How to be a No. 1 Draft Pick On Bid Day

April 18, 2018

When the Cleveland Browns are asked for their first-round selection of the NFL Draft on April 26th, their team leaders will likely be hunkered down behind closed doors weighing their options. Key personnel like the head coach, general manager, and team trainers will be in a war room with an open phone line to someone at the draft in Arlington, Texas.


Like construction estimating, the NFL Draft is all about the numbers. One group will be assessing and sorting college players by physical measurements like height, weight, speed, vertical, and hand size. Another group will be huddled together crunching numbers like salary, bonus, and contract details.


For contractors, Bid Day comes with its own brand of hype, ups and downs, and nail-biting stress. Key members of a contractor’s team, such as the estimator and project manager, will gather together to grind it out to make sure their bid is accurate and well-organized. It’s a stressful time, which can be frustrating as no contractor wants to bid too low or too high. On Bid Day, your team will likely be double-checking details like plan revisions, due date, time of bid, duration of project, and keeping your phone lines open for any last-minute changes.


5 Tips to Bid Like a Pro


Ready to win big on Bid Day? We’ve got five tips that can help you bid like a pro—they might make the difference between you winning or losing a bid:

  1. Make your attachments clear so you can intentionally show specific things that are covered in your bid—especially those hidden items others may have overlooked
  2. Show your real scope by telling the client how your work will be complete versus just what they asked for
  3. Show your quantities and details by over-communicating so the client is clear that your bid included the full scope of work
  4. Reference the specs as part of your decision-making process to show your respect and knowledge of the project’s goals
  5. Anticipate what other trades will need to show how your trade/scope of work interrelates with another contractor’s work so you can show the client how you will accommodate others and that you are a team player

There is no doubt that a competitive hard-fought Bid Day can be an exciting experience—especially if you’re victorious. You may not be faced with having to choose between adding a running back or an offensive lineman, but you will need to make sure your subcontractors and numbers are solid.


Leave the Chalkboard and Spreadsheets Behind


When the NFL Draft was first held more than 80 years ago, owners made their draft selections from a chalkboard with 90 draft candidates, whose names were hand-written on the big board. No doubt, today’s draft is a drawn-out process crowded with scouting combines and wall-to-wall ESPN coverage—all fueled by modern technology. Similarly, takeoff and estimating tools have evolved from pens, markers, and slide rules to computers, Excel, and now powerful software.


Just like old-school football scouts who wax nostalgic about the good-old-days when the VCR was king, some estimators are not willing to let go of manual estimating and error-prone Excel spreadsheets. They cling to their paper plans, colored pencils, and calculators. Instead of embracing the learning curve, they are still manually counting takeoff items by hand instead of by the click of a mouse.


When it comes to winning big on Bid Day, there is no substitute for a game day strategy. Don’t let estimating challenges overwhelm your efforts. On Center Software can show you how to bid what you do best and lessen your risk. Get our white paper, Overcoming the Pitfalls of Estimating, for more winning strategies.


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