20 Nov The Pros And Cons Of Using Bid Management Software
Bid management software offers a range of exciting possibilities for businesses, containing key features that can streamline the entire bidding process and help companies keep track of every bid they submit – successful or otherwise.
With all technologies though, there can be bugs and downsides that users will have to account for. Let’s take a closer look at what bid management software does, the value it offers, and the potential concerns that business owners should be aware of.
What Is Bid Management Software?
Bid management software is a tool that helps businesses manage the process of bidding on contracts that have been put out for tender.
It can help with finding attractive bid opportunities, creating and managing bids, optimising your bid process so that you stand the best chance of submitting a winning tender, and analysing successful and unsuccessful bids.
Once you have won a contract, it can even help you manage the project so that it is brought to a successful completion.
What Are Some Benefits And Features Of Good Bid Management Software?
Effective bid management software should give you the tools to manage your entire bid process from start to finish. It should also allow you to organise every aspect of your bids – such as the services offered, desired timescales, resource requirements, and necessary certifications, accreditations, experience, and expertise – while remaining user-friendly and easy to update.
Be aware too, that it is likely several members of your team will be using the bid management software, meaning that your chosen solution should allow for multi-user access (perhaps with differing levels of permission), and ideally you will have the option to allocate these users into teams, where each team can focus on their designated tasks.
This is especially important if you intend to grow your workforce – or are expecting some degree of employee turnover – as introducing new users into a system should be as easy as possible so that any disruption to your operations is minimised.
Here, flexibility in terms of pricing is important too!
Is a particular bid management tool cheap to use when there are a small number of users, but prohibitively expensive if the team grows to a larger size? In this case, it can be important to think ahead – how big do you want your workforce to be in a year or two’s time, and which bid management software will work best for a company of this size?
Consider too, where the software will be used.
For instance, if you do a lot of on-site work (like if you run a construction business, for example), then you may be best served by a bid management tool that functions smoothly and reliably on mobile phones and tablets, as these can be more appropriate devices to take into construction sites than desktop setups.
In addition to these considerations, there are some other desirable features that you can look for in a bid management software tool, which include:
- API access
- Inventory management
- Project cost-tracking
- Excellent customer support
- Real-time alerts/notifications
- A free trial – try before you buy!
- Customisable dashboards and workflows
- The ability to manage many projects at once
- Accounting tools/integrations with other accounting software (e.g. QuickBooks)
- Quality training provided through detailed guides, tutorials, and video walkthroughs etc.
The Drawbacks Of Bid Management Software
While bid management software is often a big help for many companies, no technology is ever perfect. With bid management tools, these are some of the potential problems that business owners should be aware of before investing in a solution:
Beware Of Bugs!: We’ve all been there – sometimes, no matter what you try, your computer just doesn’t do what it’s told.
If you’re not working on anything important, this may merely be an irritation rather than a real problem. But if you’re using bid management software to create, review, submit, and track bids, any technical failings can see your entire business grind to a halt.
For this reason, you should always ensure you have all your key data and documents backed up somewhere, and that you have processes in place which will allow you to work effectively even if technical gremlins overcome your bid management tool.
Increased Expense: While some bid management software is available at an affordable price point, the more comprehensive tools with higher functionality will often set you back several hundred pounds per month – with some becoming ever more expensive as your business grows and you add new users.
This can be compounded if the bid management tool requires an extra investment to integrate with the other tools (like QuickBooks, for example) that you may be using to run other parts of your business.
Can Be Overwhelming To Use: Bid management software usually offers a vast array of features – which is great – but this can make it more difficult to find the things you actually want to use!
Plus, if you’re investing a sizeable sum of money every month in order to have access to a bid management tool, it can be frustrating to only use a small part of it, while not knowing how to use the other functions. And if you do decide to handle as many of your operations through the bid management tool as you can, this creates a need to train individuals throughout your organisation on how to use the software as you want them to.
In addition, by using a single software tool to manage several key parts of your business, you are making yourself dependent on that tool, which can be a problem if there comes a time when you wish to stop using it.
May Be Ineffective When The Internet Connection Is Poor: If you often work in an environment with a poor internet connection – such as an office with incomplete coverage, or on remote building sites, for example – then you may not get the best use of your bid management software, since many of them (particularly those which are primarily cloud-based) require reliable internet access in order to function properly.
This can be a serious issue if your business comes to depend on having uninterrupted access to the bid management tool in order to operate effectively.
Making The Most Of Bid Management Software
Of course, finding the right bid management software for your needs is only one part of the complex bidding process.
Besides this, you will need to get the right bid writing team in place, identify the most appropriate contracts for your business to bid on, manage your team into producing the strongest possible bids for these opportunities, put each bid through a comprehensive review process and then submit it before a certain deadline, keep track of your successful and unsuccessful bids, and hold regular debriefs where you can learn from these successes and failures to create better bids in future.
These are all areas that our expert team excel in, so if you want to give your business the best chance to secure lucrative new contracts through the bid and tender process, be sure to give us a call!