Writing Tenders & PQQs

Bid Management Team: Bid Managers and the Bid Team Explained

One of the elements of great bid management is a good bid team. Teamwork really helps improve your chances of winning tenders.

Bid Management Team Organisation Chart

Larger business will often have bid writing departments and bid managers. They will also be used to assembling bid teams to tackle complex tenders. But smaller businesses often overlook how important teamwork is in winning tenders. In our work as Tender Consultants we often find that SMEs only have one person dealing with tenders. This is potentially limiting their chances of success.

Forming a Bid Team and nominating a Bid Manager will help you to produce higher quality tender responses.  The diagram below shows the key elements of a Bid Team:

What is Bid Management?

It is the process of project managing a tender, sales proposal or pitch from start to finish.

It includes completion of the all aspects detailed below, managing people and ensuring everything is completed in a timely manner.

Ideally, bid management starts before before the issue of a tender. That way, the team is better prepared to compete. It ends sometime post-award. That ensures the hand-over to the team running the contract is seamless. And everything agreed in the bid (from the supplier and customer) is covered.

The Bid Manager

The Bid Manager has overall responsibility for the tender or PQQ and leading the Bid Team. He or she will undertake project or ‘Bid Management’ of the tender. This involves pulling together a Bid Team and coordinating the team to ensure that everything is completed properly and on time.

How to Answer Social Value Tender Questions

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 became law on the 8th March 2012 and went live 31st January 2013. Public sector now have to consider social value as part of any procurement. Not just value for money (cost and quality). So now you may have to respond to social value tender questions when bidding for public sector contracts.

How to Answer Social Value Tender Questions

What is Social Value in Tendering?

The Act requires authorities to make the following considerations at the pre-procurement stage:

  • How what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the “relevant area
  • How in conducting a procurement process it might act with a view to securing that improvement

Some tenders have method statement questions on what social value you will provide. Others have social value calculator Excel spreadsheets to complete (see below).

Some public sector tenders completely ignored social value when tendering! But the Government’s latest measures (below) reinforce the need to include social value in tender evaluation.

Some tenders weight social value as high as 10-30% of the total possible score! So, there can be a lot at stake.

Social Value Tender Questions

Social value tender questions can appear daunting at first. But once you start to understand social value, they become a lot easier. These types of tender questions can also help local businesses to score higher than non-local competitors. The reason is that they are already contributing to their local “relevant area”. For example:

Economic – employment, training and work-experience opportunities for local people.

Environmental – local staff, local suppliers and local work reduces your carbon footprint.

Social – supporting local community initiatives e.g. charities, local amateur sports teams etc.

Many of the terms used by councils and government can be confusing: “social integration and community cohesion” and “community development and engagement“. But in fact most of it is common sense. Here are some typical areas for social value and how you might respond:

Badly Written Tender Documents

Do you ever wonder why some Invitation to Tender documents are so poor?

Badly Written Tender Documents

Maybe you think that ALL tenders are bad! That’s understandable. However, decisions on large purchases need to taken with care; that is why organisations use the tendering process. Furthermore, the public sector must follow rules which can make some tenders more complicated.

Nevertheless, none of that excuses:

  • Confusing / incorrect specifications
  • Too much detail requested
  • Irrelevant or overly complex questions
  • Overlapping or repeated questions – asking the same things over again
  • Excessively complicated instructions / procedures

Why are Some Tenders Written so Badly?

It’s clear that some ITTs are not thought out properly. There can be many reasons for this:

The Alternative Bid and Tendering

The alternative bid is a very powerful tool in winning tenders but it is often overlooked. Here is a quick guide on how it can increase your chances of tendering success.

The Alternative Bid and Tendering

What is an Alternative Bid?

In simple terms, it means offering something different to what is being asked for in the invitation to tender (ITT). For example, an ITT specifies using a particular brand of product, the alternative bid can be to offer different brand.

When to Use an Alternative Bid

Use only when there is a benefit to the customer. If the ITT specifies using Brand X but you are certain that using Brand Y would save them money, time or provide some other benefit then it would be good to offer an alternative using Brand Y.

Other examples of alternative bids include:

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