It is sometimes easier said than done, but planning and upholding a pipeline of all important bids in the foreseeable future is an effective tool for managing resources and becoming more successful in the long term.
The run up to Christmas is typically a busy period for completing PQQs and tenders as contracts are scheduled to start in the New Year. With annual leave and the end of the year approaching, resource issues are likely to arise in the latter months of the year and it is therefore vital to plan now for any important bids in the near future.
Research and plan a bidding schedule
If you are bidding on a regular basis, or even if it is more ad-hoc, putting together a pipeline for contract renewals and any important bids allows you to plan ahead and be prepared so that you are not blind-sided at the last minute, and end up submitting a rushed proposal which is unlikely to be of the highest quality.
When there is a lull in your bidding cycle, hold a planning meeting with your bid team or colleagues to discuss any upcoming opportunities and contracts which may be up for renewal. Knowing when contract notices are likely to be released gives you an advantage against the competition, and although you can’t predict what they will contain, you can prepare your team and make sure time is set aside for the bid.
If you regularly work with the same contracting authority, you may get to know their bidding cycle and be aware of forthcoming opportunities. Establishing a good relationship with local councils and similar authorities is great for planning and being notified of contract opportunities which they may think are a good fit for your company. If this isn’t the case, make sure you research and monitor contract opportunities regularly, and use prior information notices to plan ahead.
Bidding for existing contracts
New contracts may be your priority when allocating time to completing a PQQ or tender; however it is important to remember that bidding for a contract as the incumbent requires just as much effort. Without putting in the effort, you risk losing all-important contracts if a competitor submits a better proposal than you.
You should be aware in advance of all renewal dates or extensions for contracts which you currently hold: make sure these are programmed into your bidding pipeline and be aware that the authority will not always issue the same tender document as they did previously. The contract may require compliance with amended legislation, specifications or priorities, meaning you must respond accordingly with a revised tender proposal.
Managing PQQs and tenders
Even with a substantial pipeline, there are undoubtedly going to be unforeseen opportunities or busy periods, like the run up to Christmas or summer holidays. You need to have a contingency plan in place for such events. This needn’t be a military operation, but a means of managing resources in busy times or accessing additional support. This can be as simple as identifying additional members of staff who may be able to support your bid team, ensuring there is a manager or leader who can delegate effectively when busy or recognising an external company to go to for assistance.
Similarly, if you have already encountered a busy period and experienced limited resources for completing a bid or tender, you may be able to draw upon these experiences as a future planning tool and to avoid any similar mistakes.
Ask yourself: what went wrong? Was there too much work to deliver in the time available? Was the bid not managed and delegated properly? Were your staff fully competent to complete the submission to a high standard? Analysing and evaluating questions such as these will enable you to manage future submissions more effectively, especially when there is high demand or numerous bids to be completed at the same time.
If you experience a busy period for bidding and feel you can’t manage your pipeline effectively, we can assist your team to complete PQQs and tenders at any stage of the process, with as much or as little involvement as you require. Contact our bid writing team on 020 3507 0314.