Receive digitally-signed bids and proposals on-line
Bids are digitally signed by the vendor and held in a secure lock box until the bid opening. The Bid Express service uses secure encryption and lockbox technology to ensure bids are safe. Your bidders can update their bids up until the bids due time to include last minute price cuts.
Minimize discarding bids with mistakes
Avoidable errors cost public agencies billions each year. With the Bid Express service, you won’t be throwing away the low bid due to a missed signature, an omitted form or a math error. The system alerts bidders to missing information and does all computations.
Get instant bid tabs, ranked results, exportable reports
Open bids with a quick click and access easy-to-read screens and reports with the details. Give your vendors instant access to bid results. With Internet bidding, a bid opening takes minutes, not hours since all bids are checked by the system and bid bonds are validated electronically.
Custom item list
Develop or import your agency's custom item list for all of your purchasing staff to use in developing solicitations.
Create and save an online repository of templates for your staff to use on demand to streamline bid and proposal management and reduce the risk of protests.
Start your research here with these helpful white pages covering several aspects of internet bidding and online solicitation management.
Learn more about the internet bidding process and how it solves many of the problems related to inefficiencies and flaws inherent in advertising and accepting paper based bids and proposals.
While several Enterprise Resource Planning systems offer modules for internet bidding, they tend to lack many of the technical and security measures required for this highly specialized process, and can cost thousands of dollars to implement.
Online bond verification is a game changer. The use of online verification codes for bid bonds in public bidding has resulted in numerous benefits for all parties involved, including public agencies, bidders and surety agents. Is submitting a paper bid bond becoming an antiquated practice?
Learn about types of signatures, type of electronic signatures, and the applicable laws in this area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What software is needed to use the Bid Express service?
The Bid Express service does not require any special software to purchase or install. It is software-as-a-service, which means that all of the programs and data that make up the service are hosted by Infotech, Inc., making the service available to users via a standard web browser. All updates to the service are automatically applied.
What types of proposals/bids can go through the service?
The flexible nature of the Bid Express service allows it to be used in any number of purchasing situations. The system can easily handle item-based purchases, Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Requests for Information (RFIs), Requests for Quotes (RFQs), etc. Using the convenient drag-and-drop solicitation builder, an agency can quickly build a proposal using only the elements needed for that proposal, customize those elements, and even save a proposal as a template for future use. All agencies users have access to saved templates.
Will use of the Bid Express service help us “go green?”
Yes! The Bid Express service only produces paper when you decide to print something. All proposals, bonds and other related documents are exportable and stored within the system in electronic format, enabling you to truly go paperless if desired. This not only saves trees, but it also reduces money spent on consumables (paper, toner, etc.), and reduces wasted time. Agencies also reduce the carbon footprint produced by vendors driving to pick up and deliver various paper documents by distributing electronic documents and allow electronic solicitation responses to be submitted.
What does it cost to use the Bid Express service?
Public agencies pay nothing to use the service. Vendors can view solicitations and documents for free, create their Infotech Digital IDs for free. Vendors pay a fee only when they choose to submit bids. This fee is typically less than an overnight delivery service. Alternatively, vendors can choose to subscribe monthly and pay one fee to submit unlimited bids for all agencies nationwide that post to the Bid Express service. Subscribers also gain access to email notifications. Subscription is monthly with no contract required.
In what ways will the service save me money?
Agencies that implement online bidding typically save time and money in several key areas. They have more efficient bid openings since bids are complete and error-free. They skip the time and effort in collecting and validating bid bonds. They remove the security issues in collecting and handling paperwork. They also have access to a wider pool of bidders which increases competition, often resulting in lower prices.To determine the return-on-investment potential that Bid Express has to offer, visit the Bid Express ROI calculator.
How will vendors save money?
The Bid Express service reduces the time it takes to prepare a bid and eliminates the travel expenses or mailing costs associated with manual submission. Overt alerts to deadlines, errors and omissions minimize the chances of a vendor submitting an incomplete or inaccurate bid. Vendors also have access to all of the solicitations on the Bid Express service and only pay when they decide to submit a bid. Vendors can quickly calculate their projected savings with the Bid Express ROI calculator.
Will the service be cost-prohibitive to some vendors?
The Bid Express service allows prospective bidders to view all solicitation data for free. If the service is implemented as an option, vendors can still submit bids on paper. Vendors will only incur charges if they decide to respond to a solicitation, and that charge is comparable to that of standard shipping for a bid package. Vendors are also offered an alternative subscription plan, where they can bid on any number of solicitations for one fixed monthly price and also receive email notifications from agencies. Refer to our fee schedule for costs.
How will the service bring in more bidders?
An agency’s current bidding pool is limited by various factors such as location and advertising reach. In addition to current methods, making solicitations accessible online via the Bid Express service boosts the potential to reach more bidders over a wider area. Greater numbers of bidders means more competition and lower prices. The ease of use that the Bid Express service provides will also make the bidding process easier, pulling in more companies that normally wouldn’t have the administrative capacity to respond to a solicitation.
Is the Bid Express service reliable?
Yes. Infotech has been operating Internet bidding services since 1997. The Bid Express servers are connected to battery backup, and the battery systems are connected to a generator backup. All of the servers are paired, with each server monitoring the other and automatically taking over should there be a problem. We have also installed servers in a separate geographical location, using a separate Internet provider, for even greater redundancy.
Why should I use a hosted service?
