Computer System for Creating Apples to Apples Comparision of Multiple Bids
1. A computer system for creating equalized bids, comprising:
- a computer system, including a processor, and a memory, the processor executing instructions, which cause the computer to carry out operations for;
accepting a plurality of initial bids for a project in a specified trade, the initial bids formed of plural line items, each line item specifying a product or service associated with the specified trade for the project, and costs for the line items;
using the initial bids from each of a plurality of bidders to create a bid template by combining the line items from each of the plurality of bidders, and defining, for each line item, whether the product or service will be included in the bid, whether the product or service will be excluded from the bid, and/or whether the product or service will be an alternative to the bid to create an alternative cost for an additional product or service,sending information about the bid template to the plurality of bidders, along with an ability for each of the bidders to enter an amount for each of the line items that are included in the bid as a bid amount, andreceiving bids based on the bid template and displaying the bids from the bid template.
A contractor bidding system gets initial bids with line items. The line items are combined to create a bid package template using line items from each of a plurality of initial bids from different bidders. Each trade can have a number of different items that can be included in the bid. Using the example of painting, for example, there can be supplies, stripping, masks, and the like. Other items might be included in the bid or excluded from the bid or alternates to the bid. The bid template can select which items are included in the bid or excluded from the bid so that when the final bids come they all include or exclude the same items.
- 1. A computer system for creating equalized bids, comprising:
a computer system, including a processor, and a memory, the processor executing instructions, which cause the computer to carry out operations for; accepting a plurality of initial bids for a project in a specified trade, the initial bids formed of plural line items, each line item specifying a product or service associated with the specified trade for the project, and costs for the line items; using the initial bids from each of a plurality of bidders to create a bid template by combining the line items from each of the plurality of bidders, and defining, for each line item, whether the product or service will be included in the bid, whether the product or service will be excluded from the bid, and/or whether the product or service will be an alternative to the bid to create an alternative cost for an additional product or service, sending information about the bid template to the plurality of bidders, along with an ability for each of the bidders to enter an amount for each of the line items that are included in the bid as a bid amount, and receiving bids based on the bid template and displaying the bids from the bid template.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
This application claims priority from Provisional Application No. 62/752,822, filed Oct. 30, 2018, the entire contents of which are herewith incorporated by reference.
Bidding for contracts is typically carried out in certain fields, such as in construction. For example, in the construction business, a general contractor often solicits bids to carry out a certain enumerated task based on plans and specifications for a project.
A general contractor will typically obtain bids from each of multiple subcontractors for each of different aspects of the project, e.g., from each trade.
Contractors may receive bids from multiple different companies for the same trade, for example painting or electricial. Each bidder submitting a bid includes their interpretation of what the plans and specifications call for, within their trade.
At the time that the bids are presented, the general contractor often knows some limited amount about the project, and is learning about the project as the bids are submitted. Each bid, however, has typically looked completely different. Moreover, it is difficult for the general contractor to compare the bids, since they are each in a different format and may each include different items.
The inventor recognized that systems to compare trade bids exist. However, the inventor recognizes that there is no known system which allows apples to apples comparisons of bids by breaking the bids down into multiple line items, using the initial bids themselves to create the line items, to specify exactly what parts of the bid are included, what is excluded, and then to request a final bid, using the line items that were created from each of the multiple bids that were obtained. In this way, variances between the received bids can be eliminated.
According to an embodiment as described herein, a system is described to allow a bid receiver to receive bids from the same trade, in a way that accounts for variances between those bids, and enables the equalized bids to be compared, and to select one of the bids after they are compared.
Embodiments described herein describe a system which eliminates variances between similar scope bids, and combines the bids and related data to generate a combined list of all received bids.
In the Drawings:
The present application describes a machine and system which allows carrying out aspects of creating, viewing and editing customized bids, including facilitating determination of variances between bids of different scope. In an embodiment, the online platform may be called eJoist, which may include an online social collaboration network for the construction industry. As described herein, the online platform can include bid management, project plans, specifications, and other documents all of which can be stored online.
Users of the online platform 100 may include contractors, administrators, and end users of the system.
In operation, the online platform 100 may be configured through the operations on the online platform to obtain information from each of the bids in order to form all the line items from all of the bids into one list which forms a revised bid. The revised bid includes all of the desired line items from all of the bids which were originally received, thus eliminating variances between the bids. After the bids are obtained, the system can combine all the bids and the related data and generate a combined list of all the received bids.
In one embodiment, the user 112 may wish to enlist one or more contractors for a construction project. In this embodiment, the user can use the online platform 100 to specify details of the construction project in a way that forces bidders to bid on the specific scope project. The contractors can provide their bids for the construction project by describing the services along with the corresponding prices for those services.
The online platform 100 receives the bids and related details from bidder devices.
