For many companies, winning bids and tenders is the way to get new work and further their name in the industry. Unfortunately, when first starting out, many organisations and entrepreneurs miss out on contracts for very minor reasons such as a missing document, a misunderstood question or simply failing to plan ahead. This is a major reason why bid management is so highly valued in the tendering world.
For small, medium and micro-sized businesses, it is highly unlikely for someone to be on the payroll whose sole responsibility is bid management. Most SMEs and microbusinesses choose to outsource this part of the business dealings to professional bid managers, which can actually be more beneficial as it gives you access to some of the most talented individuals in the bid writing industry. But if you’ve never prepared a tender proposal yourself or experienced the bidding process, understanding the importance of hiring a dedicated bid manager can be difficult. Here, we explain what bid management is and why it is so necessary for all types of businesses, small or large.
What is Bid Management?
Simply, bid management refers to the entire process of tendering for work, from completing the Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs) and Invitation to Tender (ITTs) to following up on the bid after its submission. A bid manager is the person overseeing the entire process from inception to completion, and will even work before an official Request for Tender (RFT) is issued. From creating templates and preparing case studies, sourcing supporting documents and the necessary licences, ensuring compliance to the mandatory and recommended criteria to preparing the best possible responses for the questions asked, editing and proofreading the content through to ensuring the tender response is submitted on time, a bid manager will take care of it all so you don’t have to.
Why should I hire a Bid Manager?
If your business is not large enough to warrant adding a full-time bid manager on your payroll, it is completely fine to outsource the entire process to a bid writing consultancy like Bidsmith. Doing so takes the pressure off your other employees and you and leaves you more time to focus on running your business and getting other jobs done. Repeatedly pulling staff members away from their day-to-day duties to help prepare a tender document can result in distractions and less than optimum productivity, causing your business to suffer.
Additionally, having one designated person taking charge of the process will also ensure that milestones are accurately tracked, no mandatory documents and licenses are missing and all deadlines are met. Having too many people working on the same project is quite often a recipe for disaster and may effect your bid quality.
Tips for Successful Bid Management
An efficient bid manager will ensure the following:
Having reasonable deadlines to work with for each step of the process will ensure things get done when they should. Instead of focusing on the single, looming deadline given by the tenderer as the last day of submission, the bid manager should be breaking the processes into small, manageable parts to help keep the team focused and improve outcomes.
Make the bid engaging:
Very often, seasoned bidders may fall into the rut of getting stale with their responses because of the number of times they have answered the same questions for various companies. However, a good bid manager understands that each tendering opportunity is a new chance for the client to impress the tenderer, and as such should be presented in an engaging, innovative way. The visual aspect of your proposal is also very important in grabbing instant attention. Many tenderers provide a template that you’re expected to follow, but many others may allow you to customise your layouts. Bid managers will pay attention to the aesthetic side of your proposal as well, adding graphs, diagrams and infographic in addition to ensuring your proposal is neat, engaging and easy to read.
Hold regular meetings:
The key to keeping the entire bid management team on track is to hold regular meetings for team members to bring up any challenges and issues to the table for everyone to find solutions to. It also helps to ensure deadlines are met, the team is aware of the status of different bids, everyone knows what needs doing and when and all the different processes are in order.
There’s nothing worse than missing out on a contract you had every chance of winning, simply because you misread the deadline date or forgot to include a document. At Bidsmith, our bid managers are veterans of the process and have even served on evaluation panels, giving them insight into both sides of the bidding process. Get in touch with our team today and we’ll be happy to talk you through the process and how we can help you in your journey to winning more contracts.