For me, Bid Management is as simple as Appearing for a board examination and as tough as scoring the best Marks – Venu Manohar
In most of the interviews when interviewer asked me to explain the bid management process, I always began with saying, “Bid management is like appearing for an examination and trying to get 1st Rank“
During Schooling or Graduation, more often, we all must have appeared for examinations to pass and get our passing certificates and degrees. Imagine what happens when we go into the process of EXAMINATION. We attend classes and study throughout the year and School Management one day declares and announces the dates (Schedule) of examinations, examination fee and last day to pay the fee, duration of the exam, dos/don'ts during exam, location, seat number, hall ticket number etc. and publish the same on a Notice Board or on their websites.
According to the schedule, we study, we prepare for final examinations, strategizing the approach of answering, attending mock test, guessing the important questions….. etc.
On the examination day, we go to the specific location/examination hall, occupy your seat, and wait for invigilator to give the question paper. We read through all the rules, all questions and marks allocated to each question, identify the difficult questions and easier ones, plan allocation of time and plan Format/Style of writing the answers.
While writing, we take utmost care to impress the evaluator (who checks the answers and awards marks). We beautify the answer sheet wherever required, we highlight few important points and what not we do to drag attention of evaluator and impress with our answering skills.
We write CAPITAL letters to emphasize the importance of particular points; We beautify the pictures/figures/illustrations; We write the answers in sequences (bullet points or serial numbers); We manage white space; We maintain utter neatness to get more marks; We extremely try to make the answer sheet best among all.
We finish writing before few minutes and re-check to confirm all went well and do necessary corrections if found any; Recheck all the personal information is correctly given and once we confirm all is well, we submit the answer sheet to invigilator.
Post this, our answer sheets go to evaluators where actual verification is done to award the marks we deserve. The Board announces the results on notice board or websites. If we are not happy with the secured score we have an option to go for revaluation. Since this is like a race, there would always be one topper/gold medalist.
Bidding process is more or less similar to the above narrated examination process though a little bit complicated in reality.
If you can relate the sequence of Examination process with bid management lifecycle, you can easily understand how it works.
Pre-RFX stage is like preparing for examination; RFX floating is like releasing/posting the Exam schedule; Tender Doc. Fee and EMD are like Examination Fee. RFX is the question paper; Your Proposal is the answer sheet; Proposal preparation is like writing the answers; RFX's Terms and Conditions are like Rules of examination; Location is place/e-place to meet the Buyer or submit the Proposal. Procurement Officer is like Invigilator who generally initiates the procurement process and receives all proposals and send them to Evaluation Team; Evaluation Team check your proposal responsiveness and awards score for both technical and commercial responses.
You can make more comparisons
Finally, result of winning bidder is announced. If you are not happy or just to know how you performed, you can go for debriefing session. This is like revaluation. If you feel like something is wrong, you can opt for protest or complaint against the system to higher authorities.
This is written on a lighter note to make the process simplified for new comers in Bids and Proposal Management, budding entrepreneurs who are new to bidding process, business development people who are asked to bid and others who are struggling to understand the basic concepts. Other experts, thought leaders and critics are most welcome to add their opinions.
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