Our Invitation to Bid feature lets you invite companies to bid or quote on your own private project or any project in our platform. This powerful option gives you the option of inviting contractors from our BidCentral directory of 10,000+ contractors, or from your own address book, and keeps track of responses and activities. Please note that if you would like to use this feature, you will need a Premium or Enterprise account. Plus, you will need to let us know to activate this in your account by contacting us and requesting this option.

Your invitations are only visible to you and the companies that you invite. No one else on the platform can view who you have invited.

To get started, view your project (either your own private project or one from our plan-room). Be sure to Follow your project so you can easily find it on your Dashboard. Next, click on Invite to Bid button on the top right.

You will see the following options:

  1. Use a list I have already created: This will be a list of contacts that you have saved from a previous Invitation to Bid project.
  2. Search for companies by service region or category: With this feature, you can search through the BidCentral directory for contractors/suppliers by different criteria. Tip: Click on Advanced Search to broaden your search.
  3. Invite bidders from a previous project: This feature will work for privately created projects. If you have created a project, and invited contacts, you will be able to pull that list here.
  4. Use an address book I have already setup: You can upload your own Address Book under the Configure option in the top left menu. Once you have uploaded one or many, you can select it here.

After selecting your contacts, you will be shown a draft of your email with options to add cc or bcc, or to insert the specific Trades name into the body of the email or edit the information in the email. You will then be able to Preview the email before sending.

Next, you can Preview your email. This is what will be sent to your contacts. They will have the option of Yes, we will submit a quote or No, we will not submit a quote.

Once they click on either button, you will receive a confirmation email and your My Invitations column in that project will display the names of your contacts, along with their response and an option to “Remind” them.

Q: What is Opportunity and Product Matching?

A: Opportunity and Product matching is a service that automatically searches through projects and finds relevant projects for you based on keywords that you have entered.

For more information on how to set up opportunity matching, check out this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypw2ZxvfLiE

Q: What’s the difference between Opportunity Matching and Product Matching?

A: They are both similar in that they search through projects based on keywords that you entered.

Opportunity matching searches for project related keywords such as “drywall” or “excavator”.

Product matching is geared more towards manufacturers and suppliers so that they can enter in makes and models of products that are relevant to them. Once they are notified of projects that specify these makes or models, they can sell their products to the project owner or GCs that are bidding on the project.

Q: How do I setup Opportunity or Product Matching?

A: To setup your opportunity matching, click on your name in the top right-hand corner of the screen and go into your account settings. Once in your account settings, click on “Edit Company Profile”. Under section 7 – Categories, you can enter in keywords into the “Matching keywords” for opportunity matching and “Product Matching Keywords” for product matching.

Next, click on 9 – Notifications and Dashboard Settings. This will allow to you to select your preferred Zone(s) or regions for project search and opportunity matching results that appear in daily emails, Dashboard and Project Search.

Once you have setup your keywords, you will start receiving emails every night for relevant projects (or open Permits) that match your keywords and they will also appear in your dashboard too.

For more information on how to set up opportunity matching, check out this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypw2ZxvfLiE

Q: I’m not getting Opportunity or Product matching emails

A: The first thing to check is that you’re not set as ‘opt-out’ for emails. To do this, click on your name in the top right hand corner, then click on “Account”. Once your account loads, make sure that “Email Opt Out” IS NOT checked!.

If that’s unchecked and you’re still not receiving emails, check to see if those emails are in your spam / junk folder. If they aren’t you’ll want to contact your email provider and make sure that bidcentral.ca is whitelisted in your spam filter settings.

For more information on opting in / out of opportunity matching emails, check out this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYiSbqcq2TI

Q: I don’t have the option to set up Product Matching keywords

A: This is because your company is not setup as a manufacturer/supplier in your company profile. To set this, click on your name in the top right-hand corner of the screen and go into your account settings. Once in your account settings, click on “Edit Company Profile”. Under section 3 – Business Category, make sure that Manufacturer/Supplier is checked. Once Manufacturer/Supplier is checked, the “Product Matching Keyword” will be available.

