Although this company had existing bid teams, senior management felt the teams had grown stale and that the quality of both the content and the bid writing process had suffered, with submissions not reflecting organisational capabilities as well they should. The project lasted five months and involved building a solid bid management foundation from which to launch a powerful and persuasive bid submission.
Type of Project
One full time writer
John Bilcliffe, supported by Neil Capstick and Tom Sheppard
Duration of the bid
Value to the client
Existing bid teams, who had become stale and who resented our involvement
Decreasing quality of the content produced by the internal bid team, and their bid writing processes
Organisational capabilities not reflected in submissions
- Geographical region – UK Wide
- Output – 24 level arch file, in response to 186 questions and two day training workshops
- Weighting – 70%/30% quality/price
- Submission – Electronic
- Outcome – Won
We were approached by a company with over 10,000 employees across the world to assist them with bid writing and bid management services. They contacted us because the senior management team believed the bid teams had grown stale and that as a result the quality of both content and bid management processes had significantly declined. As a result, they were concerned that the submissions were not showcasing the company’s capabilities as fully as possible. Initially, the bid teams resented our input, but we worked with them to explain our role and that we would work alongside them collectively to produce the submission. This approach encouraged the bid team to work with us and renewed their enthusiasm.
Lasting five months, the project included bid writing, bid management and training. Three of our staff were involved in the project, of which two were engaged full time providing bid management and bid writing services on site. In addition, one bid writer worked remotely. Being retained a month in advance of the ITT enabled us to prepare a robust bid management foundation, which would allow us to prepare a bid submission which was as strong as possible. A considerable number of preparation tasks were undertaken as part of this process. These were:
- Selecting the bid team, and agreeing roles and responsibilities
- Agreeing processes and system methodologies, including partitioning the company intranet, building a response folder with an intuitive structure, agreeing access protocols, and appointing one person with overall intranet housekeeping and audit responsibilities.
- Appointing graphic designers and discussing initial design issues
- Agreeing a general overall approach, with items such as voice, format and font
- Running a facilitation workshop, in which the team worked collaboratively to identify win themes, secondary themes, key differentiators and analysed competitors
- Creating outline drafts of key organisational documentation, including: updating
organisational charts, formatting and standardising key CVs, and reviewing and
preparing evidence and policy documents
- Creating an outline proposal for a mobilisation and transition plan
- Researching the client’s vision and values, and obtaining as much information on the client evaluation team as possible
- Running training sessions, both one to one and with groups. This ensured that all writers were writing in the same style.
- Creating narrative response templates, which were issued to the writing team. This allowed us to save a great deal of time later when it came to combining and formatting the final document
- Distribution of an agreed glossary of terms which ensured the use of standardised terms throughout the whole submission
As a whole, these actions ensured that a consistent, high standard approach was taken throughout the entire submission. In turn, this served to maximise our prospects of success.
In total, the submission involved six writers, six functional heads and two editors, who were managed by one Bid Manager and a Bid Director. The bid team also had commercial leads, designers, researchers and a cost modeller. The number and variety of staff involved in this project ensured that all aspects of the submission were completed to the highest standard.
This was especially important given the volume of the writing, which totalled (excluding the commercial submission) 24 lever arch files. The quality response was in response to a total of 186 questions with a total of 1,675 points available.
The senior management team were very happy with the approach that we took, commenting that it helped to standardise and coordinate their bid practices, increase standards of work, and ultimately their prospects of success. Our approach helped to highlight the client’s capabilities in all aspects of the submission, helping to provide an edge
over their rivals.