Bid management. The heart, lungs, and soul of your organization. It’s the trigger to multi-million dollar, multi-year contracts that can boost your bottom line. But it’s time consuming, expensive, and with no guarantee of success. In this trinity of blog articles, I’ll be looking at how Huddle can maximize the quality of your bid management process by clearing a path for seamless, secure bid content collaboration.

This collaboration is vital. When a bid response opportunity arrives, you need to stall other work, quickly assemble the bid team, engage with third-parties like sub-contractors, and prepare a compelling bid document. Moreover, you need to quickly allocate tasks, build on the success of previous bids, and quickly pass through the “decision gates” at every stage of the decision making process.

Right now however, your Bid Center is most likely relying on an assortment of different systems to orchestrate the bid process. Systems such as email, Microsoft SharePoint, and FTP.

None of these work

Email? Your Bid Center team’s inboxes are already flooded; email can easily lead to the wrong versions of bid documents being shared; and it only includes the people you think to include—it’s not discoverable by others. These frustrations are echoed by the Go-Ahead Group, which operates public transport franchises in the UK. The company tenders for multiple contracts simultaneously, and according to Kevin Goodman, Head of Business Excellence, suffered at the hands of email. “With so many people working on one bid document, it was difficult to establish which was the right version, where the document was in the editing process, and who had responsibility for it.”

SharePoint? That’s in everyone’s crosshairs: it’s expensive to run and as intuitive as a Rubik’s Cube. SharePoint is also designed to keep bid management content inside an organization—not allowing users to share documents outside the company firewall. They have to rely instead on personal cloud tools like Hightail or Dropbox. The primary issue with these is security. You have no control over who sees and downloads the content. One accidental password disclosure and your bid could be in the hands of a competitor.

What does work

If you’re still suffering that bid life crisis, Huddle can be the answer.

The cloud-based collaboration and content management platform ensures that all the bid stakeholders work together to deliver a high-quality bid proposal. All bid management information is kept in one location, for example. You have the flexibility to create workspaces associated with every bid you are working on. You can collaborate through the firewall with all stakeholders engaged in the bid, whether it is sub-contractors, government agencies, or third-party suppliers. And you have a single, unified strategy for file sharing, document management, whiteboards, and discussions.

Hold on, you’re saying, there’s no way Huddle will topple our SharePoint implementation. It doesn’t have to, we say. Huddle can be a user-facing collaboration layer, sitting on top of SharePoint, giving you all the features SharePoint lacks. Fundamental advantages like secure mobile, social, and cross-firewall collaboration come right out of the box.

Let’s talk security

How secure is Huddle you might also be asking, given the implicit need for security and confidentiality at every step of the bid management process? Huddle’s security is cast-iron, rock-solid and copper-bottomed. From ISO 27001 accredited data centers and 24/7 monitoring, to regular penetration testing and restricted access to workspaces, Huddle is secure.

Keolis is one of Europe’s leading public transport operators and they chose Huddle principally based on this government-grade security. Jonathan Barwick, Bid Manager explains, “With Huddle, we can work with our government partners’ content, safe in the knowledge that it meets their security requirements. Everything sits in Huddle workspaces and, using Huddle’s permission controls, we ensure people access the specific bid content they need to review.”

One final point about security. To manage a large outsourcing contract, you most likely require a series of sub-contracts, negotiated with business partners who will help deliver the service. With Huddle, you can create secure ‘deal rooms’ to assess each of these bids in a confidential environment. One environment—multiple ancillary, sub-tender bids.

In the next two blogs, I’ll be examining why Huddle makes such a difference to the bid management process. For example, how it helps you quickly compile a bid team, allocate tasks more easily, leap decision gates, and build on the success of previous bids.

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