We recently met with Ryan Tapert, Director of Preconstruction at CPM I Tenant Improvement Solutions, a full-service general contractor focused in the Pacific Northwest. They specialize in providing pre-construction services, forward thinking construction activities, and maintenance programs to commercial and multi-family facilities.
Below, he shares his career history, why CPM chose SmartBid to manage their precon process, how the platform helps them win construction projects, and more.
Tell us about your experience in the construction industry.
I’ve worked for CPM, my family–owned company, on and off for about 15 years. I’ve done everything from being a laborer in the field to project management to where I am now as the Director of Preconstruction. My father and I run and manage the company together.
What does CPM build?
CPM mainly builds commercial general contracting projects, however, we’ll sometimes work on residential remodels. We also have a maintenance division where we service commercial properties that are owned by property management companies.
How did SmartBid improve CPM’s preconstruction process?
I’ve been using SmartBid for about 3 years. I started using the platform at my previous contracting company, which was a much larger GC, and had a strong need to manage the invitation to bid process outside of an excel spreadsheet and outlook inboxes. I conducted extensive research and found SmartBid, which met all my general contracting needs and wants for the ITB process.
When I left my previous company to work for CPM, I told my father we had to use SmartBid. It’s amazing and really helps simplify the bid management process. I like how it’s on the cloud, allowing my team to access bidding information from anywhere. No longer is our bid data stuck on a desktop spreadsheet from 1995.
SmartBid has helped our preconstruction team efficiently process invitations to bid, increased our ability to win jobs, and made CPM more profitable.
What is your favorite feature of SmartBid?
My favorite feature of SmartBid is the ability to implement the Bid Tabs. We’re able to easily compare and contrast bid proposals from subcontractors side-by-side. The feature helps us to find the pros and cons of each sub, any missing documents, and the lowest or highest bidder. We’re then able to easily select the awarded subs, export the list, and distribute to our office employees and the ones in the field so they know who to contact, as well as the subs working on the project.
We also like the Dropbox integration. The cloud storage integration allows us to quickly upload or automatically sync our project files and documents from Dropbox directly into SmartBid and vice versa.
How does SmartBid help you win more construction projects?
SmartBid has eliminated our previous old-school bid management processes like really long, out-of-date, corrupted excel spreadsheets. The platform has taken our bid files out of a local server environment and implemented into the cloud, which is accessible from anywhere with real-time, up-to-date bid information.
Our precon team can easily open up a web browser, login to the system, and start to utilize SmartBid. We no longer have to train them on multiple software such as Excel and Outlook. SmartBid has helped us streamline our bid management process into one package.
What is a project you’re proud of that SmartBid helped you manage bidding and win?
One of the construction projects that SmartBid helped us win was a grocery store in Snohomish, Washington. We have an in-house team of electricians we usually employ on small tenant improvements, however this project in particular had a larger scope and required we find more qualified subcontractors.
My preconstruction team turned to SmartBid to locate viable electricians in the Washington area. We were able to easily pinpoint and prequalify exactly who we were looking for through the Public Agency Database integration. The public database, along with the Bid Tabs comparison feature, allowed us to generate an extensive list of subs with competitive numbers and ultimately led the landlord to selecting CPM for the job.
Why would you recommend SmartBid to GCs looking for ITB software?
If you’re a general contractor and considering SmartBid, you should just stop considering and purchase it. I haven’t found anything else out there that is this seamless and easy to learn.
The customer support is great, every time I’ve had an issue or question, I immediately get a response back. There is also a huge knowledge base available in the support portal that users can access to help solve issues or improve bidding practices.
The software is very customizable. You’re not stuck within a box or told you can only function in one way.
Interested in seeing how SmartBid can save your company time and improve bid management workflows? Schedule a free demo today!