Are you failing to prepare and preparing your tender for failure?

A recent industry study showed that nearly half of all procurement professionals in the UK believe suppliers are letting themselves down with their poor-quality proposals.  With the general standard of bids being low, smart thinking and some extra effort can make a big difference to your success rates. 

More often than not, the issues that occur when writing bids are symptomatic of larger, company-wide issues. But that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t very specific, common (easily-fixed) errors that occur time and time again when writing bids. 

This is the first post in our series ‘Top 5 Bid Writing Mistakes’, with links to the other articles listed below. 

Failing to prepare and preparing to fail 

This old saying without a doubt applies to bid submissions. Too often, we see examples of where time has not been taken to devise a plan. You need to take a step back, identify and agree on what the approach will be. There are a lot of examples where it is obvious when someone has started writing before a plan is in place. Rather than dumping information and then re-arranging to suit a strategy, a plan should be put in place from the beginning, including structure and order as well as being collated in an attractive manner. For optimised results, submissions should be refined and fine-tuned, not muddled through.

Plan for success by doing the following:

Develop your strategy– be clear on how you are going win.  Use all your research and knowledge to map out a winning strategy to inform your entire response.  

Plan your answers – identify what solutions you will include, how they meet the requirements of the tender and how to evidence the value they bring 

Agree Responsibilities – make sure tasks are allocated to the right people and an order of work is agreed. 

Set Deadlines – ensure everyone knows when tasks need to be complete  

Review – include time to review spelling, documents, format, and tender requirements. 

By taking these actions, you’ll set yourself up for success.

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