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According to data from the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme UK (CHAS UK), the COVID-19 pandemic decreased overall HVAC business turnover by 70%. As a result, just under half (45%) of stakeholders believe their company is under threat.

With that in mind, it’s never been more necessary to bid for larger contracts that will provide enough work in the long run. However, if you usually deal with residential customers exclusively, taking the leap to bid on a commercial agreement may be intimidating. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to bid for HVAC service contracts in a few simple steps and share how field service management technology can streamline the process.

How to Bid for HVAC Contract Work

1. Find Appropriate Contracts to Bid On

Before you can begin bidding on a contract, you must first find one you believe your business will be able to manage. A good place to start is by looking on the Contracts Finder page of the GOV.UK website. The Contracts Finder allows you to filter searches by sector. You can also see upcoming contracts and search for details of previous agreements.

You should then familiarise yourself with the three most common contracting procedures, which we’ll explain below.

1. Open Procedure

An open procedure means that:

  • Anyone is permitted to submit a tender
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders

There are no restrictions on when clients can use the above method, but they must evaluate all tenders they receive. As such, an open procedure is often used for straightforward procurements.

2. Restricted Procedure

A restricted procedure means that:

  • Any interested parties can express their interest in bidding.
  • A minimum of five suppliers must be invited to bid — provided enough candidates have applied — so there is genuine competition.
  • Clients cannot negotiate with bidders, although they can clarify details and finalise terms.

Again, there are no restrictions on when clients can use the process above. Often, restricted procedures are suited to less stable markets where there are several competitors. 

3. Competitive Dialogue

A competitive dialogue means that:

  • Companies shortlist candidates who respond to their advertisement, and only those selected are invited to bid.
  • Clients are permitted to negotiate with bidders to seek better offers.

Often, competitive dialogue is used when a more tailored approach is needed. For example, if the client’s organisation cannot use a ready-made solution or product due to the complexity of its requirements.

2. Gather Accurate Data About Your Business

Once you’ve selected the HVAC contract work that you want to bid for, it’s time to gather some data. To justify your quote, you need factual evidence and accurate numbers — so you should calculate the following:

  • Labour costs
  • Prices of supplies
  • Equipment usage costs
  • Profit margin
  • Average timescales to complete work

Remember, although the price is important, it’s not a race to the bottom. Your company’s experience, certifications, qualifications and track record are also crucial factors, so clients will be looking at more than just who can offer the lowest bid.

Collecting all the vital information you need to share about your business can seem daunting — but it doesn’t have to be. With hvac field service software, you can obtain real-time, accurate data on anything from your inventory to finances in just a few clicks. Consequently, you’ll have all the details you need to write a successful bid without the headache of sifting through mountains of paperwork.

3. Put Your Bid Together

Begin your bid submission with a brief overview of your company’s qualifications and why you should win the contract. Then, explain how you will complete the job by answering each question concisely and sharing all the relevant information you sourced earlier. Don’t forget to submit any additional paperwork that the client has requested, such as proof of insurance, certifications, or a list of key personnel.

Whilst it’s beneficial to mention the positive aspects of your organisation, you must ensure you keep the focus on the client. The reader will want to know how you can help them with their specific requirements. Search your document for incidences of the word ‘we’ and consider how you can change them to ‘you’ instead.

Above all else, once you’ve double-checked your bid for errors, you must ensure that you submit it before or on the deadline. Failure to do so will likely cause the client to discount your submission entirely, meaning you’ve lost both valuable time and a potential customer. 

Field Service Management Technology Speeds Up the Bidding Process

Bid writing is a time-consuming process and, when there’s no guarantee that you’ll win the contract in the end, it can be tempting to simply continue attending to one-off jobs. But, to survive in a post-COVID world, HVAC organisations will need to secure a steady pipeline of work, which you can achieve by winning contracts. 

