Administrator Help Documentation

BidMessenger Overview

Bid Messenger is an online plan room and subcontractor notification system that saves estimators and subcontractors time by automating communications during the bid process. When you are bidding a new project, simply Create a Project by inputting the project details and uploading the Plans and Specs. BidMessenger will take care of the rest: notifying your subcontractors of the new project, and inviting them to bid if their services are required in the scope.

Bid Messenger will automatically send you email notifications when a subcontractor downloads project documents, or when they submit or update a bid. It will also automatically update your subcontractors when you update a project or issue an addenda.

Bid Messenger helps you manage your bids and track your downloads with various sorting options, and helps build your subcontractor database. You can view, sort, and search for subcontractors by their contact info, and easily grant or revoke admin privileges to users.


Projects

To create a new project, click on 'Admin Tools' in the upper right of the top navigation bar, then select 'Create Project'. When the 'Create a new Project' form appears, fill out the 'Project Title', 'Bid Date', and 'Location' fields. The 'Scope' and 'Misc' fields are optional, in case you would like to include more information for your subcontractors. Next, select the options fo the project.


Public Projects

All projects are public by default. This means that the project will be visible to any subcontractor who has an account with your BidMessenger Application.


Awarded Projects

If you have been awarded the project, you can check the 'Awarded?' checkbox so that the project displays the text ' Project has been awarded to "Your Company Name" If left unchecked, it will display 'Project currently bidding' by default.


Private (Password Protected) Projects

If you would like to conduct an invite-only, password-protected bid, simply check the 'Private?' checkbox, and provide a password in the 'Password' input field. When the project has been created, right click the 'Share this URL' link and select 'Copy Link Address' to copy the Private Project URL to your clipboard. Then paste the link into your email client of choice, along with the password your provided, and email it to the subcontractors that you would like to invite. These subcontractors must have both a BidMessenger account and the password in order to view and bid Private Projects.


Archived Projects

If you lose a bid or decide against bidding a project after the fact, feel free to Delete the Project to keep your BidMessenger Application uncluttered. However, if you've completed the bidding process on a project that you have been awarded, you might want to Archive the project, its Bids and all of the Plans/Specs Download History.

To archive a project, just check the 'Archived?' checkbox, and it will move to the 'Archived Projects' page, which can be viewed by clicking 'Admin Tools' in the upper right of the top navigation, and selecting 'View Archived Projects'.


Uploading Plans & Specs

Before uploading, organize your current Plans & Specs for the project into a compressed .zip folder. This will reduce the total file size of the project documents, and make it fast and easy for your subcontractors to download. If you need help creating .zip folders, see How to Create .zip Folders.

When you're finished creating the .zip folder, click 'Choose File', browse to and select the folder you've created. When the progress bar indicates that the upload is complete, click the 'Create Project' button.


How to Create .zip Folders

PC Users

  1. Organize all of the current Plans and Specs into a folder on you computer.
  2. Select all the files in the folder.
  3. Right-click the selected files, and select ‘Send to ‘Compressed’ .zip Folder’.
  4. Right-click the .zip file, select ‘Rename,’ and give it an appropriate name like 'Project Name - Plans & Specs.zip'. Be sure to keep the .zip at the end of the title.

Mac Users

  1. Organize all of the current Plans and Specs into a folder on you computer.
  2. Select all the files in the folder.
  3. Right-click the .zip file, select ‘Get Info,’ and give it an appropriate name like 'Project Name - Plans & Specs.zip'. Be sure to keep the .zip at the end of the title.

Editing Projects

To make changes to a project, simply click the 'Edit' button located below the project information when viewing a project.


Update vs Update & Notify

When updating a project, you will usually want to notify all the subcontractors who are interested in the project to inform them of the changes. If this is the case, click 'Update & Notify' and an email will be sent to all subcontractors who have downloaded the Plans & Specs notifying them that the project has been updated. That said, sometimes you will want to edit a project to fix a spelling error, in which case you don't need to inform anyone of the changes. If this is the case, click 'Update', and it will save your edits without notifying anyone.


Issuing Addenda

It is extremely rare that a project goes through the bid process without numerous Addenda. If you would like to issue an Addendum, click the '+ Addendum' button located below the project information when viewing a project.

Before uploading an addendum, organize the Addendum files into a compressed .zip folder. This will reduce the total file size of the project documents, and make it fast and easy for your subcontractors to download. If you need help creating .zip folders, see How to Create .zip Folders.

