Case Study

Bidding Challenges

Revolutionizing Fee Estimation: The Bid Model Solution for Centralized, Transparent, and Streamlined Bidding Processes


Pricing projects has traditionally been a manual, confused and hurried process across various departments, exposing us to huge risk and discouraging good governance.

Bid Model has given us complete control over pricing our projects and reduced the time to bid by 50% by centralizing the process for all parties in a controlled and transparent way.  We are now able to re-use parts of prior bids, accurately move the bid baselines straight into our Project Manager software and improve project quality by enforcing governance processes.


Our client is one of the world’s top professional services firms in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction sector and part of a global group of companies headquartered in Canada.  With such small margins in the industry, it is vitally important to price new work accurately so as not to eat into profits, while still remaining competitive enough to win work. To do so requires a clear and controlled process over project bidding, reporting and governance across several business functions and geographies. Traditionally, this process has been managed manually using excel spreadsheets and email; fraught with manual error, assumptions and risk.

In bidding for a project, a Project Manager first must establish a strategy based on the client’s budget, scope, timeline and deliverables before sharing that “program” with multiple departments in his organization for pricing. These individual components of the total price might include architecture, site supervision, engineering, finance, MEP building services, external authorities and the like which are then all combined to arrive at a total project bid price to present to the client for consideration, in order to win the job. Sound simple enough?

Unfortunately, this strategy is often wide open to interpretation.  Each department may price their work on certain assumptions — are we responsible for this activity?

And other questions, such as:

How much buffer will I add to allow for any risk?

Has another department already included this item in their fee?

Each system has a variety of different versions, configurations and languages based on geography

Can I get some more information from the Project Manager to clarify something?

As you might imagine, before long hundreds of emails have been sent internally, different systems are being used to generate information within many excel spreadsheets, there is overlap of activities and risk, departments have priced their work based on the wrong assumption (“oh, I thought you wanted two basements!”)  and the total bid price is way above what is expected in the market for a project of such size and scope.   Then begins the messy process of wading through each individual item to cut costs but in such a complex and messy manual process, digging out inconsistencies and comparing costs to past projects can take weeks to uncover.This “bottom up” approach to estimating the cost of a project is only the first of many iterations in the bidding process -  it will often go back and forth between the firm and its client multiple times with changes to the scope; often with impossible timelines to meet.    The baseline of project requirements is soon lost to a mess of misinformation, old data, time constraints and huge risk as management is forced to arbitrarily reduce pricing wherever it can to win the job.   Furthermore, any governance intended to manage the bidding process is hurried and unable to add the value it was solely intended to serve.

Bid Model is a brilliant tool which offers one source of transparent collaboration in the bidding process for projects of any kind.


In a project of any scale, dealing with multiple stakeholders both internally and externally requires the centralized and timely organization of all critical bid details and communication, with the ability for access control so that relevant parties are privy to relevant information only and confidential information is kept just so.

With the ability to access disparate systems from within Atkins’ Finance, HR, CRM, P6 and ERP and organize the data in bespoke visualizations, Keross was able to work with the firm to develop a systemized workflow for the bidding process with minimal latency, in just four weeks. “Bid Model” software was developed alongside Atkins, to integrate its relevant business systems and enforce its governance process in workflows. The software is able to evolve as required and can therefore be scaled across the global enterprise.

Bid Model’s central dashboard offers a clearly defined scope of activities, assigned responsibilities, and program to avoid any confusion and to allow all parties involved to interact together to avoid duplicity.  Bid Model has the ability to push and pull datafrom adjacent CRM, Governance, Finance and HR systems within Atkins to access the right information consistently, to enforce approvals at various stages, to compare with baseline assumptions throughout each bid iteration and in time, to plot a history of similar projects in order to develop actual trends as opposed to hypothetical assumptions.  It even offers a “sandbox” area to allow management to adjust the bid by item, time or resource and watch the impact on overall cost.

Bid Model is a brilliant tool which offers one source of transparent collaboration in the bidding process for projects of any kind. It empowers business leaders to take ownership of pricing and ensures a single baseline is transparent for all involved.   The “bottom up” approach to fee estimation is now a rule-based “top down” tool.

Gavin Britton
Digital Portfolio & Products Director, Atkins
Competitors quoted 24 months for partial scope delivery. With Ikon, we delivered an end-to-end digital project & portfolio management solution in 8 months.
Business Impact

A systemized workflow for the bidding process with minimal latency. The software is able to evolve as required and can therefore be scaled across the global enterprise.


days to deliver the solution


decreased the time to bid


disparate systems organized

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