What is a Bid Library?
A bid library does exactly what it says on the tin – it holds bid and tender documents in an organised document library. A bid library is designed in a way to save time on bid submissions and improve quality. Sounds great, right? Don’t most bid writers already have one?
The truth is that yes, they will have an internal system and document storage facility. However, due to the nature of bid writing, the bid library will often become neglected and is often seen as an afterthought.
Common Bid Management Issues
When there isn’t a file structure in place, bid documents are often kept in silos which means other writers can’t access the necessary documents. Other problems can arise from the lack of a tender library, including:
- Increased time searching for documents
- New writers have no knowledge of previous work
- There is too much unorganised data
- Duplication of work which causes delays in bid work
Can a bid library solve these problems?
Yes, yes it can.
Benefits of a Bid Library
Bid libraries come with many benefits, which include the following:
- Saving time on finding docs
- Finding previous answers becomes easier and quicker
- New and junior personnel will have access to documents from predecessors, which keeps business continuity strong.
- Staff have a one-stop shop for all the necessary information
- Bid documents are organised in a way that benefits everyone
- Improve win rates – Feedback can be incorporated into your stock responses, which will keep them refined and up to date.
- A bid library keeps you compliant
What Should Go into a Bid Library?
All bid documents that will be useful for future work should appear in the bid library. These documents include:
- Case studies
- Previous answers
- Model answers
- Vital company documents
- Company policies and procedures
This list is by no means exhaustive, but covers the general documents that should feature in your document repository.
Who Manages the Bid Library?
A bid library will need continuous management. The idea of the bid library is that it is accessible to the whole team, so it is up to everyone involved to keep it organized and managed. Identify your content owners and put in place regular content reviews to keep documents up-to-date. Specific documents should be headed by the person involved with those files, e.g. insurance certificates should be updated by staff member involved with company insurance documents.
How Should I Do It?
Don’t create a bid library when you are already in the middle of writing a tender. It needs to be part of the planning process and needs to be prioritized once the bid is complete. Make sure you have a plan in place before you start organizing your new bid library e.g. come up with a standard folder structure.
It is up to you how you organise your folders, but it is a good idea to break up the documents into categories. As an example, it is a good idea to have separate folders, such as one folder for company policies, one for tenders, one for sales collateral etc. Using a bid management software often comes with ‘ready-made’ standard folders that you can drop your tender documents in to.
Make sure the team have training on the system once the bid library is complete, to keep a cohesive working practice going, and making sure no one strays from the brief! The bid team need to keep the new process in check, and not get fed up and revert to old bad habits.
There you have it, everything you need to know about creating your own bid library. It really isn’t difficult – the issue is always lack of time. The nature of bid writing doesn’t allow for a lot of extra work, so it is important to allocate dedicated time to work on the library, with minimal distractions.
Are you looking for a system with an in-built bid library? EasyPQQ’s unique bid library function will ease your bid pain and make it easier for you to complete bids. Find out more here.