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Our Guide to Tender Management

Written by


Mar 24, 2021

Tender management is an important part of the bids and tender process as it allows a business to streamline their processes and potentially secure more important bid opportunities. There are many ways in which tendering can be managed and at Thornton & Lowe, we have specialised tender management systems and software available to help businesses keep on top of their tenders.

What is a tender?

When an organisation, public sector or private sector, requires outsourced work, services or goods, they can advertise this need through a tendering platform or invite businesses to bid for the contract to fulfil the requirement. When this tender is put out and businesses are allowed to bid, this is referred to as an Invitation to Tender (ITT).

This invitation will detail the job in full, whether it be a supply of goods or providing services to complete a particular project. If you want more details on tender writing and responding to tender requests, read our blog on tender writing tips.

What is tender management?

Having the right systems and procedures to maximise win rates is crucial when a business deals with lots of bids and tenders or high value, strategic, must-win opportunities. Having some form of tender management means that your whole tendering process will be overseen, and current and new tenders will be effectively managed and tracked.

Having your tendering process specifically managed means that not only will current tenders be monitored, but the process of finding new tenders and contracts that would be appropriate for your company to bid on is much easier. This leaves your team with more time to focus on lengthy and important bid writing and responding to tender documents.

Why is tender management important?

Are you a company that deals with a high volume of tender opportunities or relies on securing tenders in order to maintain your business? In these instances, tender management is indispensable to success.

One of the most common reasons that businesses lose tenders is due to mismanagement of the opportunity, therefore not investing enough time into preparing a response, or conversely spending too much time on a tender in which they had little chance of securing, thus impacting other prospects and potentially missing deadlines. If you often deal with bids and tenders, you will most likely have to deal with the following:

You are working on multiple tenders, therefore have a large amount of tender documents and files to manage and most importantly, differing deadlines.

You have a team of people working on many different elements of a tender, from searching for opportunities, to gathering necessary information and writing, reviewing and submitting the bid.

  • Are assessing whether a Smart Grant is right for you
  • Want to know if your idea is a good fit
  • Need support writing the grant and completing the required research
  • Would like to have your application reviewed by an expert Bid Writer who can offer advice with regards to compliance and added value opportunities, before it is submitted

Each of these important elements of the tender process are difficult to maintain without proper tender management. This is where having a comprehensive and unique system in place can support your business, monitor deadlines and team members and easily house all necessary files. Our systems Tender Pipeline and Tender Library, detailed below, are the perfect tools for effective tender management

What is a tender management system?

A tender management system is a system, process or piece of software that can effectively manage your tender processes. Much like a Bid Manager who oversees a bid team and their writing, a tender management system can support all of your tendering processes, teams and managers.

Thornton & Lowe have specialised tender management software that can provide much needed support to businesses working with tenders:

Tender Pipeline

Tender Pipeline is a free piece of software that can help you to search for relevant bids. In the tender management process, Tender Pipeline can quickly and effectively narrow down your search radius and target tenders in which you have the best chance of winning. This leaves time for you and your team to focus on other important areas, such as writing bids.

You can also set up alerts and receive notifications in regards to specific tenders. For example, if you were searching for marketing tenders in Manchester, Tender Pipeline will narrow results down and alert you when a tender relevant to this topic and location becomes available to bid for.

Tender Pipeline can save a team:

Money: Tender Pipeline is a free system, allowing you to access relevant tenders without the need for a team member focusing solely on this.

Time: The team member previously in charge of searching for tenders can spend less time sifting through inappropriate tenders.

Tender Library

Tender Library is a tender management software that searches, tracks and manages a company’s tender documents in one system. Our system can narrow down relevant documents and can manage your bid and tender team through a simple collation of information that all team members can easily access.

When your tenders are in progress, Tender Library can:

  • Manage bid or no bid decisions by assessing the likelihood of success.
  • Track a tenders progress and use this to effectively manage teams and increase productivity in the right areas.
  • Highlight priorities and therefore deadlines within the system, and can send your team alerts when a deadline is upcoming.
  • House important information, including; previous tender documents, templates, lost tender feedback and company facts - these can be easily accessed and utilised when needed.
  • Track team member’s performances, monitor their progress and support them through prioritising their workload.

This system can help to make tender writing and responding up to 30% more efficient for your bid team, and that in turn will show an improvement in bid quality. Every step of your tendering process can be managed with clarity and ease. If you are looking to outsource your tender management and want your team to be supported by a comprehensive system, Tender Library is a great tool.

Tender management process

The tender management process involves finding the right bid for your company by narrowing selections down, tracking the progress of the tender, passing it on to the bid writing team and monitoring their deadlines.

The tender management process mainly focuses on the work done before a bid is sent off to the business looking for the service or goods, and monitors the complete tender process. Effective management ensures that this process is streamlined, monitored and sent off at its best, with added focus on it being sent out on time.

Do I need tender management?

If your business is:

  • Not finding the right opportunities
  • Missing out on opportunities
  • Missing deadlines
  • Losing bids
  • Spending time on unrealistic tenders

… then a tender management system could be beneficial to you.

Having effective tender management will ensure that your chosen tenders follow your budget, location restrictions, industry sectors and availability which will all increase your likelihood of success. This is important to focus on as a business before time, money and effort is spent on ineffective bid writing.

A tender management system will ensure that no tender is missed by sending reminders to your team, and that the right bids are being decided upon.

How can Thornton & Lowe aid in tender management?

Tender Pipeline and Tender Library are great resources that can aid in tender management. We can offer you a demonstration of Tender Library so that you can better understand the system and decide whether this could be beneficial to your company. Our systems will help you to track and manage your tendering process and teams and keep on top of things without needing a dedicated individual, freeing up resources to use in other areas.

Get in touch with us today if you have any questions about tender management and the systems that we offer, and see how we can help to streamline your tender management processes.

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