The Settlement Library Project Presents: How to Write a Bid


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The Settlement Library Project offers this bibliographic service for libraries struggling with, or confused about, bid writing and its purpose.

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The Settlement Library Project Presents: How to Write a Bid

  1. 1. “Don’t rely on passion – It’s all about points . . .” Or, how to write a bid
  2. 2. Presented by The Settlement Library Project Promoting an Eclectic Librarianship in Rural Appalachia
  3. 3. Serving People, Changing Perspectives, and Sharing Resources in Libraries
  4. 4. Bidding for supporting people and libraries . . .
  5. 5. An Article Review . . . hact: Collaborate. “Resource Kit Worksheet 7: Writing the Bid.” n.d. Web. 16 February 2014. Hact pioneers housing solutions to enable people “on the margins” to live independently in thriving communities. “Collaborate” was a year-long project run by hact, along with six partnerships, for pioneering collaborative approaches to bidding. The Kit was produced to share learning from the project. It offers eight worksheets, which provide information about strategic development, collaborative approaches, influencing procurement processes, developing collaborative bids, and implementing issues.
  6. 6. An Article Review . . . Williams, Patricia. “How to Write a Job Bid.”, n.d. Web. 16 February 2014. eHow is an online how-to guide with more than 1 million articles, and 170,000 videos offering step-by-step instructions. eHow articles and videos are created by freelancers, and cover a wide variety of topics organized into a hierarchy of categories. Patricia Williams is a freelance writer who has been published in numerous magazines, and many online sites. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in communications, and English from the University of Missouri - Kansas City.
  7. 7. Occasions for writing bids . . . • Outsourcing • Budget shortfalls • Temporary management or staff • Specific services • New infrastructures or renovations • Communications solutions • Supplies or contracted maintenance • Signage or furnishings • Cleaning services
  8. 8. Terms . . . Bid: Companies frequently first submit a bid or proposal to a client who is planning a project. A bid is essentially a sales presentation indicating a willingness to undertake a task at a specific price, and within a specific timeframe. Proposal: A document that is submitted to bid on a project. It is a written summary of how the provider (vendor) intends on meeting the proposed need. Specification: A set of measureable standard procedures defining what must be met or improved upon to satisfy a contract. It describes the agreed upon features or services being procured.
  9. 9. Scoring System: A system of classifying quality, merit, or amount through an established rating system. Contractor: The person or company who is principally responsible to perform a service, or job, to fulfill a contract for project completion. Tenders: A government or business bid written in response to a call for bids offering to perform work, or supply specific goods, usually at a fixed price. Added Value: The means by which a service provider gains a competitive advantage by creating a point of difference from the competition, and focusing closely on a targeted segment.
  10. 10. The why and wherefores of bid writing . . .
  11. 11. Why . . . When businesses call contractors (or vendors) asking for a price on a job or service they need done, the contractor is required to provide a written proposal for the services it will provide, and an exact amount to be charged. Most tenders emphasize the need for partnerships. Local providers can offer this type of added value, and gain a competitive advantage over non-local bidders. A high quality bid at the local level, consistent and well written, can compete with those submitted by organizations with in-house specialist bidding teams. .
  12. 12. The wherefores . . . • First things first: Dedicate time to developing the bid • Develop partnerships: Pull together the supporting evidence • Invest time to develop a vision: Create clear positive outcomes • Realize your proposed service: Define why your solution is best • Describe your competitive advantage: Prove out your added value
  13. 13. Good practices in bid writing . . .
  14. 14. The competitive bidder . . . • Defines what the customer wants • Understands the tender requirements • Ensures the proposed project fits within objectives and business plans • Recognizes the real costs for the project • Complies with any legislation involved • Uses collaboration to increase the chances of winning the bid • Respects the score weighting • Makes a realistic bid
  15. 15. Successful bids . . . • Ensure service users are at the heart of the proposed service • Begin with a clear vision of what good service looks like • Have a clear rationale for why the project is the best way of delivering positive outcomes • Explain how proposed positive outcomes will happen • Emphasize an ability to deliver outcomes across agencies, budgets, and frameworks • Describe how the service helps deliver the goals • Use evidence and examples to prove out commitment
  16. 16. Scoring and weighting . . . To ensure fairness and consistency, and protect against legal challenges, scoring systems are used to evaluate tenders: • A scoring system evaluates based on factors such as price, warranties, lead time, and product quality • Bid factors are the questions bidders must answer about their products, services, or company • Each bid factor has a weight • Different types of contracts have different types of weightings • Points are awarded for different aspects of the tender
  17. 17. The how to’s of bid writing . . .
  18. 18. Don’t rely on passion . . . • Establish your brand • Manage your communications • Reinforce your identity • Use your added value as a competitive advantage • Maintain well developed relationships with key stakeholders and referral sources • Manage risk with continuity • Partner with other organizations • Make sure your information is correct, competitive, and sustainable across the lifetime of a contract
  19. 19. It’s about points . . . • Understand the scoring system used for evaluation • Understand the scoring framework • Structure answers to that framework • Cover all areas of the specification equally • Define added value • Use added value pervasively in all sections of the bid • Each section of the bid is scored separately • Give attention to areas that attract the highest scores • Observe word limits • Attach all required documentation and appendices • Make sure each answer is complete
  20. 20. Ground rules . . . • Request the tender evaluation criteria • Get the exact specifications for the project • Follow instructions carefully • Follow the Request for Quotation specs point by point • Break down the costs and include exact totals • Be concise and answer all questions • Place the official bid on letterhead • Submit the project bid on time • Place your project bid in an online portfolio that allows the company to check the information
  21. 21. Write it . . . • If necessary, repeat the same point in several different answers • Focus on the outcome to be achieved • Explain your plan for implementation • Prove out how you will exceed ordinary standards • Write simply, coherently, and repetitiously • If its not in the tender, it won’t score points • Answer the question “why us?” throughout • Do not include unsolicited information • Follow up with enthusiasm
  22. 22. Links to references . . . Title slide: quote: Collaborate Resource Kit Worksheet 7 How to Write a Job Bid available online at: • hact Collaborate Worksheets available online at: • hact Collaborate Worksheet 7 available online at: • aborate_worksheet7.pdf#page=6&zoom=auto,0,474 Free Proposal Templates and Formats available online at: • proposals/page/2/
  23. 23. The Settlement Library Project