Using Huddle to improve bid quality and streamline the bid process.

Siemens Mobility offers intelligent and efficient mobility solutions for urban, intercity and freight transportation.

“Siemens have seen significant efficiency gains, saving around 1000 hours per bid.”

Ben Dobernecker, Business Development and Bid Management Director, Siemens Mobility


When working on bids, teams from Siemens’ global operations and external consultants collaborate to prepare bid plans and tender documentation. With increasing bid activity and a drive for quality and efficiency, Siemens needed a proven, secure and globally accessible collaboration solution.


The Challenge

Siemens Mobility work on large scale, complex transportation bids. “Our bid teams routinely involve 100 members, who produce complex bid submissions containing up to 6000 pages across 150 documents.” Explained Ben Dobernecker, Business Development and Bid Management Director, Siemens Mobility. “Our bid responses are a combination of customer specified templates and documentation we create ourselves. Each customer has their own idea of how a response should be structed, so every bid is different.”

“Poor version control in SharePoint and limitations with sharing large documents over email were impacting bid quality and efficiency.”


With employees and external consultants located globally, Siemens faced multiple challenges trying to standardize the tools and processes used for bid responses. “We were relying on SharePoint, internal network drives and email to collaborate on documents during the bid process, but restrictive security policies limited access for regional teams, while poor version control in SharePoint and limitations with sharing large documents over email were impacting bid quality and efficiency.”

“The biggest challenge was people downloading documents from SharePoint and editing them offline. We often had multiple people working on the same document simultaneously without knowing it, which resulted in multiple versions. It would take days to put these huge documents back together into a single up-to-date version.”

“We ended up wasting valuable time managing document versions rather than focusing on improving the quality of our bid.”


To work around the version control issues, central bid resources would have a weekly two-hour meeting to get updates on all the changes. “We had to dedicate resource just to managing all the feedback received via email and SharePoint and to maintain an accurate record of the status of each bid document.”

 

The Solution

“Huddle’s approach to version control immediately grabbed our attention.”


It was clear that poor version control and the lack of a globally accessible solution were hampering Siemens’ efforts to optimize their bid activities. After the challenges faced with SharePoint, Ben and his team evaluated Huddle as a potential alternative. “Huddle’s approach to version control, where a single up-to-date version is always presented, immediately grabbed our attention. When a user is editing a document it is locked, so other users can see it is being worked on, and the Office Online integration means users can edit a document simultaneously, so everyone’s edits are automatically consolidated into the latest version. 

Most importantly, there is only one instance of each document, with Huddle managing all the versions in the background. When bid team members arrive in a folder they don’t have to waste time figuring out which is the correct version.”

“We also evaluated Huddle’s approach to access and permissions management. Our bids can contain very sensitive customer information, so we had some concerns about whether a cloud-based solution would meet our needs, but Huddle’s Workspace and Teams model meant we could easily segment access, not only on a bid by bid basis, but also by different sections of each bid. Our Infosec team worked directly with Huddle to make sure they would meet our security standards. Our security reviews are rigorous, so it is credit to Huddle that they were able to meet our requirements.”

“I love the collaboration features in Huddle.”


Huddle’s collaboration and task management features solidified Ben’s decision that Huddle was the right solution. “I love the collaboration features in Huddle. When providing feedback it doesn’t get lost in my inbox. Every comment and approval stays with the specific document in Huddle, so everyone sees the same feedback in one place. Notifications when new comments are made are really useful for keeping everyone in the team up to speed with progress. Rather than dedicated resources and lengthy meetings to help manage deadlines and document creation assignment, we now create tasks in Huddle and assign them directly to bid team members who receive reminders when tasks are due. Managers can check progress by dropping into a bid Workspace and checking the status of each task.”

 

The Outcome

Since adopting Huddle, Siemens have seen significant efficiency gains, saving around 1000 hours per bid. “The standardized structure we have implemented in Huddle means people spend a lot less time searching because they know documents will be in the same place every time, and they will always be working from the latest version. We use Huddle’s mobile apps too, so people can quickly open and review bid documents while out of the office, which has reduced delays in the review and approval process.”

“With a high cadence of bids, and different people involved, maintaining the high standards we expect was being hampered by a lack of access to the best examples from previous bids, so we use Huddle to maintain a library of our best proposals.”

“Since we started using Huddle we have been successful in winning over 90% of our bids.”


The time savings, reduced version control issues and access to reference proposals have allowed bid teams to increase the quality of their bid responses. “Since we adopted Huddle we have been successful in winning over 90% of our bids. Huddle isn’t the only factor, but it has made a huge difference.”

“When we have been successful in winning a proposal, we are now starting to use Huddle in the execution phase to share and collaborate on documents with the customer.”


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