The Benefits of Using a Bid Library

By Lisa Raftery|Sep 20, 2021

A well maintained Bid Library is an essential tool for any successful Bid Manager or Bid Team. Utilising a Bid Library is more effective than reverting to your most recent submissions to copy and paste sections to re-use as answers.

Consider the amount of time you spend trying to find that Environmental Policy or Health & Safety Statement, for example. How much time do you waste ensuring they’re updated and accurate, how much time do you waste sending emails back and forth trying to extract relevant information from your colleagues?

If you really think about all this time that is wasted, you will be horrified and this could all be easily averted by using and maintaining a Bid Library.

What is a Bid Hub?

A Bid Library, or Bid Hub, contains your business’ accurate information that can be reused and can be pulled together to use in a first draft response. It can be a collection of folders and subfolders on a network drive or be something as sophisticated as records stored in a proposal automation tool that are assigned owners and workflows.

It should be a library of all the information relating to an organisation – from certificates of incorporation, tax clearance certificates, financial statements, vision and mission statements to product and solution details – that can be tagged and easily sourced and re-used and saved in one simple secure storage space.

 

An efficient Bid Library should hold information that is:

  • Useful
  • Accurate
  • Up-to-date
  • Well-written
  • Approved and owned by a person/department
  • Consistent in its tone of voice
  • Properly formatted
  • Correctly indexed and tagged

Having a proper, working Bid Library enables businesses to:

  • Win more often because they can respond faster
  • Save time by not having to chase people or start from scratch every time
  • The branding and formatting of the document would be instantly right and not have to spend hours formatting copy and paste jobs at the last minute
  • More confident about your chances of success
  • It would be simpler to tweak answers and tailor the document to the buyer if we had a decent first draft

Creating Your Own Bid Library.

The argument for bid content libraries and keeping your content up to date comes down to being able to realise improved:

  • Confidence: Knowing you have all the relevant information and that it is approved, accurate.
  • Compliance: No-one has inadvertently popped old or inaccurate information on governance issues
  • Consistency: Tone of voice, style, branding, and formatting are consistent across your website, your marketing and your tender submissions
  • Cost Efficiencies: Time saved through quick and easy searches for accurate information means more bids can be answered well by the same team
  • Company Success: Better proposals faster, mean more successful submissions which translates to better win rates and increased revenue
  • Morale Boosting: Teams that feel less stressed perform better and are happier leading to better quality of work/life balance and overall success.

How to Make Your Bid Library Work for You.

There are a few simple steps:

1. Plan your library review as a project with milestones, owners, review gates and get executive sponsorship. Figure out a process to maintain it once it’s done.

2. Decide how you want to structure your library and what the key areas are that you want to file things under.

3. Agree formatting styles, and tone of voice. Keep these to a one-page writer’s guide to make it easy to stick to the rules.

4. Go through all your existing content and delete everything that is duplicated or out-of-date, file what is left in the new structure, and allocate an owner.

5. Review existing information against a set criteria to determine how good it is. This will help you to decide what needs a refresh/rewrite.

6. Create new records to replace outdated information or brand new content, allocate owners and set review dates. Tag them properly so they’re easily found.

7. Keep records short and concise, use field/merge codes to keep things clean and not risk pulling other client names across into new proposals.

8. Remember that some information needs a regular update and schedule it using a system that works for you – a team calendar or the workflow processes in proposal automation software or other knowledge bases.

9. Keep track of how much time you spend searching for things so that you can either add new content, improve existing content or delete useless information.

While proposal support and content writing and managing are often seen as something that isn’t that important or that there isn’t really time for, it is the foundation that builds effective, complete and successful responses to new contracts. Imagine being able to recession-proof your business by winning tenders that are guaranteed income for your company. The overall end result should be more wins, happier bid teams and less time wasted.


Lisa Raftery

Senior Content Marketing

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What your own bid library brings

  • Confidence
  • Compliance
  • Consistency
  • Cost Efficiencies
  • Company Success
  • Morale Boosting

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