According to Bob Morgan, founder and CEO, Quest Construction Data Network (QuestCDN), business success is a result of the adoption of ethical business practices which contribute to long-lasting partnerships. He asserts that amidst the dramatic paradigm shift from manual to online bidding with automated tools for bid information distribution and electronic bid collection the industry has accelerated the implementation of these new technologies and as partners replace old process with the new Quest has enjoyed building strong relationships with strong retention rates. Here are the facets of QuestCDN’s prowess according to Morgan.
Can you elaborate on the challenges in the construction landscape?
The construction industry is getting more sophisticated and technology-oriented by the year, resulting in a plethora of software companies bringing out solutions that enable exponential leaps in productivity, efficiency, as well as cost reductions. Earlier, the industry had been a little reluctant in accepting and switching from the manual to online bidding process due to security concerns of the process and basic change in general. Another barrier impacting adoption was the inability of state legislatures to keep pace of the rapid development and implementation of these new technologies. It’s not that present law forbids this adoption but it’s the absence of law regulating the use of these new technologies. Fortunately many states are enacting laws that allow the bid process to effectively use these new automated electronic bidding facilities. In recent years, we have seen the progressiveness and willingness of people to accept this paradigm shift and change their bidding approach. We are dealing mostly with the formal protocol of government bid processing in the public market. We have to comply with state statute, and some states have advanced ahead of others by becoming very progressive in adopting this very valuable technology. Truly today, the Quest comprehensive internet platform combined with our unique collaborative partnership business model has enabled project owners and their agents to achieve their best bids possible while reducing the costs of all bidding participants.
Quest provides a tool for owners and their agents achieve their best bids possible at the lowest possible cost to all bidding participants
Our aim all along was to develop a comprehensive web-based solution that digitized and automated the entire construction project bid process and removing expensive, inefficient manual paper communication. We have found that the administrative staffs of our partners have embraced this new technology with not only competency but enthusiasm. Presently we are working closely with our partners when it comes to moving the needle on the adoption of electronic bidding by pushing much of the online bid handling onto the firm’s administrative staff that works with the Quest tool day in and day out. That’s the process that needs adjusting when it comes realizing the bid letting of the future. Our state-of-the-art electronic bidding service—VirtuBid™ (vBid™) streamlines the bidding process for the project owners and soliciting agents, allowing them to build and accept bids through a secure online network. As an innovative online bidding tool, it allows owners to efficiently construct their electronic bid package that includes the inclusion of surety and qualification information and of course their quantitative bid form. Bidders can construct and deliver their bids in a secure, online facility from the comfort and effectiveness of their company office. Price changes can be made up to the last minute of the bid guaranteeing the owner gets full economic value of this system.
A number of our partners have eschewed the public bid letting entirely in favor of a completely virtual letting. With the use of online web conferencing services such as Go To Meeting, WebEx, Skype, and others an official bid letting can be conducted with proper witnesses and bid proper public bid reading. Quest even provides the automated posting of preliminary bid results online within mere seconds of the bid lettings conclusion. Can you imagine that no bid submission will ever be rejected because of information, surety, addenda acknowledgement omissions, illegibility, or mathematical errors!
What differentiates QuestCDN from similar organizations and keeps you ahead of the competition?
We strive for excellence in improving the bid management process, and our continual investment in research and resources has ensured that we help clients to get the best possible bids quickly, securely, and cost-effectively. We always do a SWOT analysis for our company for figuring out our strengths and weaknesses and work on them accordingly. We were a construction bidding management system primarily for the public bid market in the earlier days of our initiation. We built our software around the construction bidding process but over time competition has encroached from other bid process angles like goods and services purchasing. We have now created a free RFP module for our partners and we will be introducing a project management module and then our own goods and services functionality. We value our relationships with our partners and we work hard to remain a vital and functional partner by developing improvements through technology for their standard bid processes and we bring in other diversifications to meet their different needs like project management. We also have an excellent support staff known for being very responsive, competent, and friendly.
What does the future look like for QuestCDN?
We have added additional software engineering staff and will continue to add support personnel as required. We are in the process of writing code for construction management, primarily for civil projects because these are the ones which have a lot of field reporting and progress reports. We are also in the process of building our procurement module. Our goal for the coming years is to be able to walk up to a government client and tell them that we have a comprehensive bid management solution for them including construction bidding, RFP functionality, and procurement of goods and services.