Q: Where does Opportunity and Product Matching search?

A: Each evening, the system will automatically search through the project info along with all of the tender documents, addendas, and plans for your keywords. If any keywords are matched, it will display the results in an email and also display on your dashboard.

Q: If I unsubscribe from Opportunity / Product Matching, will the rest of my team still receive them?

A: Yes – If you opt out of receiving Opportunity and Product Matching emails, anyone else on your team that has not opted out will still receive them. If you unsubscribe from emails, you will still see matched projects on your dashboard.

Q: How do I access my account settings?

A: Click on your name in the very top right-hand corner and select “Account”. This will take you to your own personal account page. From here you can edit your name or reset your password. You can also opt out of receiving opportunity and product matching emails by selecting the Email Opt Out box.

Also, from here you can edit your company profile.

Q: How do I edit my company profile?

A: To edit your company profile, first you need to go into your account profile. Click on your name in the very top right-hand corner and select “Account”. This will take you to your own personal account page.

Once in your account select the “Edit Company Profile” button.

All of the information, except the Company Name, can be edited. If you need the Company Name updated, please contact us at theteam@bidcentral.ca.

Q: How do I add a new user?

A: Go to your company profile and under section 2 (User Information) you will see a button Add New User.

Click on that box and then enter the users First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Title (this is used for display in the Directory and in our Invitation to Bid system), and click on Save.

The email address that you entered will receive an email with a link to click on to complete the creation of their account. It will ask the user to setup a secure password.

Q: Once I’ve found a project I like, how do I access it?

After you have completed your search, you can access the project by double-clicking on the row or by clicking on the eye symbol on the right.

Q: How can I access the project documents?

A: Once you have loaded the project, you will see a tab across the top called Documents & Addendas. If your account has Premium or Enterprise access, you will be able to download and view the documents for the project.

Once you select that tab, you’ll see a list of the files and folders for that project.

You can download the files individually, select multiple files or click on the Download All button to download all the files at once.

For more information on how to access projects documents, check out this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqV7ifPssek

Q: What is the “Bidders & Contacts” list?

On the Bidders & Contacts section of a project, we will display a list of all the relevant contacts that are pertaining to the project. These include architects, consultants, known plan holders, confirmed bidders, and more.

Q: How can I share a project quickly with someone?

A: When you’re in a project, you’ll see a blue button in the top right hand corner of the screen that says “Share Project”. When you click on this button, it will automatically copy the link to the project onto your computer’s clipboard. From there, you can paste the link wherever you like (email, social media, instant messenger). Tip: Control-V will ‘paste’ the link to your email/message.

For more information on how to share a project, check out this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBPgLfBP8Cg

Q: How do I know where to submit my bid?

A: Depending on the project, it will vary. Some projects will have a web-based online bidding platform. In those cases, there will be a link to click on that is located under Project Details -> Submit Bids To

If there is not a link listed there, most likely the instructions on how to submit your bid will be located in the tender documents located under Documents & Addendas

Q: Where do I go to view addendas?

A: Once you have loaded the project up, look at the Documents and Addendas tab. Typically you will find a folder called Addendas and you’ll be able to see the date that the file was uploaded.

Q: What does the Follow button do?

A: The green Follow button in the top right-hand corner of each project allows you to receive notifications for any updates that happen. It also adds the project on your dashboard so you can access it easier.

For more information on how to follow a project, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojps_xcUgeQ

Q: What is the “I’m Bidding” button?

A: You can use the “I’m Bidding” button to indicate that you are interested / bidding on a project. Once in a project, click “I’m Bidding” and select  whether you are a GC, Trade Contractor, or Manufacturer / Supplier.

After that you can chose to either display your contact information or your company’s contact information. If you select ‘company’, ensure that your company profile has all of the correct contact information, including company email address.

Once you indicate that you’re bidding, it will also ask you if you want to follow the project. This box is checked by default. This will ensure that you receive email notifications of addendas and other updates to the project.

