Traylor Bros. focuses on large-scale heavy civil projects that require the use of innovative engineering to solve complex construction challenges. An outdated and cost-prohibitive bid management system created inefficiencies in managing bid packages. In their former workflow, one estimator would handle all the bid packages, funneling vendor activity to all the estimators on that project. If a subcontractor or supplier had a question about a bid package, the estimator would need to route the inquiry to the proper contact. This lag in receiving real-time information created a disconnect between the estimating team and the subcontractors and suppliers.
“The former process for managing quote solicitation was uncoordinated and cumbersome,” says Matt Bohleber, Engineer/Estimator at Traylor Bros. “We needed to refine the process by removing internal bottlenecks and having increased visibility into real-time vendor activity.”
Traylor Bros. was in the market for a scalable bid management solution that would standardize bidding and estimating procedures, creating more collaboration, communication, and transparency.
Traylor Bros. selected BuildingConnected as a more collaborative bid management solution for their estimating team. The ease-of-use of the platform made the decision a no-brainer and improved their preconstruction processes by eliminating internal obstacles.
As a firm that operates across North America and bids on massive infrastructure projects, Traylor Bros. must communicate and collaborate effectively. The team used the platform on a joint venture with Zachry Construction Corp. for HCTRA’s $600 million design-bid-build Houston Ship Channel Bridge project.
“To get the best pricing, we must give the subcontractors and suppliers as much detail as possible,” says Bohleber. “If the project documents change during the bidding process, we need to share those changes quickly. If we don’t, we won’t be able to get an accurate quote to make our bid more competitive.”
Winning work in local areas where they may not already have subcontractor and supplier relationships highlights the importance of sourcing and prequalification. BuildingConnected allows Traylor Bros. to both source and prequalify subcontractors and suppliers—easily and quickly. “We know our national vendors, we know our national subcontractors, but when we get into a new city, there’s a level of uncertainty in where we’re sourcing quotes from,” says Bohleber. With vendor qualification from BuildingConnected, Traylor Bros. qualifies subcontractors and suppliers using automated risk assessments and real-time data. “Pre-bid is very hectic, so we are using the prequalification tool. We created a set of questions to gather miscellaneous information about the vendor. This gives us a level of comfort we wouldn’t normally have, and it removes some risk,” says Bohleber.
Using BuildingConnected to find and qualify the right subcontractors and suppliers, send bid invites, identify the best bid, and centralize communication has significantly improved workflows. With their refined estimating, bidding, and qualification workflows, Traylor Bros. quickly responded to changes during the HCTRA procurement process. As the Houston Ship Channel Bridge project estimate progressed, Traylor Bros. earned the trust of their vendors. “Communication with our vendors is the biggest aspect of any estimate, including the Houston Ship Channel Bridge project. As the plans and our means and methods change, we need to give the vendors as much time as possible to address those changes in their quote,” says Bohleber.
“On the Houston Ship Channel Bridge project, most of the quote folders had three to five quotes in them. That’s our goal,” says Bohleber. “We increased the number of quotes on that project by 100%.”
Improving their preconstruction workflows with BuildingConnected gave Traylor Bros. a competitive advantage. “It is an absolute necessity that we get information communicated as fast as possible and be able to confirm our subcontractors and suppliers see it,” says Bohleber. “When we bid, the more comfortable we are with the quality of the quotes we’re receiving, we’re able to decrease our risk. This helps keep our costs down. When our subcontractors and suppliers are comfortable with the information we’re giving them, they’re able to put together a good quote and make our bid more competitive.”
From the time they decide to bid a project to the time they turn in their price, the streamlined process makes the most of their estimators’ time. Traylor Bros. regularly reviews its technology and processes. This approach enables them to continue to win large public projects like the Houston Ship Channel Bridge project.