At face value large tenders can be a daunting prospect for any business. Thousands of pages of specifications, hundreds of questions and months of work make for a seemingly impossible task.
Managing the completion of a submission like this is enough to drive anyone mad. Where do you start? Even the biggest companies can struggle when it comes to very large submissions.
The Bid Process
The bid process of a large tender is actually fairly straightforward. It is like that of any other submission you may have completed, where a good bid process ensures you have the best possible submission.
The first step is to get over the sheer size of the documents. Do not be intimidated: take your time reading through the specification. A large tender must be broken down into sections, These can then be distributed amongst your team with each individual given the responsibility for managing one area.
Breaking down a bid makes completing the document much easier. As bid manager it is your job to ensure that all of the sections are completed and are fully compliant. Keep a monitoring form for each area as well as for the tender as a whole.
Organising Your Bid Team
Your team should be divided to manage each section you have given them. Writers can work individually on questions and they can be compiled at a later date.
Set deadlines for your team to keep on top of the tender as large documents can soon get away from you. Establishing mini deadlines at the start of a bid will keep you on track and mean that the submission will be completed on time.
Regular meetings should be held in order to monitor progress and tackle any difficulties. Each individual team or writer should meet to discuss all sections, which allows for new solutions and innovations to emerge.
A writing plan should be decided and distributed amongst all team members. This will include information such as font type and size as well as writing style. The purpose of this is to guarantee consistency within the bid, creating a stronger submission.
Completing the Bid
The bid manager in charge of the process should aim to avoid doing any writing. Their job is to compile all documentation and make sure all sections are completed to the highest standard.
Work should be distributed at the start of the bid but this is not fixed. If one section emerges as more difficult and time consuming than the others, then that team’s workload should be redistributed to accommodate. Similarly if one writer or team are doing particularly well, they can be used to strengthen other sections of the bid. Good bid management is about realising your strengths and using them. Tendering is a competition after all, and you are there to win.
Tender Review Process
The tender review process is the most important part of any large tender and it is also the most time consuming.
The review process should be established at the start, with a number of processes implemented. There should be at least two reviews: one initial review followed by a final review. However, this is not always the case and more reviews are often necessary.
If working with a number of different teams then their work should be first reviewed by the team leader, before being amended and passed on to the bid manager. It is the bid manager’s responsibility to sign off all work as complete.
Submitting the Documents
Once the document is completed each section must be compiled and placed into the final submission. This can be quite nerve racking, especially with a print submission, but this is why you have review procedures in place.
If you trust your bid process the submission will be a success. The key to large tenders is always to divide them into smaller sections, allowing these ‘mini-tenders’ to be completed with ease.
If you require any assistance or advice completing a tender then we are here to help. We have worked on hundreds of submissions including managing billion pound bids, and can help you win contracts.
Call 0800 612 5563 to speak to one of our bid managers, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out some of our bid and tender writing tips in this video: