It is very easy to think about a PQQ or tender only once it hits your desk, and then rush through the narrative responses and financial documents, with the main goal being to get the bid finished and submitted as soon as possible.
Implementing a plan for completing PQQs and tenders from start to finish will improve your success rate and make the whole bid writing process more efficient and less stressful.
Monitoring the pipeline
For important new contracts, or contracts up for renewal, you should be aware of an approximate timescale in advance of the contract notice being released. We understand better than anyone that it is common for a bid to become delayed or even cancelled; however if there is an important contract for your company, it is vital to monitor the bidding cycle and keep in touch with the relevant contracting authority for any updates. This should minimise the element of surprise and allow you to successfully plan and allocate time in advance to the PQQ and tender process.
Have a ‘kick off’ meeting
If you don’t have a bid team to have a meeting with, sit down yourself to go through the bid, familiarise yourself with the documentation and make a plan. If you are lucky enough to have a team to support you, a ‘kick off’ meeting is a useful tool to make everyone aware of the aim of the bid, the marking criteria and the requirements. Use this time to delegate work, set deadlines and generally organise the submission. This is an important stage in the process so that all employees involved are conscious of the bid, the contract and what is required of them.
Create and use a bid library
Having a central resource to refer to when writing a PQQ or tender is a great tool in the planning stage and also when writing narrative responses. Referring back to previous submissions, especially ones which scored highly, provides a good basis for your new bid, creating ideas and starting points.
You can also file supporting documents and company information so that they are easily accessible. Policies and procedures, case studies, certificates and financial information can all be stored in the bid library in a central location.
To take this one step further, you could also organise your bid library into model answers and responses grouped by popular question themes, for example environmental, quality assurance, IT systems, business continuity etc. This will further aid the writing process and increase efficiency.
Timescales, deadlines and progress checks
As part of our stringent quality assurance process, our bid writers use both major deadlines and smaller sub-deadlines to monitor the progress of a bid. When working on larger tenders this is especially crucial. It ensures that the project is kept on track and if progress is not as expected, then you can identify why and how it can be improved. This should minimise any last minute rush to get the document finished, which can result in lower quality and more mistakes.
Within the allocated timescales, always allow time to proofread the whole document and undertake a quality and compliance check. Programming this in from the start of the bid is a good idea, so as not to miss out a fundamental review of your final tender.