25 Feb Importance of using an Effective Bid Review Process
By Katy Berrill
February 25th 2016
All too often, working on a bid can be an incredibly stressful affair, especially when those completing it are doing so alongside their usual day job with an already busy full time work schedule. This can leave limited time to work on the project, and it becomes a race against time just to get any information into the response document to submit before deadline. The relief, simply, to have completed the response is enough to make some try to get it off their desk without completing a review.
Without an effective bid review before submission, you aren’t just risking missing a couple of small typos, a review could make the difference between a win or a loss and an effective bid review process can save the frustration of knowing you lost vital points on something that could have easily been rectified.
Paramount on completing a review is to ensuring that the responses to requirements are doing just that. Filling documents with boilerplate information, datasheets or general text about how great your company is might be providing the client with all the information you want them to see, but if it isn’t what they have asked for they may simply discard it. Only data that is answering the client requirement will score you points; a bid review helps to make sure your responses are actually answering the questions being asked of you in a way that the client can clearly digest, and score you positively against is a vital part of the bid process. All the additional information you want to include can be added as an appendix, which the client can reference after seeing from your responses that you have a product or service suitable for their needs.
A proof read for typographical errors is also always important. As an absolute minimum, run the automated spell check tool to avoid a messy red wavy underlined page appearing before anyone reading a digital version of your submission. While a printed submission may save you the embarrassment of Microsoft pointing out your errors, repeated obvious spelling errors or poor grammar can still undermine the professionalism of a proposal (as well as making it harder to read and understand). In a worst case scenario, there is potential for dangerous pitfalls if incorrect wording is used around any legal terms in a bid response. If there is someone in your Company known for having an ‘Eagle-Eye’ give them the chance to shine and ask them to keep some time clear to read through the documents before submission.
Bid Review Checklist:
- Schedule a minimum of a day before deadline to review the document and make any final revisions
- Ensure the bid is reviewed by someone who wasn’t a primary contributor to the content, they are more likely to spot errors than a person who worked on the original text
- Double check all response guidelines from the client have been followed
- Without looking at the content, see that the response has a professional and consistent look to it
- Ensure that all internal notes and comments have been removed
- Spell and grammar check – while you can use automated tools, also do a read through as the tools can often miss obvious errors, especially if the error is the right spelling of the wrong word, such as referring to Complaints instead of being Compliant in your response!