The ability to submit a successful and compliant tender often depends on the ability to plan the submission quickly and effectively from the storyboard stage through to final submission.
Success lies in the ability to predict and address any issue that may arise, removing any excess stress and resulting in the consistent delivery of a high quality and timely submission. Follow the guidance detailed below to help you plan effectively in every tender response that you submit.
Understanding all the tender documents
The first step in the bid writing process is to read and understand all of the tender documentation. This documentation contains all the information that you need in order to produce a fully-compliant response, such as: page, character and word limits, submission requirements, and how to raise any clarification questions.
By understanding all this information you will then be in a position to understand the needs of the contracting authority and how to meet them, along with how to demonstrate successful delivery of the required services better than any of your competitors. If you do not read the tender documentation you are likely to produce a rushed and disjointed response that will not highlight the strengths of your company.
Organise your bid team
The quality of any bid relies on the quality and experience of your bid team and their ability to understand and meet all tender requirements.
Too many companies allocate bid writing duties to staff who are either inexperienced or who are not directly involved in the delivery of the required services. Whilst this is understandable, it can often lead to a tender response that is lacking in detail, or which does not have the required understanding of the services.
Therefore, make sure that you allocate experienced staff to each tender that you bid for – the time costs of this will be outweighed by the benefits that come with winning the contract.
Make sure that your bid team contains auxiliary staff who are able to work on the tender should your main bid writers be unavailable for any reason. Inducting these staff in the tender documentation and the progress of the submission will ensure that they are able to work on the response should the need arise, without a drop in quality.
Organise all documents
When preparing a tender response it is important to store all documents centrally, in clearly marked files, so that the information can be accessed easily when required. This central store should include the tender documentation, any information or supporting documents and your prepared response.
By signposting this to all members of your bid team they will all be able to easily and effectively access the required information to work on the tender, removing stress and time wastage. Separating the information into different sections, and keeping separate original and copy documents, will enable you to work effectively and maintain version control.
Maintain an ongoing checklist
When preparing any bid, develop a list of all information and supporting evidence and circulate this to all relevant departments within your company so they are aware of all the information they need to provide.
This list should also contain details of each response that is required and the progress in completing this. Update the list regularly so that you can easily track the progress of the submission and any remaining elements, and make timely requests of your staff for outstanding information.
As a result of this planning, any member of staff should be able to work on the tender response by knowing how much has and has not been completed, helping to produce a timely and effective submission.
Establish a working bid library
When storing the tender response, use clearly marked folders for your responses, relevant information and supporting evidence. Staff can then access this information quickly and effectively and continue working on the submission without delay.
Information and supporting evidence stored in an up to date bid library can then be revisited for future submissions and amended as necessary; this method again speeds up the bid process, especially for documents such as policies which do not need to be updated for every bid.
Maintain effective communication
Maintaining regular contact with all members of your bid team through discussion and meetings will assist the planning of the submission. This will enable you to discuss progress, outstanding items, and any potential concerns; ultimately helping you to address any issues quickly to produce a timely and high quality submission.
All too often we see clients fail a PQQ or tender due to an unorganised bid team resulting in a disjointed and non-compliant bid. For tailored bid management, advice and support, call us free on 0800 612 5563 or fill in our contact form to talk to one of our expert bid writers today and see how we can assist you.