For many companies, the key to new business and expansion is through competitive tendering for public or private sector contracts.
In its simplest form, the bid management process involves the completion of pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) and invitations to tender (ITTs) – documents specifically created to evaluate and commission the most suitable supplier to deliver a contract. This process is generally overseen by a bid manager, or a manager or director within an organisation.
Some companies choose to employ a full time bid team or bid writer to complete the bid documents, whilst others may utilise other staff members such as the marketing and sales team, or choose to simply outsource the bidding process to a professional bid management consultancy.
As the completion of bid submissions takes time and resources, it is important to submit a bid of the highest quality so your company has the best chance of success. One way to improve your chances of success is through effective bid and contract management.
What is bid management?
Bid management is the process by which the completion of PQQs and ITTs is managed. It is everything from ensuring compliance to responding to questions and confirming the bid is submitted on time. For some bid managers, this can mean overseeing multiple bids at any given time.
Bid management begins even before the release of a potential contract. A bid manager will prepare supporting documents, model answers and case studies of previous contracts. These can be work-shopped and quality assured in order to guarantee the strongest possible bid once the official bid process is live.
Once a PQQ or ITT is released the bid manager will assess the organisation for compliance and begin gathering all the required information to respond to the questions. Following this the submission can be completed.
However, the process does not end there. An effective bid manager will follow up on the bid and, regardless of the result, will request feedback in order to improve future submissions.
Applying bid management to your business
The bid manager role is not a part-time job. For the best chance of success your business should explore utilising a full time bid manager, or outsourcing the entire process to a bid writing consultancy to create a winning bid.
Using a bid manager means you can be sure of the quality of your bid submissions. It also means that other staff members, who may have previously completed bids, are not drawn away from their day-to-day duties. This both improves the bid quality and allows your business to continue running smoothly.
Bid management process tips
- Create a good record of all your contracts, end dates, forthcoming bids and new opportunities to keep track of and monitor all bids
- Ensure your company accounts, memberships, accreditations, case studies and CVs are all up to date
- Create a bid library for common topics, model answers and high-scoring narrative to streamline the bid writing process
- Have high-quality bid writing support lined up and accessible, inhouse or external, ready to utilise when required – as you may encounter numerous important bids at the same time
- Sign up to receive alerts of new contract opportunities
- Try to approach each bid afresh, so content does not become stale and risk low scores
- Always try to take key information and learn from results and feedback for continual improvement.
Outsourcing your bid management
Should you choose to outsource your bid management, our team of professional bid writers and managers are well placed to support you. We complete and manage circa 600 bids per annum, for a range of clients, with a success rate of over 80%.
Please contact one of our team, who will be happy to talk you through how the process works, and how we can help. Call us free on 0800 612 5563 or fill out our contact form.
To help you avoid common proposal writing mistakes, check out the video below: