20 Sep How To Ensure Good Housekeeping In Your Bid Library
Whether you have extensive experience in bid writing, or are just beginning to learn the discipline, making sure you keep your bid library tidy and structured is a great way to save time and trouble when bidding on future contracts.
With an organised and comprehensive bid library, you can easily search for any previous bids that contain relevant information and experience, which you can then re-use or reference in future bids for work.
This helps you save time and add depth and substance to your bid applications.
Whatever level your bid library is at, here’s how you can keep it ordered and easily usable for your future bids.
‘Do I Really Need A Bid Library?’
If you don’t often write bids for work, you may be questioning whether it is worth the time and effort to put together a library of your past creations.
However, compiling a well-organised bid library is a best practice that can save you time whenever you need to create a bid, while also ensuring that your finished bids stand the best chance of winning you work.
By organising your bid library in a way that makes the most sense for you and your team, you can keep all your resources (such as previous winning bids, technical documents, and case studies etc.) safely stored and easy to find and use in future bids.
If you have other members of staff accessing your bid library, keeping your library organised and clearly labelled will also help them find the resources they need quicker, thereby ensuring maximum productivity and preventing stress from developing within the team.
Structuring Your Bid Library
The structure of your bid library is essential for saving time and improving productivity.
If you’ve applied for bids before, you will likely know whether organisations within your sector primarily use Invitation to Tender (ITTs), Selection Questionnaires/Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (SQ/PQQs) – or both – in their decision process.
However, as a general rule:
– ITTs are method statements that the client uses to evaluate the quality of an offer. They are commonly used in the creative industries, such as graphic design
– SQ/PQQs are standard selection and prequalification questionnaires that are constructed to assess your professional knowledge and experience. They are commonly used in technical industries – like for example, construction
When creating bids, note clearly whether they are ITT or SQ/PQQ applications. Not only is this essential for producing the correct type of bid, it also means that when your bid is complete it can be filed away in its correct category and easily found again when needed.
Additionally, further classifying your completed bids into categories relating to their sector or industry will make it easier to navigate through a filing system and access the most relevant information for a variety of tender types – this can be vital when creating future bids for work.
Be sure too to keep well organised and close to hand all the relevant documentation that you will need when creating various types of bids.
For example, these are some of the documents, accreditations, certifications, and other paperwork that you should keep in a well-maintained bid library:
For ITT Bids:
– ISO Certifications & Other Quality Assurance Awards: These documents will help to demonstrate that your product or service is high-quality and reliable.
– Social Value Contribution Statements: Evidence of the positive impact on society that your company can deliver. This can be social, environmental, or economic. For example, if you work in the hospitality industry, you may wish to gather evidence of the money that your business brings into the local area.
– Data Management And Protection Certifications: Evidence of your compliance with GDPR and similar regulations.
– Evidence Of Work: This is your opportunity to showcase any previous jobs that you are proud of. Here, you can keep case studies, testimonials, statistics, and quotes from happy customers.
– Visual Aids: Any graphics that help to illustrate the points made in your bid for work. These can include graphs, charts and tables, statistics, quotes, and images.
– Performance Monitoring/Development Goals: Your business should be tracking its development through the use of key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are a set of quantitative measurements that your company can objectively measure its progress against. For example, your Net Profit Margin can be a good KPI to consider.
For SQs/PQQ Bids:
– Previous Or Current Contract References And Details: Keep several recent references on file from clients who you know will give a positive account of your service.
– Your Last 2-3 Years Of Audited Accounts
– Evidence Of Compliance With Industry And Organisational Standards, Including ISO Certifications
Learn From Mistakes As Well As Successes
Sometimes, you can learn more from failure than you can from success. That’s why it is advisable to keep your unsuccessful bids on file, as well as your winning ones.
However, be sure to keep the two separate, so that you will always be able to correctly determine which methods worked and which didn’t.
Then, by reusing or rephrasing paragraphs from successful bids, and identifying the mistakes of unsuccessful ones, you can improve the quality of your future bids – thereby making it more likely that you will be successful in your applications for work.
Review And Refresh
If you’ve been tasked with the responsibility of tidying up an existing bid library, it can in fact be better to start from scratch.
This way, you can agree on a structure for a new bid library that works for all members of your team, and ensure that everyone is fully aware of a uniform way to manage it.
This is also a great chance to review all the current content in your bid library to see if it is still relevant. Anything that is out of date should be deleted or marked as irrelevant to prevent its use in current and future bid tenders.
For these reasons, scheduling time to regularly review your bid library will help to prevent mistakes in future bids for work, so this should be considered a priority.
Want more advice from industry experts on how to perfectly manage a bid library? Get in touch!