Request For Quote Software: Streamlining The Procurement Process

Written by Bridget Cooper

DateFeb 27, 2024
Reading time9 min read
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Speed and efficiency are crucial to winning and completing projects on time in the fast-paced procurement industry. Preparing bid documents, sending out requests for quotes, and evaluating every bid is time and resource-intensive. That’s where a request for quote platforms comes in handy. From centralizing the entire procurement process to cutting down the workload, RFQ software is what everyone in the procurement industry needs. What exactly is RFQ software?

That’s what we’ll cover in this guide. We’ll also look at Downtobid as an RFQ software, its benefits, key features, and how to use it. But first, let’s define RFQ software. 

What is RFQ Software?

An RFQ platform is a powerful tool used by procurement teams to streamline the purchasing process. 

A request for quote is a document issued by the project owner outlining the project’s specific materials, labor, services, and equipment required to complete a project. It's the first step in the procurement process, helping procurement teams understand the project better. The evaluation criteria is mostly price-focused, with the lowest bidder winning the contract.

The project manager issues an RFQ to potential subcontractors, requesting detailed proposals, focusing on capabilities, price, and lead times. 

An RFQ process is complex and time-consuming, capturing every detail to help subcontractors understand the project requirements. It involves a lot of market research, crafting solicitation documents, evaluating bids, and selecting the winning bidder. 

RFQ software helps to significantly reduce the workload in the buying process, ensuring you focus on more important tasks, like tracking live bid analysis. 

Now that we know what RFQ software is, let’s look at an excellent example: Downtobid.

What is Downtobid

Downtobid is a bid management software used in the pre-bidding phases for project estimates. Project owners use Downtobid to generate bid invites in minutes. Contractors use it to estimate project costs before submitting their final bids. 

Let’s be a bit specific.

Downtobid utilizes an impressive AI Copilot to help enhance page turn by checking every page for completeness and accuracy. Doing so ensures there are no scope gaps that might confuse contractors and subs. 

The AI Copilot helps trade contractors find more opportunities since it can browse through documents rapidly, compared to doing it manually. 

The ability to generate bid invites in minutes helps you come up with customized and detailed RFQs for your project. 

Now that we know what Downtobid is, let’s see some features that make it stand out.

Downtobid Key Features

Downtobid has some amazing features that are useful in the procurement process. They include the following:

The AI Copilot

It’s perhaps Downtobid’s main arsenal, allowing contractors to avoid handling administrative tasks associated with creating bid invites. Once you upload project plans, the AI goes through the project’s designs and plans, identifies potential work units, and creates detailed scopes within minutes.

Before AI, page turn was done manually, requiring hours and additional costs to accomplish it. Manual work also left room for more eras, creating scope gaps that affect the overall project. 

What’s more impressive about the AI Copilot is its ability to find distinct work sections within the project that subcontractors can bid on. Work units could include plumbing or electrical services in a construction project.

The system also helps to match qualified local subcontractors to the bid package, streamlining the sales process and saving you time of contacting them manually. 

With the AI program still in its infancy stage, it’s interesting to see what Downtobid will accomplish with this technology in the future. 

Creating Instant Personalized Bid Invites

Nothing makes you connect to contractors and subs more than a personalized bid invite. Downtobid allows you to customize the bid invites, by including details like company and contractor’s names. Doing so helps to connect with subs, increase engagement, and build trust.

Let’s face it - people love to be appreciated, and supplier relationship management is every contractor's priority to facilitate a smooth corporation.

The system automatically creates suggested bidding schedules to optimize ITB distribution. ITBs include personalized, high-level project summaries so substitutes can quickly determine fit. Follow-ups are scheduled automatically based on past response rates and the nearing proposal deadline.

Creating bid invites with Downtobid is a straightforward process where you only need to upload plans and specs, and the software handles everything. 

Manually creating bid invites takes time, and hiring extra help increases the cost. Downtobid helps cut the time and cost, helping you divert these resources to other tasks, like setting up a pre-bid meeting.

Centralized Platform

The pre-bid process involves many tasks, people, and paperwork that require constant tracking and monitoring. Combing through emails to pull out data and documents takes time, and there’s a risk of data loss. 

Downtobid eliminates these challenges by providing a centralized platform where you can access everything. Contractors and subcontractors can access project plans, scope, and other specs to help them understand the requirements and expectations. 