Fortunately, you can cut down your time writing bids by arming yourself with the vital data you need to impress potential clients. With field service management software such as BigChange, you can view details:

  • Who is working for you, where, and what qualifications they hold
  • Your clients and their feedback 
  • Your assets, equipment and stock
  • Payments and outstanding invoices
  • Your health and safety procedures 

As a result, you can eliminate the need to search through spreadsheets, paper documents and various systems for crucial information. Instead, you’ll have everything you need to write a persuasive bid, plus time left over to focus on other business-critical activities. 

Win More HVAC Contract Work with BigChange

All the essential information you need at the click of a button.

BigChange’s field service management system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features.

Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

From large plumbing businesses with expansive fleets of vehicles and technicians to; smaller, growing ventures with a handful of drivers and just a few customers.

Everyone gains from systems which better organise regular and reactive service visits, simplify driver dispatching & smart scheduling and create accurate and real-time invoices with ease.

Within the Plumbing & HVAC sectors, the ability to remotely view detailed service histories and automatically assign mobile contractors is essential to enhancing customer satisfaction and retention. Through the implementation of a comprehensive Mobile Workforce Management System, like JobWatch by BigChange, your plumbing or HVAC business can facilitate seamless collaboration between mobile engineers, back office staff and customers.

Why do plumbers need a mobile workforce management system?

A Mobile Workforce Management platform, such as JobWatch by BigChange integrates all basic CRM functions with many new and innovative features aimed at saving your back office time and money. With the ability to link field technicians with back office staff and a customer portal seamlessly through the cloud, MWM systems can revolutionise how you do business while providing your customers with a complete picture of their service relationship.

Whereas most off the shelf CRM (customer relationship management) systems typically provide only barebones customer information and basic service details, a fully optimised Mobile Workforce Management system like JobWatch by BigChange can use this service data to instantly produce quotes and invoices, update comprehensive service and customer histories and provide real-time driver updates while demanding mandatory safety and systems protocols are followed 100% of the time.

Additionally, via the improved transparency and collaboration features of an MWM system, many aspects of operations such as; inventory, invoicing, driver tracking and full CRM can be centralised into one, easily accessible location.

What are the most important features of the Mobile Workforce Management system?

Within the Plumbing and HVAC sectors, an MWM system, like JobWatch by BigChange can provide significant ROI by

  • Ensuring mandatory safety workflow are followed 100% of the time
  • Increase first-time fix rate (insert a link to blog) via smart scheduling
  • Sync financial data with ease, creating instant invoices and Sage/ Xero compatible data
  • Improve Smart Scheduling with the use of a comprehensive driver tracking system
  • Organise customer & service history data within the mobile CRM

As we have discussed in previous blogs (insert a link to MWM & CRM blogs) MWM enables an array of mobile service engineers to communicate, collaborate and follow mandatory workflows dictated by the back office. An MWM system, like JobWatch by BigChange, often contains any or all of the below features.

  • Create schedules for mobile employees and back office staff
  • Dispatch mobile employees to new jobs, with access to service histories
  • Two-way communication between mobile employees and back office in real-time
  • Perform capacity planning for high-volume or low-volume periods
  • Track employees en route to different jobs to facilitate smart scheduling
  • Log job start, completion and travel time to track driver behaviour
  • Track average length of service engagements and complications which may arise
  • Track employee performance
  • Include a CRM or other system of record to streamline operations

What do the customers say?

Within the plumbing and HVAC sectors, there are countless which may bring a business to switch to an all-in-one MWM system, like JobWatch from BigChange. Here’s what some of our customers have to say:

“The Biggest benefits have been the automatic email reporting.JourneyWatch has saved us time, money and improved driver behaviour.” – Jane Bexton, Office Manager, Cool Repair

“BigChange is a true end to end solution with everything completely integrated so we can work fast and efficiently; no more paper, no more data entry, fewer customer queries and quicker invoicing.” – Caroline Bigg, Finance Director, CleanSafe

“Going with BigChange has improved our professionalism and efficiency. we always know where our engineers are so we can inform our customers. Eliminating the need for calling to and from the office.” – Danny Bee, Sales Manager, Service Solutions Ltd

Why should your Plumbing or HVAC business use JobWatch by BigChange?

