With the summer period fast approaching, it is important to ensure you have cover in place for your bid team.
We find the summer months tend to be busy for public sector procurement: following the start of the new financial year a lot of contracts are out to tender, and certain industries have their own cycles that are also in full swing, such as grounds maintenance and education.
It is vital that teams do not leave themselves short staffed in case an important contract opportunity lands on the desk, and as we all know, the summer months are popular for annual leave.
Minimising the strain of being understaffed
Becoming understaffed can happen all too quickly. It only takes a couple of members of your team to be on annual leave or busy with other duties for an important tender submission to suffer – worse still, you may only have a single key bid writer, and unfortunately, they are still entitled to holiday!
One way to reduce the stress when your bid team are on annual leave is to produce a bid library. A bid library generally consists of all your previous tender documents, company information, relevant policies and any feedback. Taking this one step further, you can file your tender submissions into topic areas or by responses that scored particularly well, so you have strong material to refer back to.
This can save a lot of time if you are understaffed or bringing another member of staff up to speed to cover. We would not recommend copying and pasting, but having previous, strong material on file can be a good starting point for future bid submissions.
Another method would be to source external bid writing support. A good bid writing firm can integrate with your team and provide ad-hoc support for busy periods, holiday cover, maternity cover or ‘must-win’ tender submissions. Executive Compass regularly work with clients on one-off projects or an ad-hoc basis and are experts in providing a flexible approach. Many companies initially question how a bid writing firm can write a strong enough response for them: it is through our strong interview techniques and thorough knowledge of your sector and what the buyer is looking for.
Monitoring your contract pipeline should also minimise stress, as you should have a good idea of when a tender process will be live and will be able to work around this accordingly. We recommend monitoring contract notices and prior information notices, as well as keeping in contact with buyers directly and keeping track of contracts nearing their end date. This should be especially true for contracts where you are the incumbent: tender submissions should never come as a complete surprise and you should have plenty of notice.
To discuss how Executive Compass can assist your organisation with bid submissions during busy periods, or more generally to improve success rates, contact our team today and we will be happy to discuss the various options of support.