Your company or organisation may rely on winning public and private sector contracts to contribute a large part of your annual turnover, if this is the case, you will realise that competing for these contracts can be cost and time intensive, with no promise of a return on your investment.
There are many different ways that you can approach the bid writing process, but if you approach it in a methodical and well-thought-out manner you may find that your success rate for tendering will increase dramatically.
Effective bid management will not only increase your chances of being successful, but it also works to reduce overall costs, in terms of both time and resources. If you approach a new procurement exercise without a strict and planned-out method, you may be making one of the biggest mistakes you can possibly make, especially if the contract is an important one for your organisation.
You should have a formal and structured bid management process that is integrated with the rest of your business: by having a system in place for managing the bid process, you may find yourself already ahead of the competition when a new opportunity is released.
Important elements that you should consider when you begin to develop your own internal bid management system include:
- Analyse the competition and the client – this is something that should be carried out before you begin to respond to any invitation to tender or PQQ, and incorporated into your ‘bid or no-bid’ decision.
- Deadlines and size and scope of tender – these elements should also be considered as soon as you receive word of a new contract being available, before you begin to attempt to complete a tender return. These elements should have a direct influence over your bid or no-bid decision, and if you do decide to proceed they will also inform your allocation of duties.
- Management of company documents – you should take every means necessary to ensure that your company policies, procedures, accreditations, qualifications, references and financial information (including accounts) are up to date before you begin any procurement exercise. It may be worth investing in a document management system that allows for ease of location and alerts you before a particular policy or certificate expires.
- Allocation of duties and responsibilities – regardless of whether you decide to complete a tender using internal resources or by using an external professional bid management company, you need to make sure that every person is aware of their responsibilities and that they are of an appropriate skill level to undertake their task to a high standard.
- Liaising with the client – you should always be clear and careful with the delegation of this responsibility. Liaison should be undertaken through proper channels that will be detailed within the specifications of the tender document: your responsible staff member may have to attend client briefings or ‘meet the buyer’ events, and liaise through specific portals or though face-to-face meetings if permitted.
- Briefings – these should be a regular occurrence throughout the tender process. All briefings and updates should be documented much like the client liaison, and stored alongside the electronic bid. Briefings are a good time to discuss progress and reallocate certain duties, if particular areas are identified to be falling off the pace you set at the beginning of the exercise.
If you need some assistance in completing a bid or require the services of a bid management professional, please do not hesitate to contact us today and we will be happy to have an informal discussion with you regarding your requirements and how we can help you to secure that contract!