BigChange’s 5-in-1 platform enables Plumbing and HVAC businesses of all sizes to better manage and plan many of the most pressing factors influencing your business’s success. From centralising financial documents and customer histories to providing detailed driver records and proof of safety compliance JobWatch from BigChange brings all the core functionality of CRM, invoicing, dispatching and scheduling software under one roof.

With JobWatch by BigChange, your back office can easily monitor, schedule & dispatch planned and reactive service request while optimising your staffs strongest skills to prevent unneeded travel.

Through the use of an integrated MWM platform, such as JobWatch by BigChange mobile technicians can be given access (or restrictions based off back office protocols) to critical service data and can be supplied essential parts to resolve any service request with the click of a button.

Additionally, through the use of preventative maintenance workflows directed via the Mobile workforce management system service engineers experience a significant increase in first-time fix rate.

By improving transparency and collaboration between all aspects of operations through the implementation of mobile workforce management software, such as BigChange, your business can drastically improve customer satisfaction and retention.

To read more about how JobWatch by BigChange can simplify how your Plumbing or HVAC does business click Here. ( update to the link of sector-specific site)

GasTech, the nationwide supplier of heating and cooling systems and services has deployed the latest mobile technology as part of a new cloud-based management system.

GasTech engineers have been equipped with rugged tablets that are connected in real-time to central management systems, part of a 5-in-1 hvac service software solution from BigChange.

GasTech supply, install and service heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for commercial and industrial premises across the UK. Operating 24 hours, 7 days a week services, the BigChange technology has revolutionised GasTech’s business by eliminating paperwork and providing live operational information for improved control, productivity and service.

With headquarters near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, GasTech was first established in 2005. Prior to implementing BigChange’s gas engineer job scheduling software, GasTech used a PDF-based system for completing engineer reports and forms, but it did not provide data or any tracking, and gathering reports was proving time-consuming and inefficient.

Craig Firth, Director at GasTech, says:

“With our growing workload, we knew we needed to completely change the way we managed our service operations, and in particular, we needed to reduce the time engineers spent filling out forms,”

Craig continued:

“We undertook extensive research into the available systems on the market, and it was clear that BigChange was very easy to use and would take away the administrative headaches from engineers so they could be more productive.”

JobWatch is used by engineers for everything from risk assessments to method statements, procedures, boiler and appliance manuals, job cards, and quotations. It allows engineers to manage their work themselves, knowing that the central office system will always be fully synchronised, whether night or day.

The GasTech fleet is equipped with BigChange vehicle tracking, which provides useful real-time data for customer services and historical records for management analysis and proof of service. GasTech engineers also have immediate access to useful data such as the customer history with records of previous work on-site, and they can also see what parts are available throughout the company, including stock held on other vans.

Craig added:

“With BigChange, we have a real-time paperless solution, and there are significant benefits, especially in the reduction of administrative work. We no longer have to chase engineers for their reports; everything is immediately available,”

“For customer service, the system is very helpful. It allows us to provide a smooth, seamless service and little features like automated text messages telling customers that an engineer is about to arrive are really great.”

GasTech also appreciates the benefits of fast and accurate invoicing, reducing disputes, and the ability to raise quotations in an instant is proving really useful. This allows the company to get a quick agreement for any additional remedial work while the engineer is already on site.

Final thoughts:

“With BigChange, we are simply more efficient and professional. Jobs can be scheduled off a phone or tablet in an instant, and when extra work is needed on-site, it used to take up to a week to get together a quote for additional work. By then, the engineer may have been long gone. Now we can get a quote issued the same day.”

BigChange Gastech office and tablet



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