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Make a winning impression with your bids

Most would agree that bid management is often a time-consuming and arduous process. If poorly executed, you can quickly put yourself out of the running for a lucrative contract.

Best practice involves adopting a number of key procedures that will make your bid document significantly more effective.

By following these guides on pre-qualification questionnaires, tender submissions, framework processes or interviews, for either public or private sector contracts, you always make the right impression.

Provide evidence

Perhaps surprisingly, there are a number of errors that bidders often make. Common mistakes include simply not reading the questions properly, supplying the wrong answer because they have failed to understand the question, or only giving incomplete answers due to lack of time.

A PQQ is basically a document that allows the client to make an informed decision based on the historical evidence you supply. If you can’t produce the evidence, you won’t get through.

People often misunderstand what is meant by “evidence”. They might include all sorts of inappropriate forms and supporting documents in an attempt to prove a point, or give unnecessarily elaborate responses and undermine the quality of their answer.

The required evidence may, in fact, need only be a clear statement explaining precisely when and where something was done.

Implement an effective management process

One of the biggest challenges your business faces when completing a PQQ is the tight deadline, particularly with other routine pressures to manage. But there are ways to combat this. You must implement a good management process for completing every PQQ and tender submission.

Store all standard documentation in one central location for easy access. Make sure you can quickly retrieve previously submitted responses, and so avoid having to rewrite answers time and time again.

After all, PQQs will generally ask the same type of questions, even if worded differently. As a contractor, you should maintain systems that allow you to easily collect and employ evidence, collateral documents and certificates.

Show your capabilities

Clearly, it’s vital to establish on paper that you have all the capabilities required to perform a given job. You must be able to demonstrate this through the use of case studies and by creating CVs for your team that display their relevant project experience.

Think of it as telling a story that reveals how your members of staff will add value to the job.

Store supporting documentation securely PQQs require considerable amounts of supporting documentation. Making sure you have a safe, reliable and consistent method for their storage and retrieval is a must. That way, you can reuse the information without having to repeatedly source it for each PQQ and tender submission.

Smart design stands out

It’s hard to overstate the advantages that a professionally designed submission document has over one that isn’t.

Smart design will give it more impact and make a text-heavy submission much easier to read and understand - and therefore more memorable. All text must be thoroughly reviewed and layouts enhanced with graphics where appropriate.

Improve communication

The economic downturn of recent times has reduced the amount of work available. Every job for a local authority, and increasingly for private sector clients, requires the completion of a PQQ.

However, whereas bid teams tend to be part of the head office staff, the construction teams are primarily site-based.

Historically, the two rarely have much involvement with each other. But for a successful PQQ submission, good communication and mutual support between the two teams is essential.

Andy Hammond is managing director at consultancy Propeller Studios. Its product EasyPQQ coordinates and manages the PQQ and tender process online