What is the “Permit” stage?
The permit stage produces a list of building permits. It’s a great way to keep on top of projects that are happening around your area.

Does Permits have documents / drawings?
Usually not. They are more for informational purposes. We will show you what permits have been submitted, who requested them, and who the building contractor is thats working on it.

What can I use permits for?
Permits are a great way to know about projects that are happening right now. It can be used as a sales tool to reach out to the building contractor for opportunities to participate if you are a trade contractor or manufacturer or supplier.

Q: How do I find projects on BidCentral?

A: To find projects on BidCentral, click on Projects -> Project Search. Once there, on the left hand side you have a number of search options:

My Searches: This is where it will show your Saved Searches. These are your searches that you have saved for future quick reference. For more information on Saved Searches, check out Saved Searches.

Keyword: Enter the word or phrase that you would like to search. Note that this is NOT case sensitive so you can enter uppercase and lowercase.

City: Enter the name of the city you wish to search. You can also leave this blank to search all cities.

Zones: Select the geographic region you wish to search. Select BC or leave blank to search the entire province.

My Projects / All Projects: You can search for projects you posted versus projects that have been posted on to BidCentral. This is applicable if you are posting projects up on to the platform for companies to bid on.

Dates: There are several options you can select here.

Date Created: Search by the creation date of the project.

Closing Date: Search for projects by their closing date.

Site Meeting: Search for projects by the date of their site meetings

Last Updated: Search for projects by the date they were last updated

Alternatively, you can leave this blank to search all dates.

Classification of Work: This is an optional field that lets you select whether to search for ICI (Industrial / Commercial / Institutional) projects, Civil projects, or both.

Owner Type: This is an optional field that lets you select what type of project owners you would like to search for. (Residential, College/University, Commercial/Office/Retail, Federal Government, Healthcare Facility, Municipal Government, Schools, Provincial Government).

Stage: The default Stage is set to Open. This is a required field that lets you select which stages you would like to search. Options include: PreBid, Open, Permits, Closed, Unofficial Results, Awarded, Cancelled. You can select one or more of these options by clicking on the names to filter your results. To search “all” categories, remove any current options (click x on Open) and search with this Stage set to blank.

Procurement Type: This field allows you to search by different types of project procurement stages. The default option is set to ALL, but other options include: Request for Information, Request for Standing Offer, Pre Qualification, Expression of Interest, Notice of Proposed Procurement, Request for Tender, Request for Proposal, Request for Quote.

Funding Type: This field will display the funding source for projects. These include Private, Public or P3. You can select one or more of these options to filter your results.

For more information on how to search for projects, check out this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt3Wh_EblAc

Q: What is “My Searches”?

A: My Searches is a list of your saved search configurations that you can select. The goal of My Searches is to save you time by not having to re-enter the same search parameters over and over.

To setup a saved search, go into the project search screen and perform a search. Once you have searched, click on Save Search. It will then ask you to enter a name for the search…Give it a name that you will remember “Drywall on Vancouver Island” for example. Then hit Save.

The next time you go into the search projects screen, “Drywall on Vancouver Island” will be an option in the drop-down under My Searches. Select that option and click the magnify glass icon to perform the search.

You can setup as many saved searches as you like and it will save you a lot of time!

For more information on how to setup saved searches, check out this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMvcOVzEG54

Q: What is the VIEW MAP button on the search page?

A: The View Map button allows you to perform a search and then view the results on a geographical Google map. As with Google maps, you can zoom in / out for more details, change terrains, do a street view and click on the red icons to view the specific projects.  For more information on how to use the map view, check out this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN84EEUX0FI

Once you’re finished with the map view you can click the “Go back to Results” link in the top right hand corner to return back to your search.

Q: How do I change the columns that are in the search results? 

