An enterprise will normally have an internal approval process to be completed before the bid is submitted to the client. This is to ensure that their own management is aware of any business risk and the commitments they are making, should they be awarded the tendered work.
The degree of complexity of this process will vary from enterprise to enterprise, but it is something that will take place whilst the tender submission is being prepared and is likely to involve some of the persons working on the response material.
It is important to have visibility of this parallel process and an understanding of where there is an intersection with people and their work on the tender, so that it can be built into the time plan.
Regardless of the actual mechanism, any approval process will likely require the tender team to prepare a summary of the opportunity for management to review. This will contain a number of key elements, such as:
A summary of the tendered project or scope of work, timing and duration
Assessment of the competition and their respective position and expected strategy
Overview of bidder's own tender strategy
Assessment of bidder's current capacity and any resources required
Cost of any investment and capital spending required
Valuation of the commercial offer and expected profit margin
Identification of any specific commercial or contractual risks
The information will need to be reviewed by the relevant management, with participants determined by the scope of the services being provided and the value of the tender.
The overall time required for approval is a compilation of a number of different elements, such as:
Preparation of the information package for management
Scheduling a review / meeting including availability of relevant personnel
Holding the review to present the opportunity and discuss or address questions
Possible reworking of parts of the tender response based on management feedback
Possible follow-up review if changes were required
Any additional time if the process requires multiple levels of management approval*
*A key factor in the process is whether all of the relevant management are engaged at the same time, or whether approval is a step-by-step process, moving through the management structure in successive levels.
In general, the size and complexity of the tender is likely to affect the number of people involved and the time that the process will take, so that needs to be understood to allow sufficient time in the overall tender preparation plan.
Alan has worked in the oil and gas industry since 1974 in various administrative, operational and managerial roles in the UK, Netherlands and Norway. In 1993 he joined Halliburton in Norway as country manager of their new Drilling Systems division. Following a merger with Dresser industries in 1998, he moved to Business Development where he established a BD support team providing centralised expertise for tendering, contract management, market intelligence and various BD software systems. After managing up to 200 tenders and proposals annually for over 20 years, Alan retired at the beginning of 2020 with plans to explore Norway, and spend time with family overseas, He enjoys downhill skiing in the winter, golfing in the summer and following the Formula 1 racing season throughout the year.
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