With a growing economy operating in a context of increased pressure on both public and private sectors to extract value from tendering, 2016 will see significant bid activity. How bid ready is your business, or do you just go from one bid to the next? This article provides a simple checklist of 10 elements of bidding (and there are many more!) for you to evaluate your state of bid readiness.
1. Bid Pipeline – Do you know which clients/contracts will be going out to tender in 2016, and when? Or is your approach purely reactive – waiting on the OJEU notice or RFP?
2. Pre-Tender Activity – Are you talking to your current and prospective clients ahead of the bid process starting? Or have your competitors already shaped the specification before it comes to the market?
3. Qualifications – Does your business have what the clients are looking for e.g. ISO 9001, CHAS, etc? Or do you always seem to be on the back foot, having to respond to lengthy questions when you do not have the passporting requirements?
4. Bid Sign On – Does your business have a disciplined approach to reviewing opportunities? Or do you bid for everything that you can possibly deliver?
5. Bid Kick Off – Once a bid is signed on, do people go off into silos to work on discrete parts of it? Or do you hold a Bid Kick Off Meeting to get aligned on Win Themes, Customer Proposition and the important Commercials?
6. Bid Library – Do you have an organised Bid Library that will give you 50% of the answer to most bid questions? Or are you continually reinventing the wheel and trawling through old bids to see what you can cut and paste?
7. Bid Writing – Does this always feel rushed, last minute and squeezed on top of a busy day job? Or are people given time and space to focus on this, including using an external bid specialist when needed?
8. Bid Review – Is the bid submitted without a proper review process? Or is the bid reviewed at regular stages to ensure it is focused on the client’s needs?
9. Bid Feedback – When the decision arrives, do you move quickly on to the next bid? Or do you actively seek and learn from client feedback e.g. getting this in writing, by telephone or face-to-face when possible?
10. Bid Metrics – Do you actually know what your bid win/loss rates are and how do you measure them? Are you measuring success by value of bids won and lost, as well as by number of bids submitted?
Many businesses are realising the benefits of inviting an external bid specialist to review their state of bid readiness. To find out more about this, please see www.ambidservices.co.uk/services-bid-strategy-development/