Many suppliers look forward to landing the big contracts which will have them benefit not just from the revenues gained but also from the pride they get of having added on a certain corporation on their client list. Its all about how prepared you are to handle the situation. These are a few issues i know you should keep in mind when submitting your bids to any organisation:
• Be realistic: This is in terms of what capacity your organisation is actually able to handle comfortably and your pricing. Some companies submit bids yet they have no idea where they will get the resources to sustain their contractual obligations neither do they even know what volumes their manufacturers are able to supply. Being realistic helps you deliver better quality service to your customer which will bring you repeat business. When you start failing on your contract, your customer already knows that they will never use you as a supplier again because they have experienced what frustration you brought their way .
• Be knowledgeable: For example if you are submitting a bid for a public sector contract, in your mind you should know that government pays after you have delivered. Which means you should be prepared to give 45-60 days of credit don’t keep calling about your payment, it reeks desperation. Its key to be knowledgeable of the process that you are getting your self into. Contracts are legally binding therefore you should know what you are signing up for because you have to deliver.
• Be confident: Truthfully as procurement prfoessionals we should be looking to promote competition by also working with SME’s. However, if the size of your organisation is small but you know for sure you can handle an order, by all means go for it. Its not always the size of your organisation that matters but the fight that is in that size. Many small SMEs rarely submit bids because they assume that they have no chance in succeeding. Its not a waste of time because you get experience in writing your bid proposals and overtime you get to understand the process of selection you don’t always get the contracts the first time round. It is also possible to get feedback on why your bid was not selected, it never hurts to ask.
• Be finance savvy: You should ensure you have good relations with your bank. This is because they will always be your backbone when you need that overdraft or you need that bank guarantee. Making sure you have a smooth relationship with your bankers should be a priority to you. Your banks will help you finance the business you need because they are able to understand the consequence of you not getting business means they don’t get business. Banks can be difficult so from the start get to personally know the managers at your branch even if you don’t have a real reason for visiting your bank, drop in for PR.
• Be process informed: Its important to know the bid process in and out. I have come across businesses that submit their bids and then no bid security or they forget to attach other required documents. There is elimination at various evaluation stages, therefore, submit everything that you are asked to submit, don’t think that if you miss something out that your bid goes any further because it is eliminated at the first stage. As you prepare yourself to submit bids for various contracts, remember that if you miss the deadline date and time you miss your opportunity.