Keep your eye on the game – Picking a winning Bid Team.
Posted by Hailey Thomson on December 1, 2009
Do you find yourself scrambling with every tender the day before the deadline, frantically gathering your tender documents and cutting and pasting 75% of the tender together? It might be time to put together your Bid Team. Putting together a great tender is more than one person’s job, however in a busy working environment it tends to fall on the laps of busy people who already have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Take a stand! Start your Bid Team today!
Even if you can manage a mildly structured bid team, this will reduce the pressure and stress of compiling your bids. Your Bid Team should consist of the team members that know the areas best, and should result in a greater win rate due to this level of expertise. It is like picking teams in school, you are the team captain and you only want the best team. The better the bid team, the better the win rate.
Let’s meet the team, firstly the Sales Team, your company ought to have someone who is there to find new business and secure it. These sales folk will need to keep their ears to the ground and follow up on any leads that will mature into a tender. Subscribing to a tender alert service, following up on any prior information notices and keeping a contract calendar of upcoming tenders are just a few ways not to miss any new opportunities. Next, we have the Bid Manager; this person will have to assess the tenders coming from the Sales Team. Have a look at our ‘To Bid or Not to Bid’ blog entry on how to assess incoming tenders. If deemed a worthy tender, the Bid Manager will have to start building up his/her bid team; they will essentially be the team captain. This is the point where it tends to go astray, pay attention and you will be fine. YOU CANNOT COMPLETE THIS BID ON YOUR OWN; YOU WILL NEED HELP. Start picking your team.
Most companies have very specific products or services and the Bid Manager will require a Technical Person to provide an in-depth overview of technical requirements. For example if the tender is for a web portal, the Bid Manager will need an IT staff member to go into detail about site specifications, databases, or disaster recovery procedures. Leave the tech specs to the techies; it’s their thing, not anyone else’s. An Operational team member will assist with the bid by mapping out how the project will work on a day-to-day basis, as they will most likely be the ones implementing the project. They will also help finalise the staffing, logistics and the service levels for the project. This could be the project manager for the upcoming contract or a project manager from a similar project. Your Finance team member will pull together all the facts and figures required for the project. Certain costing information will be required, such as payment schedules, leasing options, long term cash flow, or raw costing may be needed as well, this could include staff day rates or cost of equipment required. The Finance team member can also round up any required credit information or financial reports. The Legal team member can review the terms and conditions, and highlight any discrepancies. They will also draft any supplier terms and conditions, contracts for sub-contractors and any other legally binding documents. Your team will also pull in help from other internal departments, they will not need to necessarily sit on the Bid Team, however their involvement will be key in gathering all the necessary documents. Human Resources can gather all your required policy documents such as Health and Safety, Environmental, Diversity, etc. The team will also need someone to gather any accreditation certificates or documents such as ISO9001, Investors in People, etc.
If your organisation is a small or medium enterprise, your Bid Team may have many combined roles. I would still recommend laying out the job descriptions in the same way as a larger organisation and then see which roles can be best combined, ensuring it doesn’t just all get dumped onto one unlucky person. After all that work you would still end up with one person compiling the whole bid, they would just have the fancy new title of Technical-Operational-Financial-Legal-Human Resources-Bid Manager; imagine signing your emails with that mouth-full.
Assess, structure, delegate, win. Done.