When you're finished creating the .zip folder, click 'Choose File', browse to and select the folder you've created. When the progress bar indicates that the upload is complete, assign an 'Addendum Number' and click the 'Create Addendum' button. All subcontractors who have downloaded the Plans & Specs for this project will be notified that an Addendum has been issued.


Managing Bids

When a subcontractor submits a Bid for one of your projects through BidMessenger, you will be notified by email with a link to view the Bid Details page. Here you can download the Bid Files, and view any notes that might have been sent in with the Bid. Clicking on the company name in this view will bring you to their Company Details page.

To view all the bids for a project from within BidMessenger, click the corresponding 'Bids' button on the 'Projects Currently Bidding' page, or on the individual Project Details page located below the Project Details. Clicking on the company name in this view will load a list of all bids submitted by that company.

To delete a bid, click the 'Delete' button below the Bid Details on the 'Bid Details' page, or the associated 'Delete' button in the list of all Bids submitted for a project. The system will ask you to confirm deletion of the Bid to prevent accidental deletion.


Tracking Downloads

Every time a subcontractor downloads the Plans/Specs or Addenda for a project, BidMessenger logs the download. This allows you to check the pulse on a project at a glance so you can get an idea of which subcontractors are interested in the project, and whether they have downloaded the most recent Addenda. To view the Downloads for a particular project, just click the 'Downloads' button located below the project details on an individual 'Project Details' page, or the corresponding 'Downloads' button located to the right of the 'Projects Currently Bidding' page.

The 'Downloads' page is loaded with useful information, providing quick access to the name of the Company and the phone number of the specific employee who downloaded the file. The 'File Downloaded' column displays the name of the file that was downloaded, and links to it in the case that you've updated the Project Files and you need to verify which version was downloaded.

This page keeps track of every single download of every single file, which means that it is likely you will see the same Company listed multiple times for downloading Plans/Specs and various Addenda. If you would like to view a summarized list of all the Planholders, see Planholder Summary.


Planholder Summary

On 'Bid Day', you wont want to waste any time sifting through every file download to keep track of Planholders, so we created the 'Planholder Summary' page. This page very simply lists the name of each Company who has downloaded the Plans/Specs, their employees name, and their phone number so you can quickly go down the list and make your calls for final numbers.


Sitewide Downloads

In addition to viewing Downloads for individual projects, you can view Sitewide Downloads by clicking 'Admin Tools' in the upper right of the top navigation bar, and selecting 'View Downloads'. Here you will be shown a paginated list of every Download that has ever transpired since the launch of your BidMessenger Application. You can filter it further by day, week, month, and year by clicking the corresponding links above the list.


Managing Users

To view a list of all your subcontractors, click 'Admin Tools' in the upper-right of the top navigation and select 'View Users'. You will be redirected to a paginated list of all your subcontractors, which includes key contact information. Clicking on a Company Name will bring you to a list of all their employees. Clicking on an Employee Name will bring you to their full User Profile where you can view additional contact information, view all bids submitted by that user, grant them admin priveleges, or delete their account.


Searching Users

For quick access to a specific subcontractor, simply type any piece of their contact info into the Search bar located at the top of the Subcontractor List and press enter. A list of matching results will be displayed, and you can select the desired user from there.


Exporting Subcontractor List

You can export your list of subcontractors at any time by clicking 'Download in Excel Format' at the top of the Subcontractors List. This will initiate a download of an excel spreadsheet containing the contact information for each of your subcontractors who have an account with your BidMessenger Application.


Creating Admins

To grant one of your users Admin priveleges, visit their User Page and click 'Make Admin'. Be careful who you grant Admin access to, because in addition to being albe to manage and create new projects, these users will have full access to all private projects, downloads, bids, and users and to delete anything they want.


Editing your Profile

To change your company contact information or employee details, click 'Account' in the upper-right of the top navigation, and select 'Edit Profile'. Make your changes, and click the 'Update Profile' button when you are satisfied with your changes to save them.


Resetting your Password

If you forget your password, click 'Forgot Password?' at the bottom of the Sign In form. Enter the email address that you used to create your BidMessenger account, and click the 'Reset Password' button to receive an email with a link to create a new password for your account.

If you know your password but just feel like changing it for whatever reason, you can reset your password the same way by clicking 'Reset Your Password' in the 'Edit Profile' form