Whether you are looking for IT bids in Connecticut, Police Equipment bids in New Jersey or Consulting bids in New York, government procurement opportunities are available in a variety of industries throughout the Northeastern United States.
As a vendor, once you have found a bid by either manually searching government sources or through a partnership with a bid research company, the process of preparing a successful proposal will come down to paying close attention to the details of the bid’s requirements. Although the price you submit on a contract is always a major factor, there are a number of additional factors that, addressed correctly, can help lead to you securing a win.
Before submitting all your documentation and pricing information, there may be a number of Pre-Bid Activities that have to be addressed. These activities can be either voluntary or mandatory for eligibility depending on the bid, so it is important to closely review the bid details to ensure that you can complete all the required actions, which may include:
- Pre-bid conferences
- Request for Comment (RFC)
- Request for Information (RFI)
- Request for Quote/Qualifications (RFQ)
- Notice of Intent (NOI)
- Invitation/Intent to Bid (ITB)
Each of these requirements can require different actions from bid to bid, so be sure to closely check the bid notification to understand the specific requirements that pertain to the bid you are submitting a proposal for.
By not participating in a mandatory activity, a vendor’s bid proposal may be immediately disqualified. Additionally, participating in voluntary activities can give a vendor an advantage in the selection process over vendors that did not complete those actions.
Submitting Your Proposal
When preparing your proposal, keep in mind that the devil is in the details; even a small error can disqualify your bid. Many of the most common mistakes made by vendors are the result of not paying close attention to the bid requirements, or from simple human errors. Some of the most common mistakes are:
Late submissions - If your submission doesn’t arrive before the deadline, your documents will not be opened or reviewed and will be removed from consideration.
Incorrect Documents – Mislabeled and outdated documents, or the incorrect number of copies of a required document, are simple mistakes that can result from not double-checking ones work to ensure that the submission package contains everything needed to meet the requirements detailed in the bid.
Missing Data – When a bid calls for data to be included on a USB drive, CD, or other form of media, you must make sure that everything has been saved properly. Additionally, if the bid calls for data to be submitted on a specific media device or in a certain format, follow those guidelines - do not assume the data can be accessed in any other way than what is detailed in the bid.
Lacking Certification – If a specific certification is required for eligibility in order to submit a proposal on a bid, details about this certification will be listed in the bid. Make sure to include any documents that are required to show that you are certified.
Pricing Errors – One of the biggest factors in determining the winner of a bid is pricing. If the pricing is missing, your submission will not be considered, even if everything else you submitted is completed correctly.
Once your submitted proposal has been reviewed and accepted, it will be entered into the bid evaluation phase along with all the other accepted proposals. During this phase it is important to be a responsive participant, as additional action may be required. This could include making yourself available for interviews, fulfilling reference checks, providing demonstrations of your product or service and/or completing requests for clarification.
By staying active throughout the entire bid process, you will draw attention to your submission, gain opportunities to network with decision makers and, in some cases, have a chance to make your case in-person as to why your proposal would be the correct choice.
Gaining an Edge
Partnering with a bid research company can also give you an edge when preparing your proposal by providing access to resources your competition doesn’t have. With pre-solicitation intelligence provided by a bid research company, you get to see opportunities before they’re put out to bid, giving you extra time to research and prepare your proposal. Awards and tabulations data can also provide insights into potential competitors, and by reviewing historical bids you can see how similar opportunities were awarded in the past, allowing you can model your proposal after previous winners.
Government bidding can yield large profits for any business, big or small, that pays close attention to a bid’s details, takes the time to properly prepare their proposal and utilizes all the resources available to them. Follow these guidelines and you will increase your chances of enjoying a successful future in the competitive field of government bidding.
Kevin McClintock | BidNet.com