It’s that time of year again: the summer holidays are coming to an end, annual leave has been and gone and the tender documents left under a mountain of paperwork suddenly have a very fast-approaching deadline. Unfortunately, all too often with PQQ and tender writing submissions, there are tight deadlines, which can throw a spanner in the works and create a stressful situation.
We are regularly approached by clients who have a submission due in a matter of days and don’t have the time or resources to undertake the project: this time of year especially seems to produce an influx of last-minute submissions. Although our bid team are used to working to tight deadlines and will always do their best to turn around a submission, the quality of the work has to take precedence and we advise doing as much as possible to avoid a last-minute tender, as this can often result in a poor submission.
Bid/No Bid Decision
As with every PQQ or tender submission, there should be a bid/no-bid decision stage; this is especially true if there is a short time span associated with the project. Firstly you have to ask yourself why there is such a short deadline for a tender – are you too late in identifying the opportunity? Is it an internal issue and a submission has been left to the last minute? Or has the contracting authority delayed the notice?
If the bid is for a major contract and a must-win for your organisation, the chances are it should have been on your radar for some time, allowing all the planning and preparation to be in place. However if a contract seemingly appears out of the blue, it is necessary to analyse whether your bid team is able to allocate the time and resources to produce a high-quality response – if the answer is no, it should be a no-bid on this occasion as rushing a response is likely to jeopardise the level of quality. At Executive Compass we employ the same practice when approached by a client for a last-minute bid, always analysing whether we can produce the highest quality response in a short amount of time.
Organisation and Time Management
We understand more than anyone that there are situations where you can’t afford not to bid for a contract, regardless of the timescale. As with any PQQ or tender, organisation and time management are crucial in producing a winning response.
Whether you’re lucky and have a lot of time before a deadline, or only a matter of weeks, always prepare a schedule so that what needs to be achieved is set out, together with when it needs to be done, and what documents and information are required. Our tips for cutting through the specification should help you to analyse what is expected of you and make sure nothing is overlooked in the first instance. This way you are less likely to rush and forget a vital piece of supporting evidence or make a mistake that could cost you marks.
It might be a fairly obvious piece of advice, but making sure you are aware of prior contract notices and dates for contracts will also help eliminate last-minute rushed submissions.
If your organisation has a bid team, it is a good idea to delegate sections of the submission to different members of the team or get another person to review your submission, as another pair of eyes is always beneficial. This will allow the work to be done efficiently, especially if you are short on time, but should not have a detrimental effect on quality. It is also important that all members of the team involved in a submission are aware of the deadlines, and any schedule in place, to avoid internal issues impacting negatively on your tender, and to ensure nothing is left to the last minute.
From our experience, organisations often require that bit of extra support either during a particularly arduous submission, or due to time constraints and lack of resources, and that is where we are able to step in. Our bid writers will always do their best to turn around a submission in a tight deadline or can work alongside you as external support. To find out more please fill out our contact form and one of the team will be in touch to discuss your requirements.