The role of the bid manager – a transformational change

Do a search on job boards, LinkedIn and Google, and you’ll soon see that the procurement and business development profession – and the way in which services are procured and delivered, are undergoing a transformation.

Get a slice of the tender pieWhile the tender (or bid) manager traditionally represented the organisation through words, the profession’s responsibilities – and role titles – have changed substantially.

In the current economic climate securing or losing a major biddemands a period of communication, refocus, strategic realignment and quite often, transformational change.   Importantly, organisations must proactively plan for, and respond to, procurement opportunities rather than at the reactive bid response stage.

In the fast-paced environment of competitive tendering getting stakeholder consultation and engagement right at the start is crucial for the success of the bid management program.  This is why the Bid Manager’s role and status in the organisation has moved very quickly from the backroom to the boardroom.

Using skills in people management, leadership, communication and bid strategy, a bid manager’s role is to keep the team focused, ensuring roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, that individuals are challenged and that the process of managing the many experts within the organisation’s overall function is highly efficient.

In addition, the bid manager needs to lead under pressure, champion change and elicit a ‘sense of concern’ for the future of the organization among stakeholders. They also need to achieve broad consensus, including CEO and board buy-in of a chosen strategy.  This all impacts significantly on the success of meeting the bid deadline, a quality bid submission and ultimately achieving a winning outcome.  No mean feat really.

Companies wanting to embrace the bid management function must therefore transition from traditional ways of managing their tender teams and strategic procurement by bringing the bid manager’s role to the highest level of governance in the organisation.

Those companies which do align their tender and bid strategies against core business interests and growth strategy stand to benefit from a business model that delivers competitive advantage as the foundation for on-going superior performance, and the creation of long-term shareholder value.

Like to learn more? Read our article on The difference between bids, tenders and proposals. 

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About the author

About the author

Nyree McKenzie is the Managing Director and owner of Thought Bubble, a business development and communications consultancy specialising proposals, tenders, major bid management programs, marketing and corporate communications. She is a trusted adviser to CEOs, board members and business development executives from leading global brands and firms throughout the Asia Pacific. [email protected] www.thoughtbubble.com.au