Imagine this: You are a general contractor out on a job and you need to access your private network of subcontractors to select the ones you want to invite to bid.

Send Out Bid Requests From an iPhone or iPad

Thanks to SmartBidNet’s 99-cent app, which recently hit the iTunes store’s “what’s hot” list, you can use your iPhone or iPad to get the process started.

The app, a mobile version of bidding site, is available to subscribers. It works with contact lists to send e-mails to the subs of your choice or to synchronize your list organized by services provided and needed.

“We finally have the hardware we’ve always wanted,” says James Benham, SmartBidNet president. Users can pull up contact info, synch, search and see who’s invited to bid, he says. One customer, Mark Kobey, senior cost engineer at Rudolph and Sletten in Redwood City, Calif., uses the app to track about 9,000 subcontractors on jobs.

“SmartBidNet is a platform that helps streamline our process,” Kobey says. “This app gives us access to that data when we’re not at a computer.”

“We’ve become the company address book for over 150 GC’s,” says Benham. “The customer demands all of these contacts at their fingertips, and that’s what we supply. When you’re synching 30,000 subs, that’s a big deal.”

An Android version should be live in three months, he says. Project data on handheld devices is “the future of construction,” he says. “First you’ve got to have a rock-solid mobile platform. This is our foothold.”