Here we have our top tender tip regarding bid libraries!
Bid libraries can be an invaluable tool to organisations and bid teams who are tendering regularly for contract work. But our top tender tip to you would be to make sure you don’t fall into some very costly bad habits that can come with such a resource.
It is all too easy when you have a bid library to forget the most important rules when tendering. You see a question about quality management, for example, and think you have a response for that from another bid you have recently submitted. You pop into your library, copy the response and paste it over.
Noo! When you do this you stop doing the initial work that you need to do to ensure that you are going to score highly. You haven’t deconstructed the question, which invariably is going to be phrased differently and have different emphasises that the one you answered previously. You haven’t considered the different specifications between the two tenders, and how this should be influencing the pros you put into a response.
You also haven’t considered how recent the copy is that you are lifting from your library. Has your organisation changed or improved its arrangements around Quality Management since then? Maybe you now have a fancy UKAS ISO9001:2015 certificate? Perhaps the response could have scored higher in the first place, or you have been given feedback that you are yet to incorporate within your library. There are so many ways in which simply copying a response and pasting it over is detrimental to your approach to tendering.
Instead we propose a different approach to bid libraries. It is very important to have a centralised database of facts, figures and evidence of all shapes and sizes. These are the things that will not only inform your narrative responses, but will also help you stand out from the crowd.
You need to have your policies, procedures, certificates, examples, case studies, evidence and a solid body of statistics and reports etc that you can use for each bid. You can even keep hold of previous responses that you know have scored particularly highly, but you should never simply drag and drop these into new tenders. These should be used as a jumping off point only, something to inform your narrative, to make sure you don’t forget to mention anything important. The structure of the response should always reflect the specific question you are answering, and so should that specific specification. This structure should then inform the narrative you create.
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