Bidding and tendering are now the most preferred procurement methods worldwide, and they show no signs of slowing down. With that in mind, what organisational and professional competencies should we prepare for beyond 2019?
From its beginnings in transactional material handling to its rise as a strategic asset, bid management plays a catalytic role in shaping agendas for growth and innovation. To bridge the gap between enterprise sales and procurement, bid managers of the future need broader skill sets. Here are seven key trends that will define bid manager competencies this year and into the future.
Corporate Strategy Alignment
The bid/no bid decision has become a strategic issue for CEOs and boards—it shapes their agendas for growth, innovation, and organisational change. Winning or losing a major contract can—and does—make or break a company’s future, with a rippling effect to its people and society. Companies that qualify and align their bid strategies to their core business and growth strategy achieve ongoing superior performance and long-term shareholder value.
Corporate Governance Reform
To improve investor confidence in capital markets, corporate governance overhauls are continuing. Malaysian and Japanese governments are moving to Anglo-American-style corporate governance systems. Bid managers in these regions need to look to the lessons from the more mature markets across the U.K., Europe, Australia, and the U.S. to demonstrate social, regulatory, and market accountability and transparency of their operations.
Market Sounding and Early Engagement
Procurement has moved beyond quotations, vendor payment, and contract management to being increasingly involved very early on in dialogue, feasibility, and co-design with industry and key stakeholders. While the information and communication technology (ICT) and construction industries are accustomed to this level of market engagement, those in the health and human services sectors are now bringing their front-line experience to the table to influence how and where public money can make the most social impact.
People Power and Social Change
Procurement decisions are no longer based solely on the size of a company’s portfolio or its approach to risk. New power is shifting to citizens and employees, and performance is scrutinised by how well a company engages and acts to uphold human rights and effect genuine change. New domestic and family violence policies, consumer-directed care, anti-bribery and anti-slavery reporting, affirmative action, environment, sustainability, and impact on community are the new differentiators.
Proposal Automation and E-Procurement
Bidding and tendering activity have grown tenfold since the global financial crisis. This growth is the result of tighter corporate governance and procurement regulation, spurred on by ageing infrastructure and sustained population growth. With procurement and bid management sitting on opposite sides of the same process, it was only a matter of time before this long-distance relationship shifted online to drive efficiencies. Monitoring and reporting key metrics, client experience, and outcomes will become commonplace for winning and retaining business.
The global movement to regulate data protection has led to differing requirements around data breaches. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the latest regulation in the European Union for data protection and privacy of individuals. To ensure compliance, organisations need to plan for, prevent, and respond to real or potential data privacy breaches. The principles of data protection by design and by default will also be taken into consideration in public tenders.
Tendering is being legislated in some industries and jurisdictions, which is encouraging a more equal playing field and collaboration between large organisations and small to medium enterprises, including those represented in regional, minority, and marginalised groups and communities. Understanding supply chain inclusion policies will show your company is serious about contributing to diversity and the local economy.
The bid/no bid decision has become a strategic issue for CEOs and boards—it shapes their agendas for growth, innovation, and organisational change.
On a macro level, tenders provide great insight into the health of the economy. Yet across the world, public authorities and commercial enterprises are struggling to address pressing social and economic issues in the face of constrained resources, tight budgets, and ineffective legacy systems.
By improving their skills to match emerging trends, bid managers can significantly impact the supply chain by becoming more entrenched at the strategy level than ever before—from policy and compliance to organisational innovation.
Originally published in Winning the Business by APMP, May 2018. Updated June 2019.
About the author
Nyree McKenzie is the co-founder and CEO of Bidhive. With more than 25+ years’ experience as a Bid Manager and Management Consultant, Nyree has gained significant international experience leading bid teams through complex, high value contract pursuits as well leading enterprise process improvement and change initiatives. Having worked in the bid management industry for many years, Nyree was motivated to help companies scale and transform their painful manual bid processes to achieve more through automation.
Bidhive helps companies plan, manage and track their bid activity with an end-to-end platform that follows the key stages of the bid lifecycle. From capture planning to proposal development and post-submission analysis, Bidhive provides the framework, critical path and collaboration tools that executives, bid teams and individuals need for improved productivity and bidding success.