We take a look at bid writer Rach's day.
After a breezy walk by the beautiful Tyne, I usually arrive at our lovely (new) office at 8.15am, leaving just enough time to grab a coffee before the morning meeting.
At 8.30am promptly, the team gather for the morning ‘pulse meeting’ in front of our project boards which display our ongoing projects, their progress and deadline dates. The morning meeting is great because it offers each writer a chance to present an update on their current projects. Not only is it interesting to catch up with other bid writers on what they have been writing about, but it is important to ensure that each bid is progressing on time to our tight internal deadlines so that tender submission deadlines can be met. At the moment, we are working on around 30 different bids from prosthetic limbs to gas servicing – never a dull day!
At the pulse meeting, writers are assigned to new tender submissions that have gone to business, and contract wins (and anything else that might affect what we do) are discussed. This could be feedback from clients, suggestions from other writers and important business news.
It sounds clichéd, but no day is the same at Executive Compass. We write tenders for a vast range of national clients across multiple industries. Even in the short time I have been here, we have written tenders for care service providers, heating installers and tree surgeons. Nevertheless, we do often have typical tasks to complete for all projects on a daily basis.
Before we can think about writing anything, we have to get to know our clients. This is a fun part of the process because it allows writers a chance to develop a close working relationship with their clients. Phone interviews are scheduled and the race to tender begins!
A key part of a bid writer’s job is completing PQQs and tenders on behalf of clients to secure what are in some cases critically important contracts. We have a breadth of knowledge not only in different industry areas, but also in the public-sector procurement process, relevant legislation, and professional certifications and memberships. Daily tasks sometimes include completing those pesky pre-qualification questionnaires or data sections included in a tender on behalf of clients, so that all focus can be given to the more complex technical responses.
Writing narrative responses
Once interviews are complete and the company data is filled in, we knuckle down to the writing. Aside from the occasional caffeine fix and a stroke of our office dogs Duffy and Sherlock, the office is very quiet because everyone is in deep concentration and typing away.
When writing, we abide by a strict quality control process. After a writer drafts a response, they must send it to the quality manager to review the work. Reviewers offer further technical industry expertise and constructive criticism so that the answer is as strong as it possibly can be and is marked against the tender specification. Once these changes have been made, the lead writer sends this updated draft to our external proofreader, Jane. Jane meticulously checks our responses for coherence, grammar and consistent formatting to ensure that our responses are clear, concise and polished. After completing these rigorous quality stages, the response is finally sent to our clients for final approval. Suggestions received from our clients are incorporated and saved into all final responses which are sent together in a final bundle with all other work. This ensures that our clients can submit all work together, with ease and in time, before submission deadlines. These processes are essential to us producing winning bids and maintaining our >80% success rate.
A supportive team
Teamwork is at the heart of our bid-writing process. By offering full support to each other, we can create winning bids, and winning bids means we can support our clients in achieving their goals. However, we don’t just support each other when writing bids. Our Director of Sales and Marketing, Amy, is taking part in the CEO Sleepout, a charity event which aims to raise money for local homeless people in Newcastle. Amy, and other business leaders from the North East, will be sleeping rough in St James Park for a night to raise money.
Next month, the team are excited that they will be channelling their inner Mary Berry and cooking up some treats for a charity bake sale to support Amy in raising funds for the CEO Sleepout event.
After a busy day at the office, I walk back into the centre of Newcastle and I head to the gym to spend some quality time with the treadmill before heading home. It’s good to get all the bid-writing adrenaline out after a busy day!