Proposal quality is a challenge for many organisations. Bid Management International has been involved in proposal management for two decades. Since 1998 or for 17 years we have tracked proposal quality using metrics. We have participated in over 1500 bids across multiple industries in multiple countries.
Application of Bid Metrics
We need to say from the outset that Bid Metrics does not apply to all proposals. The proposals that benefit from our approach are in response to a competitive procurement - those where the Buyer sends a set of documents to the market and then evaluates all submitted bids as part of formal process.
Proposal Improvement Initiatives that Don’t Improve Proposals
We don’t deal in literacy or writing skills except in the area of applied linguistics. We have developed a framework for producing responses that applies language for the specific purpose of enabling success in the purchasing evaluation process. That doesn’t mean we think strong literacy skills aren’t important. We know they are and we know there are great companies in the market who can sort these issues out.
We work with small, medium and global corporations and have participated in multiple global Proposal Improvement Initiatives. Generally there are 5 priority areas within these Initiatives and 2 of these are Skills Development for Authors and Re-use Materials. We have tracked two organisations in particular over the last decade one with 317,500 employees and the other with 177,800. And the results are the same: no Initiative improved proposal quality in any significant way. The question is why? And the answer is simple: a traditional view on what constitutes proposal quality has no measure. It is subjective. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
The Journey that Brought Us to Today
Our services to market have evolved as our solutions have evolved. After a couple of false starts, our journey as a Supplementary Resource Supplier in the Bid Management space began in August 1998 when we were approached by Digital Equipment Corporation to assist with a bid. We subsequently developed a bid management methodology to supplement our service and for 8 years our Bid Managers supported large, complex bids globally. Our solutions included the establishment and maintenance of outsourced bid management functions (read about one of those here). And we had a success rate just above 82%.
Building Bid Capability and The Bid Bureau
Our experience in supporting bids taught us many things but two were key: our methodology was successful and bid management capability is a core enterprise function. In 2006, we transformed our service offering into a change consulting solution targeted at increasing internal bid capability with a focus on proposal quality. The scope of services included licensing of BMI proposal development methodologies and tools, development and deployment of an Enterprise Capability Building Program for internal resources to enhance the organisation’s skills in producing competitive proposals.
The Bid Bureau
In response to requests from the market we began our Bid Bureau service in February 2006. The Bid Bureau is a service whereby you submit your response prior to delivery to the prospect and the response is exposed to the rigour of a formal purchasing evaluation process. We review and score the response and provide you with detailed, targeted advice on areas of improvement in time to remedy the competitiveness of your bid. Operating first in Australia and then established in the UK in 2011, the Bid Bureau has delivered services in APAC and EMEA to small and large organisations in industries as diverse as IT and Disability Employment. In 2008, we released our application Bid Evaluator the grandfather of our Bid Metrics application of today.
Today: Bid Metrics
As it happens we are hoarders and perpetually curious about how things work. In our 16 years we have collected and measured significant data about proposals. We have been in an ideal position to test the relationship between proposal scores and win rates.
Our Industries (Global)
IT, Telecommunications, Pharmaceuticals, Transport, Removals, Property Management, Defence, Recruitment, Community and Employment Services, Postal Services, Medical Software, Transport Tracking, Card Systems, Property Management, Maritime Tracking, Cattle Tracking, Stocktaking Services, Corporate Travel Services, Catering, Construction, Engineering, Correction Services, Security, Clinical Services, Events Marketing, Legal Services, Vending, Ticketing, Corporate Relocation Services, and GIS.
Not for Profit (Australia)
We have delivered consulting in support of funding applications in areas including: correctional health, drug and alcohol, emergency relief, out of home accommodation, families and community programs, mental health, disability employment, domestic violence, refugee services, community housing, and migrant education in every state and territory in Australia.
Some of our projects have included assisting public organisations to privatise (Health Services Australia and CSL), developing and delivering long-term programs to build bid capability within entire sectors (Disability Employment Australia and QShelter), restructuring services to operate more effectively in a contestable environment (CatholicCare Family Services and Health Workforce Queensland).