It may seem obvious, but there are reasons bid support companies like BiD Masters exist. Not every organisation has in-house bid specialists – we call them bidmasters – and even those that do can benefit from an external perspective and best practice. Bringing in outsourced support, though, comes at a cost. Here are five ways to increase the value you get for your money.
Start by asking what capability or capacity gaps you have in your bid team. Bid support comes in a number of forms – you can find a simple outline of who does what here.
Not all bidmasters are created equal – each has specific specialist skills.
Just as you wouldn’t ask an engineer to drive a bus, you wouldn’t ask a bid writer to produce your graphics. Why? Because it’s not their area of expertise. A bid writer may be able to put together a simple chart that fits with your organisation’s branding guidelines, but a graphic designer will give it panache, and that’s exactly what you want your bid to have.
Here’s a handy guide to figuring out who does what and what you need.
You’ve decided to bid and you know what you need. The next decision is when. There is a misconception that bid support is only needed to polish up the bid towards the end or fix it, if it’s gone horribly wrong. All too often, bid support is brought in at the last minute. A bidmaster invited in part way through the bid process can certainly help you edit, review, format and proofread, but it’s not the most efficient way to do things.
Here are some tips on the optimal time to bring in a bidmaster.
You’ve decided to bid, double-checked that you’re eligible to deliver the contract, now it’s time to kick things off. The first thing you’ll need to do is break down the ITT, PQQ or customer’s instructions, questions and evaluation criteria to formulate an idea of what’s required.
Click here for hints on how to delineate your requirements.
Whatever outsourced support you bring in, whether it’s an entire bid team or just one bid writer, they need to be in the know about your business. They’re going to need to understand what you do and how to write an accurate proposal that showcases your organisation in the best light.
At the least, they’ll want to know things like:
Basically, they need to know what you’ve done before, what you propose to do now and how you propose to do it, with a lot of detail and evidence to seal the deal.
Any bidmaster worth their salt will keep this information confidential, but you should still ask outsourced support to sign an NDA so you’re covered, especially if they are dealing with sensitive information.
When it comes to your services, products and processes, you and your SMEs are the experts, particularly if you work in a highly complex or technical industry. Don’t expect your bid writer to be an engineer. They might have some engineering know how, but ultimately, your SMEs should be the source of technical detail. The bid writer, unsurprisingly, is the expert in bid writing.
This means you are responsible for the accuracy of the technical detail. The bid writer is responsible for writing this out in a way that evaluators can understand and appreciate.
Whether you are a large-scale organisation, an SME or an individual responding to a PQQ, ITT or an award submission, BiD Masters can help. For a preliminary chat, contact us here.