In the current economic client it’s crucial that we make the most of the opportunities that come our way. More than ever we need intelligent methods to help us win tenders, minimise our risk and maximise our profit.
When looking at new jobs, there are many things to consider such as size, location, site access, geology, contamination risk; the knowns and the unknowns. Some will take the approach of sticking their finger in the air and using gut instinct, but it is only by minimising the unknowns to gain a better picture of what a site’s character is actually like that will enable accurate and competitive bidding at the tender stage.
Just imagine that you knew everything about a site before you tendered. How would that affect your price? You might have the confidence to bid low in the knowledge that there is minimal risk on-site or alternatively you might bid high, knowing that the site has serious problems to overcome. You might even refuse to bid, judging that the site represents too high a risk to your business.
So when you are estimating for a job, what do you need to know? Have you done any work there before? Do you already have data on the site? Do you have any other information which could be an asset in trying to win the job? What information does your potential client, the land-owner hold that might help you?
An environmental GIS system could just help. If you have a system in which your existing jobs are referenced, in which you can easily view previous work and proprietary data, it will enable you to quickly judge the relative risk of the site and, perhaps, give you that crucial piece of information that no-one else has.
Okay, so you may not be able to use all of your mapping and data for your new job, due to copyright and licensing restrictions, but you can refer to it to give you a better understanding of what you are likely to find if you get the job and that may be just what is needed for you win the tender.
With an environmental GIS designed for the job, you would be able to view street maps, geology maps, aerial photos, open desk-study reports and access documents to give you an improved picture and better understanding of the site. Having this improved view will help reduce your risk and make use of the potential wealth of the information you already have, putting you in a more secure place giving you a critical business tool to enable you to win more business.
There are many systems that can help here such as desktop solutions like ArcGIS, MapInfo or AutoCAD Map. All of these are sophisticated tools and a great resource in the hands of the right user. But does the GIS professional have a role in your tender process as it stands? Can you access data through your company’s GIS from your desktop PC or from your laptop when you’re working at home?
What would be better still is a system where all staff can access and make use of their organisation’s data. Solutions such as this are available, such as high end systems like a bespoke ArcGIS Server  or through employing team GIS software like KeySpatial .
Your company has a wealth of information in its archive. It would be a shame not to make more use of it!
What do you think? Is it possible to make better use of your own information to win more business? Do the right tools and expertise exist today and are they cost-effective? Have your say by commenting below.