While choosing to manage a bid ‘inhouse’ without the use of a bid team is sometimes necessary and considered cost effective, it can pose problems much wider than the quality of the bid itself.
Lack of impartiality
Being part of an organisation can sometimes mean a lack of impartiality in terms of asking the difficult questions, despite your best efforts to approach things critically. Having organisational loyalty is natural and admirable, however it may prevent you from making clear decisions regarding your company’s suitability to bid. This can also occur among more junior employees who may be reluctant to challenge superiors despite having valuable and valid criticisms when reviewing the bid.
Utilising inappropriate resources
Not all organisations have the luxury of dedicated bid personnel and can often pull in resources from multiple departments to pitch in. While this is sometimes necessary, it can be problematic. Employees can be forced to pull away from delivering profitable work and an over reliance on employees with unsuitable skillsets can occur, resulting in a poorly executed proposal.
Underestimating the time it takes to produce a bid is a common downfall and the value of collaborative workshops is vast. Many of the team will have ‘business as usual’ responsibilities, meaning free time to work on the bid is likely to be sparse.
Absence of clear role definition
If bidding or winning work is not a clearly defined role in an employee’s job title then it is important to understand their motivation. Are they being rewarded or recognised for the extra work they are contributing to bidding outside of their usual role? Are they clear about what is expected of them? In some cases, this can be demotivating for employees and result in work related to bidding being looked upon negatively.
Bidding is not an easy task. Time, dedication, teamwork, and passion all go into a bid. Over reliance on internal resources can result in tired employees working overtime risking a dip in moral and the potential for burnout.
Consider the overall cost of producing a bid using internal versus external resources including the possible impacts upon the day-to-day running of the business. Work out the total labour hours used internally against the potential revenue to be gained should the contract be secured. This is a worthwhile exercise in understanding the true cost of bidding. Then, consider seeking external resources to manage, write or review the bid – freeing up and reducing pressure on internal staff while ensuring process impartiality and clear delineation of bid responsibilities.