This Guest paper was submitted for publication 4/27/13 and is copyright to David Harrison, © 2013.
This paper is an update of a paper originally published in 2008.
Published here October 2013.

PQQ = PreQualification
ITT = Invitation To
RFP = Request For

Editor's Note | Introduction | Corporate Background 
Competitive Advantage | Relationships | PART 2

Corporate Background

So what's the difference between those who struggle to pre-qualify and win tenders and proposals and those who consistently win contracts? And, more importantly, how can you become an Elite Bidder too? My company has been helping bidders achieve outstanding results in PQQs, ITTs and RFPs for 10 years with a success rate of 95% for PQQs and 66% for tenders and proposals. These are not flash in the pan results - they have been achieved over a full decade, through good times and lean times. Nor are the results qualified to exclude tenders and proposals lost due to factors outside the control of our company such as price.

How do we achieve great results consistently? Well, I have worked in the construction industry for 35 years and have amassed a huge number of contacts, knowledge and experience in bidding for work as a contractor and as a consultant, learning what works and what doesn't. As a result, we have learned the hard way and picked up some valuable lessons along the way. We have also work for end-user customers as lead consultant, procuring the services of consultants, architects, surveyors, contractors, facilities managers, project managers and specialist contractors.

We also design and manage the whole procurement process, from advising clients on procurement strategy, advertising the tenders in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). That includes designing and issuing pre-qualification and tender documentation, evaluating submissions from bidders and on through to managing tender interviews and negotiation of contracts.

Over the years we have seen the very best examples of pre-qualification, tender and proposal submissions. We have also seen the very worst and all of the mistakes that bidders make! And we have been privy to the insider secrets from customer evaluation panels on what it takes to score well with customers and have seen this combination of knowledge, skills and experience used in both our tender and post tender services. It gives us a unique insight into exactly what most customers need and what they are looking for. This is especially so when selecting a key design team professional, contractor or supplier to undertake a project or enter into a long-term framework agreement.

This paper is intended to give you a comprehensive picture of where we believe organizations are going wrong when completing pre-qualification questionnaires, tenders and proposals by identifying 23 biggest mistakes. These "23 biggest mistakes" are grouped into nine similar categories. Hopefully, you will recognize some of these mistakes and take action to avoid these pitfalls when submitting PQQs, tenders and proposals and hence improve your chances of success. It could make all the difference!

Introduction  Introduction

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