The Bid Express hosted service, also called software-as-a-service, provides all of the tools you need to perform your solicitation management tasks, without the need for on-site servers or software installations. All software is hosted and maintained by Infotech, Inc. so you don’t have to dedicate any time or expense to server or software maintenance with IT, vendor support, security monitoring, internet uptime, or Digital ID approval. All features of the Bid Express service are accessible via a standard web browser.
How do you differentiate yourself from other providers?
The Bid Express service is an industry-pioneer in online solicitation management. Infotech, Inc. has been providing secure online bidding solutions to public agencies since 1997 and has handled more than $1 trillion in bids. The Bid Express service is designed with public agencies in mind, providing powerful tools to enhance your existing solicitation management process without altering it. We provide a very cost-effective pricing model for both parties without sacrificing quality, security, or functionality.
Why change what works now?
Paper-based solicitation management provides many opportunities for errors, data loss and miscommunication. The Bid Express service virtually eliminates these problems while providing your agency with powerful bid analytics, faster solicitation processing and cost-saving tools. Solicitations can be created quickly and easily in minutes using Bid Express SmartForms™ technology and the apparent bid results can be determined in minutes.
Additionally, many agencies are implementing mandates relating to electronic bid security in response to tightening accountability and collusion prevention. Get ahead of the curve and in-step with today’s technology with the widely accepted tools offered by the Bid Express service.
Why should I prioritize Internet bidding over other initiatives?
Internet bidding deserves attention due to its nature of being the core of your operation. Why wait to start saving more money and time through streamlining bidding? To more effectively locate the lowest bidder, the tools to do so should be ones designed for the job. The Bid Express service was built from the ground up with public agencies in mind, based on years of experience in the realm of secure online bidding.
Internet bidding offers many advantages over traditional paper-based methods. Since bids are already secured digitally, there is no need for physical security. Solicitations can be drawn up in minutes using the Bid Express SmartForms™ technology, allowing you to create and save solicitation templates for later use. Bid analysis tools allow you to determine the apparent winning bid in minutes, instead of having to wait for bids to be manually tabulated. Internet bidding also provides the potential to reach a wider audience of potential bidders, resulting in greater competition and lower costs.
How long does it take to implement the service?
Implementation of the Bid Express service typically lasts 3-5 weeks. Our team will assist your agency and training will be provided to ensure a smooth transition.
Will I have to pay for support?
Support for the Bid Express service is free to all agency and vendor users. Both live support and email support are available.
What is an Infotech Digital ID?
A Digital ID is small encrypted file that is unique to a single person. When a bid is ready for submission, the Digital ID is attached to the bid file and then submitted to the agency. This acts in the place of a wet ink signature and provides the agency with a legal means to accept and verify electronic bids. A Digital ID is required to submit a bid. Through the Digital ID application process, Infotech takes responsibility for confirming the identification of the Digital ID holder, therefore alleviating this task from the agency.
What is electronic bid bond verification?
Traditionally, bid bonds are paper forms that require wet ink signatures. With electronic bid bond verification, all of that work is taken care of ahead of time.A vendor acquires a unique code from a bid bonding agency (via S2000, Inc. or SuretyWave) and includes the code with his/her proposal. With this code, surety companies can provide verification that the vendor has a valid bid bond.
Electronic bid bond verification has been used for years on more than 100,000 proposals, including small and multi-million dollar bids, via the Bid Express service.
How can I be sure that Internet proposal submission is secure?
The Bid Express service incorporates high encryption to prevent outside parties from viewing bid data. Prior to the bid opening, submitted bids are held in a digital lockbox that is inaccessible to the agency until the bid opening time. Vendors can only access their own bids and the Bid Express service never has access to any bids at any time.
We have custom forms - can we still use them with the service?
When building a solicitation through the Bid Express SmartForms™ technology, your agency will have the option to add a custom section tailored to your specific needs.
How will having solicitation templates help our agency?
Instead of repeating keystrokes on similar types of solicitations, Bid Express SmartForms™ technology allows you to save the basic information as a template. Once a template is created, you can save it to your agency’s template library and use it again for as long as you need it, easing efforts on future solicitation development. You can save entire solicitations as templates, or save parts (sections or forms) as a template.
How long does it take to advertise a solicitation?
Creating and posting a solicitation can be accomplished in minutes. The Bid Express SmartForms™ technology allows you to create solicitations in a powerful and intuitive drag-and-drop environment, where you can piece together a solicitation one section at a time. Templates can also be created, preventing duplication of effort and saving you time on future solicitation development.
How does the service prevent bid errors or omissions?
It is frustrating when a bid is missing a vital component such as a signature, bid bond, or amendment. A bad bid or proposal can cost your agency time and money - especially when it is the low bid. With built-in error checking, the Bid Express service ensures that all bids are correct and complete. Vendors are alerted to missing forms, required fields, and/or addenda prior to submission. These alerts prevent errors and incomplete bids to ensure vendor responsiveness. Also, prices are computed automatically - vendors need to only enter prices by item, so math errors are a thing of the past.
How will this affect my bid openings?
Bids are secured and signed from start to finish. When conducting a bid opening, there’s no need for physical bid security since the bids are already held in a digital lockbox. Once the bid opening time is reached, bids can be analyzed and automatically tabulated, and apparent bid results can be attained in minutes. There’s no need to check for errors or verify bid bonds since all of this was completed upon bid submission. Bid opening and awarding is a much faster and smoother process with the Bid Express service.