Free Commercial HVAC Bid Template: Optimize Your Commercial HVAC Bidding Process with Our Free Download
In this article, we’ll take a close look at the commercial HVAC bidding process, and the factors that make a company’s approach more or less successful.
One thing that can give contractors a boost is a well-designed HVAC bid template. A good template can help business owners do things like present sleek and polished estimates to customers, and standardize the formatting that employees use when they draw up bids.
We’ve put together a free commercial HVAC proposal template for you to use.
In the next section of this post, we’ll explain how to download the PDF and put it to work in your HVAC business.
Before we get there, however, it’s worth pausing for a moment to realize that a bidding proposal template isn’t going to solve the challenges that inevitably arise during the bidding process.
For example, though a proposal form will help keep employees on track when it comes to formatting, in most cases, it’s still going to require that someone manually inputs information into a fresh PDF for each and every new bid, introducing opportunities for all kinds of potentially costly typos and errors.
While a solid commercial HVAC bid template is a step in the right direction toward improving a company’s overall bidding process, there are a few broader areas where it won’t necessarily make much impact. For example:
Logistics: Bidding accurately, efficiently, and competitively means getting the right tech to the right location at the right time — and in as little time as possible. That’s a tall order — and one, which, without assistance from a top-notch HVAC software platform like ServiceTitan, a simple bid form is not well-equipped to handle.
Creating an Accurate Bid: Similarly, a PDF can’t help HVAC contractors efficiently source and order essential equipment — a must for commercial contractors, especially in light of supply chain snags.
Follow-up: In a busy contracting business, it’s important to track and follow-up on open proposals to ensure that you’re closing as many bids as possible. But in the absence of high-quality proposal software — that is, with a bid template alone — you’ll likely be relying on a less-than-perfect system of calendars and excel spreadsheets to remind team members to reach out about those unsold bids. All too often, this is a good way to lose business.
For all these reasons and more, a PDF commercial bid template alone isn’t enough to help HVAC service providers overcome all of the issues they face related to the bidding process. To truly take their bid processes to the next level, HVAC companies are increasingly turning to Commercial HVAC software products like ServiceTitan, which can help them integrate all of the core elements of their business.
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In this post, we’ll explain exactly how ServiceTitan can assist commercial HVAC contractors in the areas we highlighted above:
ServiceTitan’s HVAC software helps improve efficiency and increase your profits by improving bid processes and information sharing across your business. Want to see how you can use it for your business? Schedule a call for a free product tour.
How to Download and Use Our HVAC Bid Template
Before we get into the meatier issues, let’s take a quick tutorial on our commercial HVAC bid template. Our template features 3 basic pages:
HVAC Bidding Proposal: A customer-facing proposal that zeroes in on the single, best option for a given commercial customer’s preferences and needs.
Billing/Payment: A form to capture all of the essential customer billing and payment information.
Job Costing: A page to fill in prices and costs for equipment and labor.
To give our free bid template a try, download the PDF here and save a copy to your computer.
Once you’ve saved the template, you can customize it with your own logo, company name, email address, phone number, and office address.
Simply save your version as a new file for future business proposals. That way, you can use your own blank, fully customized template as many times as you want, filling it out with the relevant client name and information for each new job.
The second page, for billing and payment, is pretty self-explanatory:
Broken down by sell price, job actual, and final profitability, the job-costing portion of the template helps contractors and their employees make sure that they don’t under or over-bid jobs — either possibility can be expensive.
Once you’ve input and double-checked all of your job information, you can save the file and attach it in an email to your customer. Alternatively, you can print it out and deliver the bid by hand or via mail.
Of course, you’ll want to save a copy for yourself. You’ll need it for reference when it comes time for work orders, invoices, and other job-related paperwork.
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How to Use Commercial HVAC Software to Accurately and Efficiently Handle Your Customers’ Most High-Priority Jobs
Commercial HVAC jobs can be extremely urgent — and, for the contractor who’s on top of their game, exceptionally lucrative.
Without a fully functional HVAC system, many businesses simply can’t open. In instances where inventory must be kept cold or warm — as in a restaurant or laboratory, say — they might lose valuable stock or samples. Whatever the case, when the air conditioning goes down, or a refrigeration system or heating element is on the fritz, the owners are in jeopardy of losing tons of money. They need maintenance services fast.
In short, when you’re doing commercial HVAC work, the numbers are bigger and the turnarounds faster.
Particularly because, unlike for residential HVAC jobs, commercial bids typically aren’t generated on site — and often require multiple sign-offs from the customer — that means it’s imperative to get the right tech to the right job as quickly as possible every single time.
If your dispatcher is regularly sending techs who can only work on heating and cooling — HVAC installations, air conditioner repairs, HVAC maintenance, thermostats, ductwork, etc. — to jobs that require expertise in reach-ins or walk-in coolers, you’re going to end up having to reschedule with the appropriate personnel. This wastes a lot of time and loses more than a few jobs in the process.
By the same token, without the assistance of commercial HVAC software, if a dispatcher or CSR isn’t familiar with a given geographic area, they’re likely to assign inefficient routes, with techs often crossing each other’s path over the course of the day.
Put another way: They end up spending more time driving than they do actually working.
With all these challenges in mind, ServiceTitan’s dispatching features allow users to schedule, assign, and track bids according to service location and tech skill set, so that only technicians with the proper knowhow get assigned — while traveling on the most efficient routes to reach jobs.
