SmartBid is Smart
December 13, 2016

SmartBid is Smart

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SmartBidNet

It is being used across the whole organization by all of the estimating departments.

It is a great way to manage bid solicitations. It is very easy to send large amounts of data (in the form of drawings and specs) to a large audience, and then to manage and oversee what that audience does with the data. Are they looking at the drawings? Are they even opening your emails? Etc.
  • It's very easy to set up a job and manage who receives solicitations. You can also keep detailed notes on who've you contacted and see if they're actually downloading and reviewing the documents.
  • You can add a confidentiality agreement clause which they must accept before accessing the documents. It then stores this information if it ever needs to be accessed. This is much cleaner and easier then sending out a NDA form and having the subcontractor return it before actually sending drawings/docs.
  • You can send Invitations to Bid and set it up to continue sending these ITB's until the subcontractor responds. However, this can also be a negative point because once you set up a delayed ITB, it doesn't update as the subcontractors view and respond to the ITB's. So if a sub is "Not Responded" and you set up a delayed ITB to fire off every day for 5 days, and the sub responds after day 2, that sub will continue to receive ITB's for all 5 days.
  • Uploading drawings is quick and easy. It's especially convenient if you link to one of your cloud services such as Egnyte, Google Drive, etc.
  • The search tools are quick and easy and often very accessible from any page.
  • REPORTING REPORTING REPORTING!!! The reporting functions in SmartBidNet are its weakest link. I just had a co-worker ask how to get a certain report (I get this question often) and I simply laughed as I've been trying to resolve this issue with SmartBidNet for years. After numerous requests for a feature enhancement regarding reporting (and I'm very detailed in what needs to change), I have seen ZERO progress. I finally just created my own Excel workbook which creates a usable report after extracting info from worthless report put out by the current system.
  • Once you set up a delayed ITB, it doesn't update as the subcontractors view and respond to the ITBs. So if a sub is "Not Responded" and you set up a delayed ITB to fire off every day for 5 days, and the sub responds after day 2, that sub will continue to receive ITBs for all 5 days.
  • The file size limit to upload is about 350 MB. If I ever want to upload a model, they are often larger than 350 MB and it requires that I contact the SmartBidNet support staff and SOMETIMES they will make an exception to upload these larger files. With SmartBidNet being all about technology, it seems strange that they wouldn't cater to 3D models being uploaded as this is the future of the construction industry.
  • It has reduced the amount of time that an estimator must spend with document control. With the ease of uploading documents and managing who sees these documents, it takes a big load off of the every day estimator.
  • With the ability to reach your audience by sending several notifications and making sure that these notifications are acknowledged, it reduces the amount of time an estimator must spend on the phone to simply find out if a subcontractor is bidding or not.
  • It has also had a positive impact because it makes it easy for the subcontractors to get the documents. The amount of time just helping a sub get the documents downloaded has decreased and I believe it's because of the ease of use which SmartBidNet has created from the subcontractor side.
  • Bidmail
SmartBidNet is far superior to BidMail in my opinion. BidMail was good in that it had all of the information in one screen right in front of your eyes; however, it was very limited in managing the subcontractors and making sure that they all received the documents. It also was very limiting in what you could upload into the plan room. When I was using it, we could not upload a model.
As mentioned before in some of the previous questions, the confidentiality agreement feature is extremely helpful. I have worked on several projects where it's so early in the design phase that the documents are considered confidential and we are required to get a signed NDA from every person who sees the documents. This feature makes it extremely painless. SmartBidNet is less appropriate if you're just doing a quick cost exercise where you might not need to contact several subs. It's easier to just use email and a cloud sharing program like Box or Egnyte.