage emerging outside influences: inflation, steadily rising material costs, supply chain challenges and ongoing labor shortages. These factors add yet another layer of complexity to a process that offers no room for error.
“Owners are also concerned; decisions around project feasibility and project budgets have much less room for error and/or delay,” explains Holly Cindell, construction industry veteran and FIRMUS team member. “With fewer projects to bid, competition increases and contractors need to be more competitive. With lower margins and less contingency in your number, you need to be sure of the scope and know and understand all costs. Having confidence that you have captured all the elements of the project during the bid phase increases the probability that you will exit the project within budget.”
A thorough review of drawings for a single project can take weeks. To meet deadlines, teams often have no choice but to accelerate this process, which can lead to missing scope items and bid inaccuracy.
Do you know how accurate your bids really are?
Using the power of AI
If there was a way to better understand a project’s scope and identify missing pieces of information, you could bid more quickly and with more certainty—and that’s exactly what integrating a construction-specific AI platform like FIRMUS into your pre-construction process can do.
By identifying missing information and design discrepancies before they turn into costly and time-consuming jobsite issues, the right platform helps you not only create accurate bids, but also control risk, reduce rework and avoid unexpected costs. It analyzes drawing sets and automatically identifies design-related risks—which can create major issues if not addressed early in a project.
According to Shir Abecasis, CEO and founder of FIRMUS, which uses the power of AI to stop project guesswork, 8% of construction costs are due to design-induced rework. Typical variation between estimates and actual costs ranges from 5% to 30% and 24% of claims in construction are due to incomplete design. In other words: Design discrepancies reliably lead to cost and schedule overruns.
Think of the platform as your office superstar: A co-pilot who can quickly generate valuable data that your staff can leverage along with their knowledge and experience. By working together, AI makes sure everyone knows and understands what your number includes. Empowered with this data, you can decide how you want to best handle the bid.
“Through our tool, we often find hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of risk in a project,” says Abecasis. “But, even with complete and well-coordinated sets of drawings, the time saved in staff hours is significant. With AI, your team has more flexibility to bid other projects, applying their energy and expertise to identify new opportunities and resolve problems.”
Real construction projects with real results
Abecasis is seeing the impact of AI play out in many real-life projects as construction companies use FIRMUS to validate their bids and collaborate with stakeholders.
In one example, she describes a project with a well-coordinated set of drawings. After using FIRMUS to identify missing or incorrect design information, the general contractor uncovered discrepancies that resulted in a six-figure adjustment to their bid. It also saved the team more than two weeks of manual work.
As soon as construction companies receive a new set of drawings, they can be run through FIRMUS to identify and reduce project risks.
“When drawings come into your inbox, you can immediately upload them to the FIRMUS platform to automatically identify pre-construction scope gaps,” Abecasis explains. “FIRMUS customers accelerate weeks ahead of competitors from Day One. With this head start, construction companies utilize team members to efficiently address other critical elements of a project, increasing the value delivered to clients through the use of technology to deliver better results.”
To learn more about FIRMUS, visit their website here: https://www.firmus.ai/