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Competitive bidding and the role of the bid team leader

Competitive bidding and tendering is where different organisations are asked to speculatively tender for a contract in competition with others.

It is a transparent procurement method in which you and your competing suppliers and contractors are invited to bid against an openly advertised contract scope and terms. Competitive tendering aims to let buying organisations get goods and services for the best combination of price and performance. At the same time, it stimulates competition, and avoids favouritism and conflicts of interest.

By definition the competition results in winners and losers and our aim is to be the winner but ultimately it has to be right for them too, the win/win scenario. Putting together the best bid is much more than offering your services at a low price.

A good bid will be expertly put together by a great team, each member bringing knowledge and skills to the table. They will all work together towards the common goal.

The role of the bid team leader

Dealing with a variety of different stakeholders brings many challenges. A good bid team leader must be a good juggler to keep all the balls, in the air: members of his own team, other departments within the organisation, agents and, of course, the potential customer.

The leader needs to be forward thinking, developing new ideas as the bid, products and services evolve. They are responsible for: maintaining a level of excellence from the team’s output; effectively managing the tendering process from inception to completion; and ensuring that bids are produced in accordance with internal protocols and required timescales.

Specifically the bid team leader’s responsibilities include:

  • Project management including the engagement and management of multiple stakeholders
  • Client engagement
  • Planning and prioritising the proposal and bid documentation
  • Input into complex solution design process
  • Producing regular bid status reports and communicating them tosenior management
  • Management and development of the bid team
  • Driving new ideas to evolve the bid team

Above and beyond these, a truly excellent bid team leader must have the ability to add value, be a complex thinker and be able to network well. They will possess drive, determination and natural enthusiasm; and be proactive hands-on team players to perform this vital role in helping the business run smoothly.

Key tips

Qualities of an excellent bid team leader:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to manage and develop a bid team
  • Analytical approach
  • Ability to motivate people
  • Good time management skills
  • Good people skills for building relationships with colleagues at all levels
  • Calmness under pressure
  • Decision-making ability