In this fourth and last part, we shall be looking at management aspects of Bids and Tenders. On a day – to – day basis, proper and smart management of the Bid process is critical to success
What is Tender Management?
So what is tender management? In today’s competitive business world, many potential projects and services are put out to tender. That is numerous potential companies are provided with the opportunity to bid for the work.
In their bids, they will describe how their company will solve a business problem, provide the service required or supply the goods requested. They will also need to provide a competitive price for this work.
The process of designing and writing these proposals or tenders, complete with the competitive pricing, is called tender management, proposal management or bid management.
The Art of Tender Management
As a company is competing against many other companies that may have the same or better qualities and lower prices, the art of tender management or writing a winning tender is highly skilled.
A good tender writer who really knows how to write a bid and who will make the tender stand out from the competitors is highly sought after.
When does Tender Management Start?
The tender starts when an appropriate Invitation To Tender (ITT) has been identified. The ITT is a formal document that is published by a purchasing company in order to notify other companies that bids for a piece of work, project or service is required.
There is always a fixed deadline that the tenders must be returned by and this makes bid management very time dependent. It all adds to the stress of the entire process.
What does tender management include?
- Analyzing the requirements within the ITT.
- Designing a solution that meets these requirements.
- Managing the staff that will write the tender.
- Developing a compelling proposal that will meet the requirements and stand out from other bids.
- Producing a pricing structure that will win the bid as well as produce a profit by the end of the project.
- Minimizing risk and maximizing the impact of the tender.
- Sticking to tight deadlines.
Tenders Are Not that Standardized
There are standard bid management processes available to manage these activities and one published bid methodology. There are also some computerized systems that will manage the workflow of a tender management process but bid management is nowhere as formalized as project management.
This makes experience proposal writers with a history of winning highly sought after.
A tender or bid writer manages risk very well and is always organized and able to manage staff within a very highly charged environment.
Framework Tender Agreements
Such is the popularity of tendering that framework agreement tenders are now being offered. This is where a company tenders to receive a framework agreement that then provides them with the opportunity to tender for future work with the organization.
These framework agreements are particularly popular with government tenders and large companies and are often found in information technology and staffing.
Tenders can be low level such as a cleaning service or they can be highly prized, such as a bid for a multi-million dollar new computer system but they all have the same structure and processes.
They start with the ITT request for bids and end up with a negotiated contract. A good bid manager knows how to manage the process, whilst juggling staff, information overload, searching for missing information and managing time frames.