Construction File: BidCentral - By the Industry for the Industry
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Since the early days of Building Exchanges, facilitating and managing public construction bids has been a focal point for construction associations. The BC Construction Association (BCCA) and its regional construction association partners BCCA North, Southern Interior Construction Association, BCCA Vancouver Island and Vancouver Regional Construction Association, are no exception to this rule. Recently, however, the BCCA and its partners decided to elevate their contribution in this area into the 21st century. The result—say hello to BidCentral, a sweeping set of online tools that will facilitate document management of construction projects from cradle to grave.
The organizations’ continued commitment to improving upon industry standards around procurement caused us to work diligently over the past two years with our technology partner, Infinite Source, to create a service which accommodates the electronic management of documents from pre-design, design, pre-tender, tender, post-tender, construction and maintenance. BidCentral represents this suite of services that enables the entire construction process from inception to decommissioning to be handled electronically. BidCentral includes an electronic plan room, electronic information, an as-built drawing tool and shop drawing management.
We realize that a variety of electronic document management tools have been available to the industry in the past, however none of them have had the combined industry connection of BidCentral nor do they have an effective online bidding tool designed specifically for construction procurement. The bidding tool is the heart of the innovation in this new system. The ability for online submission of bids, including general to owner, trade to general and supplier bidding is essential to providing a full spectrum of online construction tools.
BidCentral’s bidding application is unique in that bidders are not required to download the bid forms, print, complete, re-scan and upload them to the bid authority’s site. The bidding tool allows bidders to complete the form online and simply click the submit button which saves the form in the owner’s application. When submitting a bid, bidders are “in session” within the owners application. In addition, the tool integrates the bonding process into the online bid structure. The bidding application is currently being used by the BCCA for their electronic bidding service designed to allow for the receipt of secure bids from trade to prime contractors. What used to take an entire day can now be done from the comfort of one’s office.
The additional value to public buyers of construction services is also worth noting. The use of BidCentral allows the public owner to address risk by managing their documents, publishing their opportunities in satisfaction of such agreements as the Agreement on Internal Trade, or the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, and creating an easily managed audit tool for the entire project.
Quite simply, BidCentral provides electronic solutions to every aspect of a construction project from initial planning to procurement, project management, and maintenance. Owners and industry now have the ability to manage the construction process from cradle to grave, efficiently, and sustainably. We invite you take a look at our new service at www.bidcentral.ca.