The tender writing team

Like any team you put together the tender writing team is a mix of people with complementary skills. Your team needs to include all the skills required to respond to the request for tender (RFT).

The bid team has two separate sections: the technical team that develops the solution and provides the price, solution design, methodology; and the production team that creates the response document. The bid manager oversees the whole project but towards the end of the project takes on a supporting role to the submission manager who is creating the final document.

In small projects it may only be a few people but in the largest bids the tender writing team may have 100s of people providing inputs and managing the documentation required.

BID MANAGER—tender writing team leader

The bid manager coordinates all the aspects of the bid from inception to completion. This may go to contract award to manage contract negotiations on success and to coordinate feedback and lessons-learnt if unsuccessful. The role includes:

  • manages and coordinates all the inputs into the tender
  • facilitates the development of the tender win strategy
  • manages team communications and reporting to the executive
  • manages the client relationship
  • ensures that the document is compliant with the tender requirements and the organisations content and design style guides
  • is accountable for tender submission

SUBMISSION MANAGER—managing the document production

The submission manager (or proposal manager) will co-ordinate and produce the proposal document (bid, response, tender, etc.). The submission manager, is a communications marketing professional and will assist and advise the bid manager:

  • in developing the bid strategy
  • in developing the key messages
  • specifying and oversighting the document design
  • ensure all key messages are supported
  • managing the graphic design team and bid writers

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER—managing the client relationship

The Business Development Manager (BDM) is responsible for identifying opportunities and liaising with potential clients. Their input into the bid process is important in maintaining ongoing client relationships:

  • provides strategic inputs into tender production
  • builds client relationships and maintains market intelligence

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS—the core of the tender writing team

The subject matter experts are the key personnel in designing the specific solution to deliver the contract. The subject matter experts come from all parts of the organisation that will be involved in the contract delivery. Most bids require representatives from finance, marketing, legal, commercial, and operations with specific inputs from:

  • estimators—managing the pricing determination
  • operations—developing methodologies including WHS, environment and quality control
  • finance and commercial—developing the risk profile including insurances and financial capabilities
  • contractual—determining the contractual position and risk assessment

BID COORDINATOR—looking after the tender writing team

The bid co-ordinator is important in assisting with the administrative processes of the bid, they:

  • make sure all the processes in the project team run smoothly
  • organise meetings and assist in taking the minutes
  • create and follow up on action lists
  • manage document and version control
  • assemble all completed documents for submission

BID WRITER—quality control of the written content and messaging

The bid writers are professional copywriters who create corporate content and edit and proofread the content produced by the subject matter experts:

  • edit all material to be fit-for-purpose, best-practice and professional (and to follow content style guide)
  • undertake technical writing of support material (methodologies, project plans and response documents, etc)
  • Develop key messages for each tender and ensure they are effectively and consistently included
  • Draft marketing material

BID GRAPHIC DESIGNER—creating professional presentation

The bid graphic designer will be an experienced visual communicator able to work under significant pressure to:

  • prepare the bid document layout
  • assist with the development of tender templates
  • manage and review tender document to comply with submission manager requirements and design style guide
  • ability to create simple diagrams and illustrations of project processes

Every tender project is different and the tender writing team needs to reflect the needs of the RFT requirements.