Save 30% on your bid costs with these six tips

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Want to know how you can keep your bid costs down?

Here’s a tale of two bids. Height worked on two similar sized tenders for the same company – but each was led internally by a different manager. The company ultimately won both bids, but one cost 30% more to get to the tender box. Why?

The manager of the lower-cost bid had organised and prepared their internal team, and made sure they all understood key client issues.

The six key takeaways here are:

1.     All the key staff need to be involved – but you can be selective in their tasks

From the site foreman through to the senior project manager, each of your key team members has some insight that can provide a competitive advantage. The core team needs to be involved in the initial value proposition workshop.  But rather than taking them away from their 'day jobs' for unnecessary meetings,  be targeted in how you involve them – from methodology, value engineering, and risk workshops through to peer reviewing key parts of the proposal.

2.     Have a clear workshops and a meetings plan in place early

Sounds simple, but set out key dates for workshops and review (even diarise them out weeks or months in advance – before diaries fill up with other work).  With key dates in place for their input, staff can be involved at key points without needing to be present for everything.

3.     Co-location

There is huge value in having the key personnel of the operational team co-located. The ability to generate ideas and simple efficiencies in making document amendments by being in the same space saves time and money. Those staff still doing their day job should aim to spend several days a week in this bid space.

4.     The power of a good bid writer

How many technical people can write in as compelling and customer-focused a way as a professional? A good bid writer should not be seen as a cost but an enabler to quickly download from the subject matter expert and translate that into business-focused English without ongoing rewrites and frustration.

5.     The core bid team should all be involved in building your value proposition

A major risk in a bid is becoming distracted by solutions that add no value to your customer. If the core team jointly develops the value proposition - and commits to it - that becomes a natural filter for what is important to the customer. Set out your stall together and then move forward with the bid responsively and efficiently.

6.     For the best start to the contract, make sure your delivery team knows the bid

If a delivery team only sees the bid document at contract start – or worse, never sees the document – it’s going to be very difficult for them to deliver on the promises made. When delivery teams have had time to understand exactly what’s required, they hit the ground running, minimising confusion and additional costs. 

Warner Cowin, Height CEO