The short answer is that it’s a collection of documents that contain information that speak to the varying requirements of tender submissions. The information has been fine-tuned over the course of multiple submissions, saving time and improving the quality of a company’s bids with each update.
An efficient tender management system is one that makes information easily accessible, ensures continuous improvement, and provides Bid Management continuity planning (ensuring all information is not solely with an individual or team).
It can be called a Tender Bank, Bid Library, or Boilerplate templates. Whatever term you use, it is essential for businesses that regularly respond to tenders.
A bid library is constantly adapting to feedback with each submission. In this course we look at how to create a bid library, essential documents for inclusion, and how to adapt feedback into your existing library.
Creating a Tender Library
The worst time to create a Tender library is when you’re writing a tender. It should not be an afterthought, but rather part of the planning process that begins well before a submission is live.
When you’re up against a tight deadline, there is no better feeling than knowing you have current and compliant information to help you answer the questions and populate the appendices.
Planning ahead is the key to success when tendering – you will save time and vastly improve the quality of your tenders. A constantly adapting bid library will see your success rate improve.
The best place to begin is with previous submissions (should you have them). Analysing these responses will give you an idea of questions to expect, along with how to answer them.
If you have no previous submissions, think about what questions you are likely to come across and start planning appropriate answers.
List your past experience and develop case studies for stand out contracts.
From a practical standpoint, create a main folder called ‘Tender Library’ (or whatever name is appropriate for your business). Within that folder you can start to build a framework by creating sub-folders.
Here are the documents that are absolutely essential to a good bid library. You can name your sub-folders based on these essential items.
A selection of model answers based on previous submissions or commonly occurring questions. This is the most flexible part of the bid library and is constantly changing with feedback. Your model answers need to be targeted responses that articulate the best version of what you have to offer.
Case studies of previous contracts that highlight your company’s strengths are essential. It is worthwhile creating industry-specific or service specific sub-folders within your case studies folder, to save you trawling through forgotten or unrelated case studies and experience.
Policies and procedures
Up to date policies and procedures formatted with a company template. Your HR department should be able to provide you with copies of the most commonly request policies and procedures.
Recent testimonials for previous or current contracts. Make sure your testimonials are well written. They should not be too long, but contain all the vital information about what service or product you provided, how you went above and beyond in delivering that service or product, and a strong and clear statement of recommendation. If you do not have any testimonials, it is worth allocating this specific job to a staff member to focus on or hiring a writer to interview your most valued customers. The value of an excellent testimonial cannot be underestimated.
Accounts and insurances
Having these to hand will save time during the submission. You will need to obtain copies of the most recent certificates so ensure you mark the expiry date in your diary so you are not caught out at the last minute.
Proof of any relevant accreditations such as ISO, SafetyMap or others relevant to your industry.
CVs and profiles of key team members. As each relevant staff member commences with your organisation, ensure that the marketing department write up a CV or profile in the company style to add to your existing bank of staff profiles.
A strong work-shopped executive summary to be adapted to the specific bid.
If you’re new to the tender world or are looking to take your bids to the next level, reach out and let’s discuss you unique tender needs. I’ve been working in the industry for over 18 years now and I remain committed to helping my clients to maximise their business results.
Or download my free Tender Cheat Sheet, to get you started.