The instant communication ensures everyone stays updated, especially when there are changes in project requirements. You can view and respond to supplier responses from the platform, helping you stay in touch throughout the procurement process. 

How to Use Downtobid

Downtobid’s simplified design makes it easy to use, even if it’s your first time. First, you need to click here to get started. You’ll be taken to a page where you can automate your bid preparation. 

There are two important steps on this page. First, you must upload plans by dropping the files or uploading them from your computer. The files must be in PDF format and shouldn’t exceed 1 GB in size.

*Create Project.png

The second step is entering your email to be notified once the project is created. Double-check the email to ensure it’s correct to avoid any problems. Then click “Generate Project” and wait a few minutes. You’ll be notified once the RFQ process is completed. 

It takes roughly half an hour to complete, which is ample time for the AI to go through the plans, analyze potential scope, and craft desirable bid packages. 

After receiving an email alert, proceed to log in, and you’ll access every bid package created by the platform. 

With each scope generated, you also get a list of qualified local subs you can consider for the project. Doing so significantly reduces the energy and time of finding these subs. Downtobid’s flexibility allows you to invite your own subs that you’ve worked with before. 

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Downtobid’s planroom is specifically designed for subs to access and view drawings related to their line of work. You don’t have to be a registered member to access the planroom. 


Emails are seamlessly integrated into your inbox for streamlined response.


This unified platform eliminates the need to toggle between separate systems, ensuring you never miss an important message.

*Email Template.png

Now that we know Downtobid’s features and how to use it, let’s look at why you should use it.

Benefits of Using Downtobid

Downtobid is a proposal software that every general or commercial contractor should have. It’s easy to use, and the responsive customer support is always ready to assist. That’s not all. Here are a few benefits of using the ITB software.

Improved Efficiency

Downtobid’s efficiency plays a key role in the company’s success. It’s the building block of the program, from the AI reviewing project plans and creating detailed scopes to identifying hundreds of RFP opportunities almost instantly. However, Downtobid’s efficiency is more sophisticated to help in three key areas.

Rapid Bid Invites Creation

With Downtobid, you can come up with a detailed RFQ within minutes, thanks to the AI Copilot. The AI saves you the time of going through the designs to identify project requirements and potential work units. It then creates a detailed project scope that could have taken you hours to accomplish.

Centralized Communication

The built-in messaging function ensures you receive and send messages instantly, helping to improve communications between project owners, contractors, and subcontractors. The data encryption ensures any sensitive information remains secure from prying eyes.

You can track vendor responses and reply to their emails without leaving the platform. 

Automated Workflows

Any project’s pre-bidding phase involves a lot of administrative tasks, which Downtobid handles through automation. For instance, the platform handles tracking the win/loss analytics, freeing you to handle other tasks requiring your attention. You could say that Downtobid makes you a great estimator or contractor by allowing you to focus on important tasks, like reviewing bid submissions. 

Fairness and Transparency

Downtbid organizes the information in a structured format to help procurement professionals evaluate different bids. Doing so ensures fairness in bid selection and eliminates any biased decisions often associated with procurement processes. It's common for projects to receive bids from multiple vendors, all of whom are qualified for the project. With the RFP software, clients can evaluate each bid fairly and choose the one they're comfortable fulfills the project's requirements.

Transparent communication regarding the winning bid adds credibility to the procurement processes, leaving every bidder satisfied with the results.

Cost Savings

Downtobid is affordable compared to the cost of hiring someone to handle the entire procurement process. The people you hire charge by the hour and have to work long hours, given all the tasks they have to handle.

For instance, they have to create RFQ documents, which takes time. They also have to vet multiple vendors to find those who are suitable for the project. These people will be in charge of communication by supplying all project information, responding to questions, and tracking supplier responses.

Luckily, Downtobid handles nearly all these without incurring extra charges. The cost savings ability is the biggest advantage of using Downtobid.

Final Thoughts

Creating and sending a request for quote document is a lengthy process, requiring accurate information. Bidders use it to send their contract proposal, focusing on the project’s price. However, RFQ software like Downtobid helps to streamline and simplify the entire process. Downtobid stands out due to features like the AI Copilot, the ability to create bid invites in minutes, and the centralized platform that handles all the administrative tasks in the pre-bidding phase. To create bid invites, you only need to upload project plans, and the AI identifies work units and creates scopes. 

Written by Bridget CooperUpdated on Feb 29, 2024

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