A: You can add or remove columns from the search result by clicking on the gear icon and selecting or de-selecting items. Remember to click Apply and it will add / remove the columns. Here is a list of all of the available columns you can add into your searches:

Project Number, Project Title, Closing Date, Owner, Addenda, Site Meeting, Project Location Zone, City, Tender Stage, Funding, Owner Number, Bidders, Project Contact(s), Addenda Notes

For more information on how to add / remove columns in your search results, check out this useful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npi6Nr1QNd8

Q: How do I sort my search results?

A: Once you have completed your search, you can sort by column by selecting the arrows  on the header of the column to sort by this column. This will allow you to sort by newest to oldest (or oldest to newest), by closing date, and other columns alphabetically or numerically.

Q: What is “My Project Calendar”?

A: My Project Calendar is a calendar view of projects that you have followed / subscribed to. The calendar will show when projects are closing and any site visits that are currently scheduled. To follow / subscribe to a project, watch this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojps_xcUgeQ

Q: A project I am interested in is not in the calendar.

A: Make sure that when you find a project you like you click on the Follow button in the top right hand corner of the project. Then it will appear in your calendar, any updates will appear in the My Project  Updates section, and will also appear in the Projects I am Following section. To follow / subscribe to a project, watch this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojps_xcUgeQ

 Q: What is My Project Updates?

A: My Project Updates is an area on the dashboard that displays updates to projects that you are Following. Such updates include addendas, changes in close dates, notifications of site visits, and general updates to the project details.

Q: What is “Projects I Am Following”?

A: This section of the dashboard displays a list of all the projects that you have selected to Follow. This is a handy feature if you are interested in multiple projects and want to access them easily. Simply click on the “View” button to access that project.

If you are no longer interested in the project, you can Unfollow the project and it will be removed from the list and you will no longer receive notifications or updates on that project.

Q: What is “Opportunity Matching” on the Dashboard

A: A new feature that we have rolled out is the ability to view your opportunity matching results through the dashboard. When you updated your company account, you may have specified various keywords that relate to your business or keywords for projects that you would like to find. The Opportunity Matching section of the dashboard displays that for you in addition to the nightly emails that go out regarding those opportunities.

Once you’ve checked out the project, if it’s not a fit you can select “Dismiss” to remove it from your dashboard.

For more information about Opportunity Matching, go to “Opportunity & Product Matching”.

Q: What is “Product Matching” on the Dashboard

A: Product Matching is a new feature for manufacturers and suppliers and is only enabled if you have selected Manufacturer/Supplier under Business Category in your Company Profile. Much like Opportunity Matching, this feature enables you to add keywords of brands, makes, or models of products that are relevant to your business. We will notify you via email and through the dashboard if there are projects that match those keywords.

Once you’ve checked out the project, if it’s not a fit you can select “Dismiss” to remove it from your dashboard.

For more information about Opportunity Matching, go to “Opportunity & Product Matching”.

Q: What is “Bid Results” on the Dashboard?

A: The Bid Results section of the dashboard will display a list of projects that you are following that have been Closed. If Awarded or Bid Results are available, they will appear here.

Q: Does Bid Results on the dashboard show ALL bid results?

A: No, the Bid Results section on the dashboard will only show bid results for projects that you are following. To Follow a project, click on the project and then click on the green button that says “Follow” in the top right hand corner.

If you want to see all Bid Results, use the Project Search page.

Q: How do I log in?

A: Head over to https://secure.bidcentral.ca and log in using the email address that was provided to you in your welcome email.

For more information on how to log in, check out this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykdwhAcrrFI

Q: I’ve forgotten my username / password!

A: No problem! if you don’t remember your password, simply click the “Forgot Password” link on the login page and you will be emailed a link to go to so you can reset your password.

If you do not remember your username, Contact Us and we can help get you setup.

Q: I don’t have an account. How do I create one?

A: Go to http://bidcentral.ca/register/ and setup an account. Once you have registered, your account will be activated once you receive a welcome email from BidCentral.

Q: I’m having troubles getting logged in

A: If you are entering the correct password and userid, and there is no response or error message when logging in, it could be that your browser is the issue. If you are using Internet Explorer, try Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Be sure to use the latest version of your browser.