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The Winning Bid

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The Winning Bid

A Practical Guide to Successful Bid Management

Kogan Page,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

This valuable guide to public and private bidding details the considerable effort that every worthwhile bid demands.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Emma Jaques, a bidding professional, offers a first-rate how-to guide for bidders. Instead of dwelling solely on the bid document, she urges you to pay attention to all the steps that come before and after you submit your bid. She suggests that the atmosphere during much of the bidding process usually ends up somewhere between frantic and frenetic, as deadlines loom and disaster lurks. She supplements her lucid and often list-intensive text with tables, charts, tips and rules, plus the example of London’s “good” bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. In full cry about public and private bidding, the text thins when it gets to external funding and grants. The book is oriented toward the United Kingdom (for example, it uses “tender” to mean “request for proposal”). Be aware that regulations and specific bidding categories may vary in your jurisdiction. Still, much of the bidding advice remains generally applicable. getAbstract finds this very specific book useful for bid managers, buyers and bidding-war observers.


Bidding Fundamentals

Despite prevailing opinion, the small or medium-sized business bidder is not playing against a stacked deck, at least not in the United Kingdom. Recent regulations have opened eligibility to win 25% of public-sector contracts to smaller organizations. EU regulations also make it illegal to select a predetermined bid winner before the full bidding process.

This does not mean that bidding involves simply shoving a handful of pages and pretty photos of a physical plant into the hands of a potential buyer. Preparing a worthwhile, competitive bid requires effort, energy and determination. Failures are frequent, but each attempt adds to your organization’s arsenal of resources for future bids. The members of the bidding team need the skills to develop a sound bid as well as positive attitudes, and sufficient “energy” and “passion” to sustain the effort, win or lose. No halfway measures – bidding is an “all or nothing” affair.

Bidding Opportunities

In the UK, edicts establish financial “thresholds” separating large projects from small ones. Buyers follow different regulations for each group when advertising for proposals. If you seek “lower...

About the Author

Emma Jaques, managing director at Onto the Page Ltd., managed B2B and B2C projects and led teams designing high-profile programs for large public and private clients.

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