Tender management is the process of managing the response to an Invitation to Tender (ITT) or Pre-qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). Good management of the process will ensure that the response is submitted with the very best chance of success. Tender management is an extremely focused form of project management. There is no room for slippage in terms of submitting the response on time, or deviating from the required format. The timescales, which must be adhered to, are prescribed in advance, and the required output is clearly defined.
So, in order to meet this exacting requirement, a detailed plan is required. This must outline who is required to do what, and by when. Tasks must be scheduled in a logical sequence, and deadlines set for completion. The overall plan should allow time at the end so that unforeseen circumstances can be handled, and the draft response can be thoroughly reviewed, and revised if necessary.
The whole process should be overseen by a project, or tender manager. The tender manager will ensure that all actions are completed on time, and importantly, that if it looks like a deadline is going to be missed action is taken accordingly.
The tender manager, who will have considerable experience and expertise in responding to tenders, will be responsible for ensuring that the response is fully compliant, and scores the maximum possible. The tender manager will also have the soft skills required to take a potentially highly stressful process and ensure that the pressure is managed in such a way as to minimise stress levels. They will, of course, ensure that a high level of energy is driving the project forwards. The tender manager will also recognise that some of those contributing to the response will not see this as their main priority within their business day. Nevertheless their timely contribution must be achieved.
All in all the tender manager must be able to keep sight of the big picture, whilst retaining a firm grip on the attention to detail.