BR firm lands contract to advertise LAGC bid services, adds online option

A Baton Rouge firm has landed a contract with the Louisiana Association of General Contractors to bring the bidding process for the association’s nearly 800 members into the modern age.

Central Bidding is now handling the advertisement of bid services for the LAGC, allowing association-affiliated contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and service firms to view and bid on contracts electronically. Prior to the new contract with Central Bidding, which became effective in January, the Associated General Contractors of America’s Electronic Plan Room, which provides bid notifications to members, was operated by Dodge Data and Analytics, which posted notifications and bid details but did not provide an option to submit bids electronically.

“Before this, the contractors and vendors really had to look at the local daily journals for bid notifications, and then drive to a bid opening or physically submit a paper bid,” explains Central Bidding Chief Operating Officer Ted Fleming. “What we’ve done is come together to provide a much better product. Not only can you view all of the project details on the site, but you can submit bids electronically.”

Central Bidding, which has been in operation since 2007, handles online bid services for about 85% of the state’s political subdivisions—or about 285 total—that are required to provide an option for vendors to make electronic bids. LAGC CEO Ken Naquin says the association decided to enlist Central Bidding for its bid services because of the company’s wide reach, which will provide AGCA members access to more bid opportunities.

“There are three electronic bid providers in the state … and (Central Bidding) is the predominant provider,” he says. “We wanted to partner with the number one provider in the state on this.”

Central Bidding is not providing a free service for AGCA members under its agreement with the association, but it is offering LAGC members a 10% discount for signing up for the service. Fleming says Central Bidding offers annual subscriptions to its online bid platform for about $650 and that there are options for shorter subscriptions and access on a per-use basis. Financial terms of Central Bidding’s contract with AGCA were not disclosed.

“LAGC is big for us because they represent the largest group of general contractors in the state,” Fleming says about the impact the new contract has on Central Bidding. “But by getting more information out there to the contractors, it’s beneficial to them, to the association itself and to us. And it’s really a full circle opportunity that should also benefit taxpayers, because this encourages more competition and we’re already seeing much better pricing on some bids.”

—Steve Sanoski

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