When it comes to growing your business and getting new work, finding upcoming projects can be its own full-time task. Especially when it comes to public jobs, accessing multiple city websites, making contacts, and attending networking meetings puts a strain on your business, time, and ultimately, proves to be a barrier to growing your portfolio.
At Memphis Reprographics, our goal is to streamline your own workflows and take the headaches out of this industry. With this goal in mind, we created the MidSouth Planroom as a free resource to every local architect, engineer, and contractor who needs it.
Something Good in 2020
In the Fall of 2020, we launched the MidSouth Planroom in an effort to host every public job open for bid in the Midsouth, all in one place. We wanted something that was going to be a resource and helpful to everyone, easy to access, and FREE. Most comprehensive planrooms of this type are difficult to navigate at best and require a subscription fee at worst. Through our partnership with West TN Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and Memphis Area Minority Contractors Association (MAMCA) we have built this platform to provide better, expanded access for both small and large businesses. Since the launch, the MidSouth Planroom has hosted over 200 public projects and provided 21,546 file downloads for free.
“The Planroom is a great resource to see what is going on in the greater Memphis area without having to go to 6 or more websites. It’s a one-stop-shop for us to see what’s available to bid.” - Austin Hammond, B&B Specialty Contractors
Before the creation of the Planroom, jobs would have been found through subscription-based platforms or personal connections. Even with a subscriber’s login, most companies are paying for multiple planrooms in order to access information that was already free online. Consider still the time required to navigate other planrooms and poorly-designed government websites to find the correct information. Other planroom systems hide public information behind a login screen or paywall, so the sites cannot be indexed by Google. The MidSouth Planroom is open and free to every user, and projects are included in online search engines, in addition to the filters and categories hosted on the platform itself. The projects on the Planroom are not only easy to navigate and easy to access, but also easy to find.
“MAMCA is collaborating with Memphis Reprographics to ensure that minority contractors can easily have access to plans and bid opportunities. Having these types of resources at your fingertips, will be a game changer for their companies.” - Stephanie Alexander, MAMCA Executive Director
As active participants in the construction industry ourselves, we also recognize the importance of network connections and past partnerships. And, of course, many jobs can be attributed to the great relationships you have built. However, for small businesses and even minority-owned businesses, developing those established connections can be a substantial barrier to growth. Many of the existing compilation planrooms require a deposit to even view the plans. Here lies another barrier for small businesses who are unsure if a potential project is right for them. Through the free access the Mid South Planroom provides, we are leveling the playing field for new businesses and helping the Memphis metropolitan area and MidSouth remain competitive and receptive to growth.
“The Planroom allows the construction industry to be more productive in their businesses on a day to day basis and make the bidding process more seamless from beginning to end.” - Amber Harris, ABC, West TN Chapter President & CEO
What’s on the Planroom
On average, The MidSouth Planroom hosts approximately 20 actively bidding jobs per week. Depending on the season volume, we typically add five to six new jobs each week to the platform. To find this info, we do the legwork on your behalf (again, for free). Our team scours over 36 individual websites every day to locate and transmit the most accurate information on open jobs. It’s another aspect of your business that we can take off your plate, leaving your team to focus on putting together the RFP response, manage ongoing projects, and look ahead to your long-term goals.
While general contractors are searching for actively bidding projects, other vendors and suppliers also need methods to grow their business. The Planroom provides a Plan Holders List detailing which companies have downloaded the documents and are considering a bid. Suppliers, subcontractors, and other vendors can access this list and offer their services to those bidding the project.
We require the same level of up-to-date, quality-checked information in our Planroom as we provide on all projects that come across our desk. For example, other planrooms only provide black and white documents for download. We provide full-color plans whenever available so that you can submit an accurate bid based on exact plans. For a more in-depth look at Memphis Reprographics’ quality processes, read our previous blog Why Quality Checks Matter for Outcomes.
As projects are added to the Planroom, we also include them on our weekly Bid List. The Bid List is a free email that includes new projects in the area, brief description of each job, and a link to the individual Planroom site where you will find more specific information, including plans, specifications, and all bidding information. To sign up for the Weekly Bid List, subscribe here.
In less than a year since the MidSouth Planroom has launched, it’s already made a substantial name for itself as a centralized system for accessing public projects. As we grow the Planroom to include more projects and increase distribution, we continue to improve access to all businesses in the construction and design industry. Local businesses in Memphis deserve to be supported, especially small businesses, and Memphis Reprographics is building a one-stop-shop for all local projects to be accessible.
To access or submit a job to the MidSouth Planroom, visit https://www.midsouthplanroom.com/
It is free to submit a job to the Planroom-- simply send in the digital files, and we will host and help advertise your project.