Our software even allows contractors to combine or split up similar jobs for the same customer based on geography — an order to replace RTUs for a handful of restaurant franchises, for example.
As shown in the screenshot below, ServiceTitan provides subscribers with a color-coded tagging system that makes it easy to code future jobs, including bids, as a function of their specs: difficulty, time, equipment, previous reschedules, and more. It’s a great way to make sure that techs show up with everything they need, and that they’ve been given the right amount of time they need for the task at hand.
Service work is dynamic. At any moment, new, urgent circumstances can arise, and being able to maneuver nimbly in order to handle them is essential to a commercial HVAC contractor’s success. That’s why ServiceTitan gives dispatchers a real-time view of where each tech is in their job cycle, allowing for fluid, flexible assignment and reassignment over the work day so as to best meet the needs of their employer and customers.
Create Commercial HVAC Bids Seamlessly Between Field and Office Staff in Real Time
For contractors who continue to use some version of the traditional, pen-and-paper bidding process, another operational challenge is the back-and-forth between office and field techs prior to delivering a bid to the customer for final sign-off.
In the absence of solid field service management software, commercial HVAC techs will generally visit a job site and take all of the notes and photos that their company needs to create a bid. Then, they either send those notes and images via text or email to the office, or take the notes and images back to the office themselves.
These notes and images are the most important assets they have to create a bid, but they aren’t neatly organized. They’re spread throughout the tech’s smart phone. They get sent via email or text to the office. And certain images are inevitably missed or lost — which, in a commercial context where customers often aren’t present at the job site, can cause significant problems.
The process for saving and organizing the information at the office is clunky, inefficient, and time-consuming — diverting employees’ energy from other important tasks.
Meanwhile, a traditional bid process also demands that customers, many of whom have urgent needs, wait around for the contractor to get back to them, creating opportunities for faster competitors to win their business.
In contrast, ServiceTitan allows the office staff for HVAC contractors to begin building an estimate while their tech is still on site. Everything the tech photographs and writes down — model names, serial numbers, measurements, locations, etc. — automatically uploads to the platform in real time, so nothing is lost in translation.
The office can access the information immediately, begin locating equipment, and start creating the bid.
This feature becomes especially useful in times when supply chain issues make HVAC equipment increasingly difficult to reliably source and price.
Even in the best of circumstances, typical turnaround times for experienced HVAC contractors using the traditional bid process generally hovered around three to four days. In many cases, contractors who’ve switched to using ServiceTitan have been able to cut that time in half.
Automatically Track Open Bids, Follow-Up, and Close
Following-up on unsold bids is a crucial part of any successful HVAC sales process. But as we discussed in our article on the HVAC sales process, industry experts estimate that as much as 50 percent of all HVAC contractors fail to follow-up consistently.
By simply assigning responsibility for estimate follow-ups to a specific employee — a Follow-Up Coordinator — we’ve seen some HVAC shops grow their revenue by $1-3 million. With this knowledge, the error of neglecting this area of business starts to look pretty extreme.
It’s no secret why many contractors have trouble following up on unsold bids consistently. Without software like ServiceTitan to help, follow-ups are tough to track. Usually, businesses end up using a somewhat disorganized combination of spreadsheets, Microsoft Word files, Google Docs, and paper records, with less-than-optimal sales results.
ServiceTitan eliminates these issues, while furnishing contractors with a slew of cutting edge tools to help HVAC businesses automatically track and follow up on unsold estimates to dramatically improve their close rates — and their bottom lines.
With the click of a button, ServiceTitan users — business owners and employees alike — can view all of their company’s open bids. That way, techs, managers, CSRs, and owners don’t need to constantly communicate with one another to verify the status of one bid or another: Has the bid been sent? When? Has someone followed up? Is it time to reach out again?
All of these communications take time, and they can often throw off a company’s workflow — creating anxiety, confusion, and disruption with disorganized communication of often imperfect information.
On the other hand, by pulling up their list of open bids, ServiceTitan users can quickly access any customer information they might need and know that they can rely on the data they’re looking at. Things like:
Work orders detailing scope of work
Customer receipts, complete with line items
Most of our users choose to deliver their commercial HVAC bids by email, not least because ServiceTitan allows them to track not only whether their message was delivered to the intended recipient, but whether the customer actually opened it and when.
With that key insight, HVAC shops can follow-up on a bid within minutes of their customer reviewing it, putting them back in contact when the subject is fresh in the customer’s mind and they’re getting ready to make a decision.
This is especially useful for commercial bids, which sometimes require multiple approvals from management. Using automated technology, ServiceTitan allows commercial HVAC contractors to follow up on bids early and often, putting them in front of deciders when high-dollar choices are being made.
As we emphasized earlier, a printable PDF template for commercial HVAC bids, like the one included in this post, is a nice thing to have — a good first step in improving a bidding process.
But for HVAC companies that are looking to grow their bottom line by streamlining their operations and seamlessly integrating the core elements of their bidding — logistics, bid creation, and follow up — a basic form simply isn’t going to get the job done.
For that, there’s no question that the best route is to add a high-end field service management solution like ServiceTitan to their toolbox.
Want to take the first step toward streamlining your bidding and invoicing process? Contact us to schedule a free ServiceTitan demo!