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Article Details

Published Date: 2-12-2021
Author: Amy Lawson
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
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The festive season is well and truly upon us, with only a couple of weeks remaining before many companies shut their doors and staff take annual leave to enjoy the Christmas break. It is time to ensure you have the correct holiday support in place for any bid and tender submissions.

During these busy periods businesses can struggle as they may be left requiring support when staff take time off, or even a company-wide shut down. The run up to holidays is always tough as both the contracting authority and those competing can rush to complete the work.

In order to stand a chance of success when bidding for tenders, you need to thoroughly plan ahead and determine exactly how your company will cope with a possible staff shortage.

December and January deadlines

December and January are typically a busy period when it comes to tendering for contracts. We have all seen the 24 December or 2 January submission deadlines before! Many authorities and buyers want to mobilise contracts in the New Year (and the new financial year) and are requesting tender responses before the holiday period so that they can evaluate and enter January with the bidding process in full swing. However, this can be particularly stressful for the companies who are bidding, as authorities do not tend to take the holiday period into account and still provide the typical 4-week window for completion.

We also tend to see a lot of important contract notices released early in the year, as new strategies and plans are put into action.

Plan ahead for your bid submissions

Amongst the festivities and annual leave, ensure that you are on top of your pipeline for any forthcoming bids and are aware of your capacity in-house to deal with any last-minute tenders that may be released.

Try to keep in mind that tendering for contracts is a competition; you don’t want to miss an opportunity due to timing – one that your competitor is fully prepared for and ends up securing. If it is an important contract, you should know about it in advance.

Top tips:

  • Monitor contract notices daily or set up alerts so nothing is missed
  • Keep up to date with existing buyers’ procurement schedules so that you know of any important retenders
  • Keep track of contracts coming towards their end date
  • Organise a bid library of all submissions and feedback which can be used to streamline your bidding process
  • Have contingency support in place, should you need it.
Bid Management Notes

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 libraryA 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.

Bid support

In cases where you find the requirement for external support, it is important to choose the right company and service for your needs.

There is a huge amount of choice when it comes to the bid and tender writing services provided depending on how much involvement you need:

  • Review: For teams confident enough to complete their own bids but still requiring a second opinion, a review provides you with feedback and notes to incorporate prior to submission. This will ensure the highest quality bid and can be beneficial for a ‘must win’ or large contract for your business.
  • Partial completion: If you have enough staff to write most of the bid but still need assistance with certain aspects, a partial writing support is ideal and can also include a full review.
  • Full writing support: Outsource the full completion of your bid to a team of professional bid writers. This takes the time and stress away from your business, allowing you to continue with your day job.
  • Interim bid writer: This option is best suited to companies requiring the completion of multiple submissions or a particularly large bid that requires a large team. An interim bid writer will work with your company at your location and deliver full bid management and writing services.

Find out more about our interim bid support service, and contact our team to discuss how we can support your organisation across the Christmas period and beyond.

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