11 Aug Are you having a Summer Meltdown?
By Christine Brown, Wednesday 10th August 2016
The summer months are often the time where a rigorous bid qualification and planning process is of most importance. With many staff taking vacation days to make the most of the good weather or cover summer childcare, taking the time to ensure you will have all the support you need to complete a bid by the deadline can help avoid you feeling hot under the collar as the deadlines loom.
At the start of a bid it is good practice to run through all the documentation and list any departments who may need to add input. Contact these people as soon as possible to establish their availability or any vacation time they have coming up.
A kick off meeting or call is an efficient way to brief everyone involved on the project and set internal deadlines for input. It also provides the opportunity for all those involved to discuss any key issues for the submission. As a guide, your kick off meeting should include the following as a minimum:
• Introduction – What the Tender is about, the Client summary, the product and/or service to be proposed.
• Timelines – Work backwards from the customer deadline, e.g. if the submission has to be uploaded/posted on a Friday, you will want all input at least 2-3 days prior to this to be able to incorporate it into the master response document and do all your final reviews, proofing and sign off. You may also want a first draft available before then if some of the response is dependent on another area being completed first e.g. finance team sign off waiting on the account team to finalise the exact offering
• Responsibilities – Who in the meeting is owning which actions?
• Availability – Is anyone on vacation or expected to be unavailable for any time in the project? It doesn’t hurt to request all participants nominate a second from their department to brief ready to cover in the case of unexpected absence too
• Key Points/Issues – Are there any ‘red flag’ items in the bid that could prevent you being able to submit? Whether a contract term that the legal department will need to approve of or a mandatory requirement that you can’t currently meet, issues will need to be resolved as swiftly as possible to avoid the team wasting potentially 100s of man hours writing responses that can’t be submitted
• Conclusion – Reiterate any milestones set on the timeline of the project, especially next steps with regards to update calls or first draft input due times.
If your bid team is melting under the heat of bid and tender coverage stress over the summer, Bid and Tender Support Ltd offer adhoc support services that can help you keep your cool this summer. From bid reviewing to a complete bid management service, call us with your requirements on 01908 382414.