According to a McKinsey report, employees only spend about 40 percent of their time on role-specific tasks (in this case bid writing). Where is the other 60 percent – or 24 hours per week – going? Employees spend this time on tasks, that, while essential to their day-to-day, are not adding value to your organisation.

This means that, on average, bid teams with a poor communication and collaboration infrastructure can be running at 40% efficiency. Sound familiar? We’ve all worked on bids where it all seems very inefficient and chaotic! Worryingly, this means that bids can be costing more than twice as much to produce as efficiently run equivalents.  Taking this a step further, this means that not only will the end result be of poor quality, but for a finite annual bid budget, an inefficient bid team will only be able bid half as many opportunities as an efficient, highly collaborative organisation.

So, what are your employees spending their time doing and how you can improve bid team productivity internally? 

Reading and answering emails — 28% Of Time (1.5 days per week)

Yes, communication is critical to the success of your organisation, but long email chains, repeated conversations, and constant back and forth requests for information leads to wasted time at work. Of course, it’s next to impossible to eliminate email completely, but streamlining internal communication will drive productivity.

An effective bid management collaboration software solution will take your bid team from relying on email to removing information silos and allowing easy collaboration across departments, JV partners, suppliers and geographical areas.

Look for software that is more than a knowledge management solution – providing your team with the opportunity to communicate around specific information, find the answers they need without asking, and avoid answering enquiries multiple times.

Searching and gathering information — 19% Of Time (1 day per week)

Employees can spend almost 20 percent of their time searching for internal information or finding a colleague who can assist with a task — that’s a full work day each week! One of the key challenges of knowledge management is implementing a strategy that not only stores company information but is also intuitive enough for employees to find that information efficiently. If it isn’t easily searchable, it can’t improve productivity.

Find a solution that goes beyond traditional knowledge management and creates a digital information hub all of your bid data. Provide your employees with a searchable database of information that can be accessed by exactly who needs it when they need it. McKinsey has found that the right solution will increase value-added time by 5.5 – 6.5 percent and improve productivity by 30 – 35 percent.

Communicating and collaborating internally — 14% Of Time (0.5 days per week)

While having company information accessible is key to improving efficiencies and productivity, your team will perform best when they communicate and work together on how to use that information. Without a collaboration solution in place, employees spend up to 14 percent of their time asking redundant questions and taking up the time of their team members to improve their performance and complete tasks. That’s a lot of wasted time at work, both for the person asking the question and the person answering.

The right bid management solution can give your team a collaborative digital space and improve productivity by 10-15 percent. Sales, marketing, business development and bid teams can collaborate on bids from early in the sales pipeline process to final bid production – making the bids compelling and meeting the client’s exact needs. A bid management application can also vastly improve bid team collaboration where team members are seconded from functional departments, consultants, partners or suppliers; these people are often part-time bid team members and need to be able to quickly find and use information.

The scale of the problem and opportunity

It’s just simple maths really! Bids can be expensive and contribute vastly to a company’s overhead cost. Based on a typical 6 person bid team working on a bid for 6 weeks, we estimate that the following cost savings could be achieved:

Total Inefficient Bid Cost: 6 people x £40 per hour x 40 hours/week  x 6 weeks = £57,600

Cost Savings for 20% Efficiency Gain = £11,520

Cost Savings for 40% Efficiency Gain = £23,040

These savings could be used to bid for more opportunities, potentially increasing the amount of work won. Additionally, a well organised bid team will produce increasingly compelling and competitive bids, which in turn will increase the win rate.

Benefits of using a bid management application

By using a well-designed bid management application, built by experienced bidding professionals, you should be able to:

  • Increase your team’s efficiency and reduce bid costs.
  • Improve team communication and reduce frustration.
  • Reduce rework and have more time to produce compelling responses.
  • Score highly and increase your bid win rate.

Ready to take the plunge?

After many years of working on bids and experiencing the challenges of unifying and organising bid teams, bid support consultancy The BidBase has recently launched a bid management application called Bidflo – a single tool to efficiently organise and manage your bid data, information and bidding activities – whilst integrating your bid teams across departmental, company and geographical boundaries.

Bidflo will help your sales, marketing and bid teams to manage your work winning activities in a coordinated, consistent and efficient manner – maximising your probability of success whilst utilising your budgets efficiently.

For more information, please check out Bidflo here.