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What does a Bid Manager do?

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Jul 19, 2023

With procurement increasing emphasis on bidding, the industry has developed at speed. However, this growth has brought confusion and a lack of consistency in bid titles. Specifically, the responsibilities associated with roles such as Bid Coordinators, Bid Writers and Bid Managers and Bid Consultants have become blurred.

What is a Bid Manager?

As defined by APMP, a Bid Manager is responsible for managing a bid or proposal opportunity from qualification to contract award, including:

  • Early and ongoing strategy development
  • Legal review
  • Solution development
  • Winning price development
  • Partner identification
  • Risk Management
  • Proposal development
  • Stakeholder manager
  • Managing customer relationships during procurement

What does a Bid Manager do?

Bid Managers oversee the Bid Management (BM) process, taking ultimate responsibility for sourcing and delivering quality tenders on-time and within your businesses’ reasonable ability.

Demonstrating the kinds of responsibilities a Bid Manager holds, we have broken the job role down into 9 key areas:

Bid Preparation: BM begins with the preparation of bid documents and requirements. For the Bid Manager, this involves:

  • Reading the Request for Proposal (RFP)/Invitation to Tender (ITT)/specification to clearly define the scope of the procurement
  • Outlining technical requirements, delivery schedules, terms and conditions, evaluation criteria, and any other relevant information.

Pre-bid, the Bid Manager may also attend industry events/network with stakeholders to gain additional information and promote your solution to prospective buyers.

Bid Identification and Communication: Bid Managers recognise that is essential to proactively identify bidding opportunities that align with your capabilities and target market. They do this by keeping track of public procurement portals, such as Tender Pipeline, industry-specific platforms, and networking with procurement professionals to help discover relevant bidding opportunities.

Once identified, Bid Managers will actively communicate with the organisation issuing the bid, seek clarifications, and ensure that they have a clear understanding of the bid requirements before the tender is submitted.

Sales and marketing: Often overlooked in public procurement, Business to Government (B2G) marketing is incredibly important for suppliers looking to win public sector contracts. This is because, like with public procurement, the buyer will research suppliers during the tender process. Check out our guide for maximising your public sector sales and marketing approach and read more about why this is important.

Bid development and submission: Bid Managers will then develop a compelling bid that showcases your company’s expertise, value proposition, and competitive pricing. As a supplier, you must carefully craft your bid response, addressing each requirement and demonstrating how your offering meets the organisation's needs.

As such, attention to detail, adhering to submission guidelines, and submitting the bid within the specified timeframe are critical skills for Bid Managers to possess.

Bid evaluation: After submitting your bid, the buyer’s BM Team will evaluate all received bids. As a supplier, it is crucial for your Bid Manager to have a thorough understanding of the evaluation criteria and how your bid will be assessed. By tracking the progress of the evaluation process and actively engaging with the buyer to address any clarification requests or enquiries, Bid Managers can stay informed and improve your chances of success.

Negotiation and contract award: If your bid is shortlisted or selected, BM involves your Bid Manager engaging in negotiation discussions with the buyer. This includes discussing terms and conditions, pricing, delivery schedules, and other contractual aspects to reach mutually beneficial agreements.

Being prepared for negotiations, having a clear understanding of your value proposition, and effectively communicating your capabilities and strengths are essential during this stage.

Contract fulfilment: Your Bid Manager’s job extends beyond contract award. Once a contract is awarded, effective BM involves fulfilling the contract obligations diligently. It requires delivering the goods or services according to the agreed-upon terms, meeting quality standards, adhering to delivery schedules, and maintaining open communication with the buyer to address any issues or concerns that may arise during the contract period.

Relationship Management: Your Bid Manager will be responsible for building and maintaining a positive relationship with the buyer. This is important as developing a reputation for reliability, professionalism, and excellent service can increase your chances of future bidding success. By regularly engaging with the buyer, seeking feedback, and actively addressing their needs and concerns, your Bid Manager will be an invaluable tool to contribute to fostering a strong and enduring working partnership.

Continuous improvement: Successful BM involves a Bid Manager to continuously learn from feedback and improve your bidding strategies. As a supplier, it is important to evaluate the outcomes of your bids, analyse lessons learned, and identify areas for enhancement.

This may include refining your bid development process, improving your understanding of customer requirements, and adapting your approach based on market trends and feedback received.

How Thornton & Lowe can help manage your bids

We recognise that BM can seem overwhelming to SMEs and suppliers unfamiliar with the public sector procurement process. In response to popular request, we have launched a Public Sector Contract Management service to relieve SMEs of this often-challenging workload.

For more information, get in touch and let us be the Bid Managers that steer you to public sector success!

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