The first few weeks of the new year can feel kind of lacking in dynamism, but you can use this time set yourself up for 12 months of submission success by reviewing your bid library content. You can read my blog on what you need to set up a bid library here. The more content you can refresh, update and prepare ahead of forthcoming bid deadlines, the easier it will be to complete and submit work. Here is your checklist for your new year bid library and collateral review.
Review and update your standard supplier questionnaire
One of the best bidding evolutions over the past few years is the introduction of the standard supplier questionnaire (SSQ), reducing the administration burden by requiring one standard questionnaire. Review your SSQ and identify the information that will need to be updated throughout the year, for example insurances and finances, and diarise when these updates will need to happen and who will be responsible for providing the information.
Review bid content
Check-in with the content owners – has the process changed in this business area since this section was written? Are there any other pieces of evidence you can write about to prove your claims? Update the copy with the changes and run it past the owner to get their sign-off. A wide range of information needs to be updated throughout the year, including human resources data and health and safety/RIDDOR statistics. Be clear about who needs to provide this.
Make reviewing and updating your policy statements one of the first jobs of the year. Check the content – are the aims and objectives still applicable, and can an update be provided on outcomes? Finally, change the date to the new year, create a pdf and you’re good to go.
Update case studies
Case studies should be regularly reviewed throughout the year, but January provides a good opportunity to go through them all to check that copy is written in the correct tense, photographs are current (or final), and any missing information is completed.
There will be members of your team whose CVs are regularly used for bids and pitches, but it’s worth going through the entire library to assess content. Are there any sectors which will be a business development focus over the coming year? Get these prepared in advance, identifying the key projects each person has delivered. You can refer to my earlier blog post on how to write winning construction CVs.
Sharpen up your marketing messaging
Which sectors are you targeting this year? Why is your offer in this sector unique and how do you help to solve clients’ problems and issues? Review this messaging and make sure it is robustly evidenced throughout your project examples and other collateral.
Put together draft capability statements and presentations
Putting together draft capability statements, comprising an outline introduction, case studies and CVs will get you off to a flying start if a client asks for a ‘quick document’. While these documents are indeed ‘small’, they can really clog up the efficiency of a bid team and having outlines to hand can come in very handy.
Clean up your content container
However you store your library content, whether in bespoken software or in folders on a server, take the time out to clean it up periodically, archiving anything you longer need (but never completely deleting). This allows the good stuff to be visible when you need it.
Create a roadmap or directory
When I’m building bid libraries for clients, I create a roadmap or directory of information, to allow easy location of information, as well as providing a starter for ten when answering tricky questions. The roadmap provides links to policy documents and response documents, as well as lists of key words that relate to each section. I’ve included an example bid library roadmap here for you to download and implement for yourself.
What other actions would you include for a new year bid library clean-up? Do you do this throughout the year or at other times?
If you need help putting together your bid library to enable you to get bid ready for 2020, please get in touch.