REAL STORIES SHARED BY OUR READERS
* Names have been changed
Formal debriefing professionals are being called in to run mediations between suppliers and buyers following a sharp rise in “acrimonious” relationships, according to an industry source.
Likened to relationship counselling, the source said some suppliers were now having second thoughts about the contracts they competed for and won through the bidding process, while buyers were quick to express feelings of being jilted after being promised the world.
Mary*, a seasoned mediator, shares her observations, likening the current phenomomen to star-crossed lovers perpetually searching for one another, yet forever missing that elusive connection.
“In a sea of countless portals teeming with opportunities, both parties find themselves yearning for a meaningful match. Buyers sift through a megre pool of proposals, wondering if the one who got away simply missed the memo,” she said.
Mary described stories of bidders dressing up offers with linguistic flaire skillfully tapping into emotional hot buttons. Buyers, on the other hand, are always on the lookout for the perfect partner…sifting through proposals, dazzled by impressive credentials, succumbing to FOMO induced by seductive case studies. They fall for the supplier that best fulfils all their needs and desires, at least on paper.”
Mary went on to explain that bidders, too, have their grievances.
“They often complain of being used as ”the other bidder” by informing the RFP, only to be dropped like a flaming hot potato only for the buyer to return to their comfortable vanilla incumbent.”
She said while there were naturally feelings of loss and then anger after a failed bid, she is now seeing equally miserable relationships once a contract had been signed.
“Bidders love to chase, and buyers love to scour the market and play multiple suppliers against eachother. When the love bomb bid detonates and the contract is won, things start to change. Some suppliers become distant and unresponsive, while buyers may become demanding and needy. I also worked recently with a government that won a major events contract. They weren’t careful about what they wished for. They overstated their capabilities, dreamed up a fanciful budget and when they won it they realised they er…couldn’t perform.”
It seems that in the world of bidding and contracts, relationships and promises are as fragile and fickle as any other. Mary imparts her sage advice:
“While the bid game may be a whirlwind of excitement and passion, the post-bid phase is where the real work begins….bidders need to cha-cha their way to the new reality of making their commercial relationships work with a number of suppliers – and even spares in the back room.”
“Or, if we prefer a more modern approach, we can just ditch the formalities and take a cue from the world of dating apps and adopt a “swipe left, swipe right” approach to finding the perfect match.”