Construction Best Practices

3 Ways to Win Those Lucrative Construction Infrastructure Bill Contracts


The Key Role Technology Will Play and Why Modernized Construction Operations Will Have a Leg Up

Contractors have resources available now that help identify infrastructure spending, projects and requirements needed to win the work.

Now that project funding is being doled out from 2021's Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, with bipartisan announcements of more investments taking place Wednesday in Kentucky, contractors across the country are beginning to see how the $1.2 trillion in funding will affect their local communities. The bill, commonly referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastucture Bill, allocated funding to more than 100 different programs directed by more than a dozen federal bodies.

Early in 2022, the White House released guidance for state and local governments to apply for infrastructure funding. (About half of the money will be released to the states with the other half granted by the federal government). Essentially, the plan is for project funding to be made available through state Implementation Coordinators, who will organize and support projects in their communities. Contractors will then have a period of time to apply for and bid on those projects.

White House guidance has showcased the full funding available for each project category (transportation, energy, broadband, etc.) and released 25 applications for state and local governments through the Department of Transportation, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Energy, and other agencies. Most of these applications opened in the first or second quarter of 2022, and make up $65 billion in funding.

This year will mark the start of a years-long process in America's largest infrastructure investment in decades. Here are three considerations for contractors looking to enter the fray. 

1. Prep for More Bid Openings Ahead

In order to win bids for and manage the work of most of the upcoming infrastructure projects, contractors will need to have modern processes and tools in place.

Now is the time for contractors seeking to bid on state, local, and federal infrastructure projects to take another look at their internal processes and the technology they utilize.

Despite a bevy of stringent government rules, regulations and demands attached to federal infrastructure and construction work, competition for these projects is expected to be fierce, as the ultimate profit opportunities tend to be well worth the squeeze.

But what does this mean for contractors seeking to win these bids? It means shoring up their own internal infrastructure through a digitized, connected construction management strategy, real-time, data-driven workflows, and ensuring the right data and cybersecurity protections are in place.

There will also be a need for on-demand reporting on job costs and work progress, prevailing wages and payroll, and health and safety tracking. Contractors also need to show commitments to the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion across organizations and project teams, sustainable building practices, collective bargaining and more.

It means shoring up internal infrastructure through a digitized, connected construction management strategy, real-time, data-driven workflows, and ensuring the right data and cybersecurity protections are in place.

2. Consider What's Needed to Participate in Government Infrastructure Projects

Contractors will need to modernize to replace manual processes with digitized data, real-time reporting capabilities and cloud-based workflows and mobile-enabled functionality to meet project demands.

For instance, in order to reap the monetary benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, here are a few must-haves for contractors:

  • The ability to collect, store, and report on information in real-time—from cost and project progress to safety, HR data, data security, and more
  • A technology-forward operational platform that provides ability to scale new and emerging technologies into construction practices, and provide open collaboration capabilities across all project stakeholders (as well as transparency for governing bodies)
  • Up-to-date data security and cybersecurity measures in place
  • Workflows that ensure consistent compliance with payroll, prevailing wages, health, safety, environmental, and other regulations outlined in federal construction contracts
  • The right HR tools and strategies in place to help find, hire and train new workers, build long-term construction careers and meet employment, DEI, and other workforce requirements
  • Ability to work efficiently with unions and collective bargaining efforts—while the law doesn’t necessarily preclude non-union contractors from winning bids, it was designed to significantly favor labor union employment
  • Flexibility and scalability to meet equipment, materials and supply chain needs, including a renewed emphasis on buying American-made goods that was outlined in the bill.
  • A strategy or roadmap toward sustainable construction, including meeting current environmental demands and creating future efficiencies that further reduce carbon emissions

3. Modernize with Connected Construction Software

A connected construction management suite, hosted in the cloud can help contractors meet the requirements of federally-funded projects.

The biggest winners of these infrastructure projects are likely to be the contractors that have moved their construction management operations to the cloud and are using connected construction management software to achieve a single-source of real-time data and respective workflows. The benefit of modernizing operations, however, is not just limited to meeting government contract demands and requirements. Project owners across all construction disciplines are demanding more project insight, efficiencies and on-demand reporting and financial status updates.

Connected, cloud-based construction solutions are providing today’s contractors with faster access to this data—and the built-in analytic tools and seamless workflows necessary to make informed, real-time decisions. These solutions allow contractors to:

  • Share and communicate data seamlessly, even from remote locations
  • Save significant time by automating tasks and processes that traditionally have taken contractors days, weeks or months to do
  • Access the latest project data like job costs, WIP, employee or safety stats in real-time
  • Get real-time material pricing, load counts, inventory updates, and much more to save costs and reduce project downtime.
  • Mitigate project risks and safety issues by spotting problems before they ever occur
  • Easily set and measure against benchmarks and identify trends, like spotting potential profit fade before it occurs
  • Maximize labor productivity by assigning the right teams to right projects
  • Capture more accurate data on heavy machinery usage and performance to ensure that equipment fleets are achieving maximum efficiency

As technologies continue to advance, there will be more and more opportunities to utilize data to scale operations, allowing contractors to become agile and responsive to a constantly changing landscape. This means more productive, less expensive and more profitable projects.

To learn more about how your company can benefit from being more data-driven, connect with Trimble Viewpoint today!

Posted By

Andy is Marketing Content & PR Manager at Viewpoint. He has worked in the construction software arena since 2011. Previously, he netted multiple awards as a newspaper and trade media editor.