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You may have responded to several tenders in the past but ended up not winning any of them. Such a situation can be disappointing and frustrating. Here, you need to review if you are submitting bids in the right manner. If you are unsure about it, you can seek bid consulting services. Bid consultants will work with you to submit a winning bid. This article will explain what a bid management consultancy is, its roles and its benefits.
What is bid management consultancy?
The main role of a bid management consultancy firm is to assist businesses, large and small, in submitting a winning bid and help them secure contracts. They can handhold you in the entire bidding process i.e., from finding the right tender, filling in tenders, documentation, submission and then post-submission processes. Some of the key services provided by a bid management consultancy firm include:
- Finding the right opportunities to bid for
- Helping with filling in details and preparing a bid document
- Documentation for e-tendering
- Attending pre-bidding meetings
- Attending bid opening sessions
Bid management consultants usually have the required experience and expertise in preparing bids and hence increases your chances of you winning a contract.
When should you hire a bid management consultancy?
Larger companies usually hire a bid manager, who is a dedicated resource to find the right opportunities and is involved in the entire tendering process. However, MSMEs often do not have the resources to hire a full-fledged bid manager. They often are not even aware of the benefits of bid management services or feel that tendering, especially government tenders are out of their reach.
In such a scenario, bid consultancy becomes a more viable option. MSMEs can hire a bid management consultant in the following cases:
- If you are new to online tendering and unsure about the right way to bid
- If you have limited bandwidth
- If you are new to the online tender submission procedure
- If you have no in-house experience of writing bids
Why use a bid management consultancy service?
As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest advantages of investing in hiring a bid management consultancy is taking advantage of their skills, experience and knowledge of bidding the right way. Here are some other reasons why hiring bid management consultancy services is useful.
Finding the right opportunity
The bid consultancy firm has the required experience in bidding. It can find the right tenders for you to participate in. You do not need to scroll through several websites looking for a relevant opportunity. Moreover, a relevant opportunity does not mean it is the right one. It has to be aligned with your business goals.
For instance, government PSUs and organisations release multiple tenders every month. Since the bid consultant browses through several tenders on a daily basis, they are more aware of the available opportunities. Additionally, they know eligibility criteria and exemption rules better, and hence can easily identify the right opportunity for you.
For example, startups are exempted from the criterion of having previous work experience. As result, they can help you to position your bid accordingly and help you participate in the bidding process as a startup.
That’s not all. A bid consultant will also help you to register your business on the government portals for government eTendering. For instance, it can guide you through the GeM portal registration process to ensure that you can leverage the benefits of the Government eMarketplace.
Doing market research
Before starting the preparation of a tender document, the bid consultancy firm conducts thorough market research that increases your chances of winning.
For example, if the consultancy is helping you in filling a tender for providing coffee vending machines to the buyer, it will try finding out several details from the market. These include when did the same buyer float a similar tender in the past? What was the winning price quoted then? What were other important terms and conditions? etc. These offer more insights and helps in preparing the tender response in a better manner.
Preparing tender response
MSMEs often lack the knack for writing a winning tender. Meaning the art of highlighting capabilities and establishing trust of delivering on time has to be underlined. The bid consultancy firm makes sure that your strengths are reflected in your bid response. As a result, it gives the buyer confidence to award you the contract increasing your chances of winning.
For instance, high-value tenders such as NTPC tenders or NPCIL tenders, often have specific forms and formats of tender submission. Having worked in similar opportunities, bid consultants have the knowledge and expertise to fill in such contracts as per the prescribe formats, submit required documents, pay fees on time and ensure that all aspects of the tender are adhered to while writing the tender response.
More chances of winning the contract
Winning a contract through the tendering process is a culmination of efforts put into choosing the right tender to bid, way of writing the response, quoting the right tender price, etc. Since a bid consulting firm helps you to put your best foot forward, your chances of winning increase.
Hiring a bid management consultancy can save you time in many ways. For example, it frees you up from finding the right tender, writing the tender response, collating documentation, and so on. You can save considerable time in the process and focus on other areas of your business that might need attention.
Offers an edge over competitors
As your bid response projects your strengths, documentation is complete, more insights into buyer’s behaviour and pricing is right, your chances of winning are high. This automatically helps you to shine over your competitors that may be participating in the same tender. The more tenders you win, the better is it for the growth of your business.
Post bid follow up
If you do not win the contract most bid consultants help in post bid follow-ups that include the refund of earnest money deposit (EMD), etc.
The CPP portal regularly updates the tender status and the final bid awards i.e., results of tenders. Bid consultants regularly follow up on these to ensure that you don’t miss an update and are well prepared for your next application.
How to choose the right bid consultancy firm?
You can enjoy all the benefits of having a bid consultancy, provided you select the right one for your business. Here are some points to consider.
Experience: Check how long the consultancy is in this business and what kind of experience they have. What kind of clients they have served in the past? For instance, if you are looking at applying for regional tender opportunities (e.g., opportunities in Maharashtra state tenders or Andhra Pradesh eProcurement tenders) then find a consultant you has experience in working on state tenders.
Understanding of your business: When the bid consultancy understands your business, then only it can find the right opportunities for you. Hence, you need to make sure that they understand your business well and are aligned with your business goals.
The capability of research: Knowing things like buyer’s behavior, patterns of contract winning, etc. make a difference while in a cutthroat competition. Therefore, make sure that the bid consultant has the required knowledge and capability to gain these insights if needed.
Read terms and conditions: Before you proceed with doing business with any bid consultant, read and understand all terms and conditions. This will help you to avoid disputes later.
Understand their charges and rates: Bid consulting services will come at a cost. It’s important that you check with the firm on their fees and charges and payment terms along with scope of work to ensure that there are no surprises later on.
Concluding points to ponder upon
- Hiring a bid management consultancy does not guarantee the contract win. But it increases your chances of winning by avoiding common mistakes in tendering.
- Although you can save a lot of time by hiring a bid consulting firm, it also means that you reveal crucial information about your business to a third party. Hence you need to be careful while choosing a consultant. Trust is a major factor here. Ensure that you draw a legal contract with the firm with details on privacy policies, company data, and more.
- Check what suits you the best – hiring an in-house bid manager or hiring a bid consultant. It depends on various aspects and is a completely business choice.