Further, the online platform 100 may review the one or more bid and related details which are selected for review, and may generate a combined updated list of all the items lists from all the selected bids, the related details, requirements and specifications, for the new bid to be placed. Further, the receiver device may receive the bids and the related details selected for review, from the online platform 100, and may compare the bids and related details, and select items from the one or more bids, that may be added to a final bid. Further, the receiver device may make the comparison and may then select each line item as an inclusion, an exclusion or an alternate.
The bid items selected for inclusion, may be added to the final bid.
The bid items selected for exclusion, are not added to the final bid. The items selected for alternate, may be added to the final list, but may not surely be included in the bid, depending on the alternate price as well.
Further, before sending the final bid and related details, back to the original bidder devices, a new bid due date may be selected. The final bid and the related details may be transmitted to the online platform 100.
An important feature of this embodiment is the elimination of variances between bids by multiple bidders by using the processor in the server 102 (or some other processor) to equalize the scope of the bids.
The bidder is forced to place their initial bid on this initial bid template. The bidding template 300 includes a drop down menu 305 which allows specifying the trade for which the user is submitting the bid. In the embodiment given, this bid will be for painting. The template then allows the bidder to specify line items for different services or products that the contractor has specified for that trade. For each of these services or products, the bidder can place a bid amount.
Here, the template shows paint tape and supplies 310, stripping and prep 311, masking tape in 312, moving equipment 313, color wheel painting 314, and lumber 315. For each of these products or services, the bidder selects whether they want this to be included in the bid, excluded from the bid, or an alternate part of the bid. In this embodiment, bids parts that are included are shown such as 320, exclusions shown at 325, meaning that they are not including this item, such as not including the equipment to clear the room, and alternatives shown as 330, which can be considered options that a contractor could either accept or not accept.
Once the user/bidder has finished filling out this form, they can either save that for later at 340, or send it at 345.
The bid, referred to as bid 1.0 because it is the first iteration of the bid, is then submitted at 220 (returning to
At 226, the machine prompts the user to create an “A2A” template, using the screen shown in
For each of these items, the contractor selects from the drop down menu whether they want them included as inclusions such as 625, excluded such as exclusions 626, or alternate shown as 627. This bid template, which is created from the line items in the original multiple bids themselves, then forms the template which is sent as the final bid notification at 230 (in
After filling out all of these items, a date for the final submission is entered at 630, selected from a pop-up calendar at 635.
At 230, after creating the final template, the contractor sends a final bid notification to each of the subcontractors who originally bid on the project, in essence requesting “best and final” bids.
Then, at 235, the contractor will review the final bid. Bids will be submitted in one embodiment the via an email link. This scenario is shown at 240. Another scenario at 245 is that the user logged in and submitted the bid via an uploading process. Another possibility, shown at 250, is that the bids can be created via a webpage created when the user clicks on a dashboard notification.
However the bid is received, the final bid is received by the different subs at 255.
The final bid as 400 is shown in
The subcontractor can add any final notes at 420, thus creating a final bid which can be submitted by as the final bid at 430.
This has the effect of providing the bid on the contractors own form with the specifics of which items are included and excluded.
At 500, the project creator/contractor 505 creates a project 510 which includes the different aspects of the project 511, which is formed into a bid package at 515. These are sent to different subcontractors. The result is that bids from those subcontractors are received at 520.
At 525, the different line items from all the different bids are reviewed at 525 using the screen in
At 540 the final bids are received, and are viewed at 545. The contractor selects candidates at 550, and sends a letter of intent.
For all of these, the initial bids are used to create a plurality of different line items that are used in the final bids thus creating an apples to apples comparison.
Computing device 800 may have additional features or functionality. For example, computing device 800 may also include additional data storage devices (removable and/or non-removable) such as, for example, magnetic disks, optical disks, or tape. Such additional storage is illustrated in
Computing device 800 may also contain a communication connection 816 that may allow device 800 to communicate with other computing devices 818, such as over a network in a distributed computing environment, for example, an intranet or the Internet.
Communication connection 816 is one example of communication media. Communication media may typically be embodied by computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules, or other data in a modulated data signal, such as a carrier wave or other transport mechanism, and includes any information delivery media.
The term “modulated data signal” may describe a signal that has one or more characteristics set or changed in such a manner as to encode information in the signal. By way of example, and not limitation, communication media may include wired media such as a wired network or direct-wired connection, and wireless media such as acoustic, radio frequency (RF), infrared, and other wireless media. The term computer readable media as 10 used herein may include both storage media and communication media. As stated above, a number of program modules and data files may be stored in system memory 804, including operating system 805. While executing on processing unit 802, programming modules 806 (e.g., application 820 such as a media player) may perform processes including, for example, one or more stages of methods, algorithms, systems, applications, servers, databases as described above.
The previous description of the disclosed exemplary embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the present invention. Various modifications to these exemplary embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown herein but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and novel features disclosed herein.
For example, in different embodiments, the bids can beplaced for things such as construction, painting, whitewash, gardening, construction material, furniture, and so on. Further, the details related to the bid may include factors such as price break-up, facilities provided, material used, individual tasks, individual prices, alternate options, project plans, specifications and other documents, and so on