Focused on winning. Since 1980

Touches of brilliance are not enough


Bid response documents

When looking closely at the bid response documents submitted by hundreds of different contractors for technical contracts, Iíve seen some amazing stuff. Touches of brilliance in strategy, words, pictures and layout.

One or two firms had a great Cover Page. A few had an impeccable and compelling Covering Letter. Others had an Executive Summary to die for.  One or two had pictures worth their weight in gold. But what Iíve never seen is excellence in every part, from cover to appendix.

One professional services contractor sent me copies of two competitorsí recent bid documents, to compare with their own. Several aspects of the competitorsí bids stood out to me as excellent: yet my client needed help to spot them and improve their own documents to compete.

An engineering contractor had several branches, each doing their own tender bids. Each branch had developed excellence in some part or parts of the planning, research, writing and graphics stages. But this excellence was ignored by other branches. How very odd for management to not leverage strengths that already exist in a firm.

The more bright ideas the better

The more bright people who get closely involved with producing a companyís contract bid responses, the more bright ideas are likely to arise, be trialled and improved further. Great products and services with flawless credentials are wasted if they are not highlighted in great contract bids.

Standing well ahead of bright ideas are basic rules for bid planning, research, production and checking. People trained in these rules, and armed with written guidelines, are much more likely to project brilliance that will fly straight to success.

Bottom line: Good contracts are scarcer than ever and harder to win. This means that excellence should show clearly in every stage of planning and producing bid response documents.

(c) This Opinion by Tom Evison was first published by Tecads in June 2017

Read more tender tips
Contact Tom Evison