If you are struggling to manage your time and keep track of other resources, you are not alone. 22% of bid managers state that time management is one of their biggest tendering challenges.
In this post we will be looking at the three most common time management challenges our Training and Consultancy team hear about from our customers.
This could be created by not hearing about opportunities soon enough, and therefore starting the tendering process well into the time frame given. While there may be the occasional tender that is too good to pass up despite the limited time available, frequently bidding for tenders with fast-approaching deadlines will not benefit your business. You are more likely to benefit from passing on some of these opportunities and putting time into finding something with a manageable deadline. Give yourself more time to prepare well-thought-out proposals.
Passing on opportunities for work may not be a solution that suits your business, so you might instead benefit from a tender alert service to ensure you are notified of contracts as soon as they are published.
If contract renewals are frequent in your industry, you may benefit from paying close attention to contract expiry dates and making enquiries in advance of renewal notices, so you can start preparing bids earlier. You could use contract award notices for this and try and track each opportunity, or you could use our Advanced Tender Alerts to receive notifications direct to your inbox. With this feature, we can give you a head start of up to 18 months, by sending you regular alerts of upcoming renewals for both above and below-threshold opportunities
If you are finding opportunities that you believe have manageable lead times, and then end up rushing to meet the deadline – you should review your bid processes and see if you are losing time somewhere. With several types of tenders and different requirements for each notice, bid management can be incredibly tricky and developing familiarity with the best approach for each can take a some time.
In our ‘9-step bid writing process’ we offer a guide for each stage of the bid writing process, which you can use as a template for planning your resources. With a plan in place, you can see which activities are taking too long, where you need to prioritise your time and identify any issues that may slow or prevent your progress.
It could be that you are taking on too much, and your organisation needs to re-evaluate how much resource it puts towards bidding for public sector contracts. The best plans will fail if those involved do not share the same priorities, so you need to make sure you are getting the support you need to create high quality bids.
If you believe there are just too many opportunities to effectively manage at one time, you have to ask yourself if all tenders are worth going for? While multiple tenders mean there are more opportunities to win new work, not giving each bid the time and effort it deserves will only reduce your chances of success. Choose the best tenders for your business and prioritise the most relevant bids. While this advice is great in theory, we do not always have the luxury of being selective with business opportunities.
If you believe the workload is manageable but are struggling to track all of the moving parts for your bids, we recommend using an effective bid or project management system. Opportunity Manager is included as standard with all Tenders Direct subscriptions and allows you to effortlessly track and manage your tender pipelines.