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Bid Process Management - Internal or External?

Explore the strategic advantages of outsourcing versus managing the bid process in-house, and discover how to transform your public sector success.

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Our recent articles, including those on Bid Content Libraries and Bid Storyboarding, highlight the intricacies of the procurement bid process. There are many more you can find on our Knowledge Hub. These posts reveal a consistent theme: managing a bid requires considerable effort and resources. Many technology suppliers grapple with the decision of whether to manage their bid processes in-house or to seek external expertise. Given the constraints often faced by SMEs, it’s crucial to make informed decisions about handling these processes. This post delves into the pros and cons of managing the bid process internally versus hiring external expertise.


Understanding Bid Process Management

Effective bid management goes beyond just writing proposals. It requires deep understanding of the public sector market, aligning business goals with client needs, and navigating complex regulatory environments. Bid process management includes every step in the bid process from identifying an opportunity to submitting a bid and following up post-submission. Effective management can significantly enhance a supplier’s ability to succeed in the public sector.


Why Manage the Process Internally?


Control and Confidentiality: By managing bids internally, companies maintain full control over the sensitive information exchanged during the bid process. This setup can also ensure that strategic insights gathered during the process are retained within the company.


Team Cohesion and Alignment: Internal management enhances coordination and synergy across departments. This can lead to more cohesive bids that more accurately represent capabilities and vision.



Resource Intensity: Managing bids internally can strain resources, as it requires dedicated personnel, time, and possibly even specialised software tools.


Limited Expertise: SMEs often lack the specialised knowledge or experience in bid writing, which can reduce the effectiveness of the bid and the likelihood of winning.


The Benefits of Outsourcing Bid Management


Expertise and Experience:

Outsourcing to expert bid management firms offers access to specialised knowledge that many in-house teams typically lack. These experts have a wealth of experience in crafting winning bids. Their work is often backed by industry-specific insights that can elevate the quality of a bid.


Resource Efficiency and Scalability: 

Managing bids internally can be resource-heavy. Outsourcing frees up internal resources, allowing your team to focus on core activities. Meanwhile, experts handle the complex bid process. This is particularly advantageous during periods of high demand or when scaling operations.


Enhanced Bid Quality and Innovation:

External bid managers can often bring fresh perspectives and innovations that can significantly improve the quality of your bids. Their expertise with diverse clients enriches their approach, meaning they can introduce new ideas that set your bids apart.



While outsourcing introduces several advantages, it’s important to address potential concerns:


Expertise may not match knowledge: A bid writing consultancy or agency may lack the buyer context needed to critique responses accurately. 


Costs: Hiring external experts can be expensive, particularly for smaller organisations where budgets are tight. Although outsourcing involves upfront costs, the long-term return on investment through higher win rates and more efficient resource allocation often justifies the expenditure.


Control: Working with external agencies may lead to concerns about loss of control over the bidding process and the final output. This can be mitigated by choosing a trusted partner with transparent processes and open lines of communication.


Deciding Factors

For many technology suppliers, particularly those without extensive in-house expertise or those facing resource constraints, outsourcing emerges as the clear choice. It allows companies to leverage specialised skills and industry insights that are crucial for crafting compelling bids. However, we strongly recommend weighing up based on the following factors:


Company Size and Industry: The decision often hinges on the size of your organisation and the sector it operates in. Those in highly specialised fields might benefit more from external input.


Resource Availability: Time and money are valuable. Suppliers need to evaluate whether they have the resources needed to handle bids internally or if outsourcing offers a better return on investment.


Complexity of Bids: The nature and complexity of the bids also play a significant role. High-stakes or complex bids might justify the higher cost of external expertise.


Choosing between managing the bid process internally or externally depends significantly on individual company needs and circumstances. Assess your capabilities, resources, and the bids you face. This will help make strategic decisions aligned with long-term goals. More often than not, though, technology suppliers will find a strong case for partnering with experienced bid management professionals. You will access expert guidance to help elevate your bids, enhance your market position, and achieve greater success in the public sector.


Ready to put your best foot forward with Advice Cloud’s bid support services? Our public sector bid specialists help tech suppliers like you gain more valuable contracts. Our partnered bid review services have helped our clients increase their success rates by at least 33%, helping them get shortlisted more and win more public sector business.


The first step to helping you is a free 25-minute consultation call with one of the team so we can get to know you and your public sector offering. Book here.


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