Jobs, Tenders and Takeoffs in Conx

ConX is Australia’s leading construction jobs platform and tendering software for builders and subcontractors. The ConX network was originally built to connect contractors in the construction industry for work and help them generate new business, and has evolved into a powerful online tendering and estimating service.

Watch the full replay of this tech talk below.

What is ConX [0:09:11s]

Keith was a carpenter from Ireland who moved to Australia and struggled to find an easy way to hire workers and win more work before turning to technology. This lead to the creation of ConX with the original concept of giving builders information about tradies by allowing them to create profiles with pictures of past projects and information about their skills. Over the years, ConX has evolved into a tendering platform that also offers takeoffs and estimating services for builders. Currently there are approximately 15,000 tradies registered with profiles on ConX.

ConX Jobs Board [0:11:19s]

During busy times like Christmas, finding staff can be challenging. However, ConX’s jobs board tool helps businesses find workers and resources they need. The jobs board allows users to post job specs that get sent out to registered tradies within a certain radius. Tradies receive job notifications via text and email. Head contractors and subcontractors can use the jobs board to find workers for specific roles. This is a great way to connect with new builders and companies can chase the work they want instead of waiting for jobs to come to them.

Keiths experience with his construction company, Ocean Carpentry, led to the development of the tendering platform for ConX that allows contractors to create one project with multiple packages in it. It streamlines communication between contractors by allowing them to message each other through the system. By uploading plans once, all subbies can be brought together rather than having to go out individually.

Posting Tenders on ConX [0:18:05s]

ConX helps head contractors and subcontractors find workers for specific roles. Head contractors can post tenders on the platform and keep them within their own network, or invite outside subbies to quote on a particular package inside a job. Subbies will be able to see all files uploaded by head contractors in one central location, making it easier for them to put together an accurate quote.

It can be difficult to compare quotes from multiple trades when they are not structured consistently. ConX allows subcontractors to attach their quotes and final figures, making it easier for builders to compare them side by side.

You can see all the work that's going around and going on in your own area so I have been able to interact with those Builders and get the opportunity to work on those jobs. It was really kind of an interesting idea, rather than just waiting for jobs to get sent here and just pricing on whatever comes across your table.

Estimating software and takeoff services [0:22:42s]

Builders sending plans to subcontractors can result in delays due to time-consuming manual measurement processes. The opportunity arose for ConX to bring in a takeoff service that helps with measuring up and reduces the time it takes for builders to receive quotes from subcontractors.

Confidence in the numbers produced by estimating software is crucial to ensure accurate cost estimates. Off-the-shelf estimating software can be useful, it often requires a lot of time to customise and make accurate. The ConX team help subcontractors with getting the numbers right by providing marked-up plans and quantities in both PDF and Excel formats, quantities are open to interpretation but they do their best to provide all necessary information for accurate cost estimates.

Pricing Jobs based on Time and Materials [0:29:11s]

The ConX team uses takeoff services and estimating software to achieve accurate cost estimates in construction projects. Pricing jobs based on time and materials can be cross-referenced with takeoff services for more accurate cost estimates. Keith used to cross-reference rates with time and labor costs when running his carpentry company, they would work through the rates and then put a time and labor cost on it to compare, ultimately going with whichever was more expensive.

Cordell Rates Guide for Tradies [0:30:58s]

Cordell’s used to release a book once a year with all the rates but now has an Cordell online portal. The online portal is expensive to be part of, but builders can get access through subscriptions. The system provides guidance on average rates from across the city or state that you’re in and provides a good guideline for people who don’t know their pricing. It is updated every month or three months and to give a current view of industry rates and is a great resource for builders and contractors to compare, even if they know their own rates.

ConX allows you to upload your document package to one central location but then have that accessed by multiple different organisations or subcontractors for them to all be tendering on the same type of work.

Cost Breakdown for Takeoffs [0:36:12s]

ConX offers a cost breakdown of their takeoff option service. The cost is determined on a case-by-case basis and can vary depending on the complexity of the project. Costs can range from $300-$1500 for an individual trade package and $600-$2000 for a simple house. A quote can be requested by filling out a form on their website or forwarding plans via email. Detailed information about the project is required in order to provide an accurate quote. Once all the information has been received, quotes are provided within 24 hours and are obligation-free. If someone has their own cost centre structure, they can provide it to be used as a structure for pricing.

Having rates and figures in a job or project management system gives a great cross-reference to look back on to see actual costs versus what those rates were.

Tendering Process [0:45:17s]

Companies can create a profile on the ConX website. The company profiles are viewable to the public as well as within the network. Profiles include information such as a description of the company, ABN, and verified status. Tenders can then be sent out to subcontractors through the ConX platform.

ConX Demo – Creating a Project [0:46:51s]

The project information includes all trade packages under that project. Each package has its job scope and plans.

  • To start a project, click on “Tenders” and then “Create a Project.”
  • Enter the project name, address, reference, value, type (residential or commercial), and description.
  • Upload plans either by uploading them directly or via Dropbox link.
  • Invite subcontractors by typing in their email addresses and hitting send.
  • They will receive an email with an invitation to join your project where they can see plans and apply for packages.
  • Subcontractors can apply for the package by hitting the “Apply” button.
  • The quote comparison tab shows you all quotes received from subcontractors and displays each quote value for easy comparison.

You can post a job, you can put in your job specs and once you set it live it’ll get sent out to any tradie that's registered on the platform with that trade and within a radius of location that they said they're willing to work or travel to.


Keith Moore - ConX

Keith Moore is co-founder of ConX and co-owner of Ocean Carpentry. ConX is a platform built for contractors to simplify how they win work and grow their business. It provides a simple suite of tools for the pre-construction phase such as quantity takeoffs and quoting.


Clinton is driven by a passion to help the construction and field services industries evolve through the use of technology and education.

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