Can you cut it?

Can you cut it?

Why cutting and pasting gets a bad press…

We hear it all lot – ‘you can’t rely on cut and paste any more’ or ‘every bid we write needs to be bespoke to the opportunity to stand any chance’.

This perceived truth can strike fear and anxiety into the most seasoned of bid writers and more often than not make their shoulders sag in despair at the receipt of another SQ or ITT .

At NDA we love a bit of cut and pasting!

It is quick and easy right? Well, whilst it can no doubt give you the basis of a response in the blink of an eye, what it cannot do is position the response so that it is compelling and high scoring to the procuring customer.

Our client’s clients or ‘customers’ as we are describing them here to differentiate, want to feel that the company bidding, fully understand not only them but the project/ Framework objectives as well.

For them, receiving a quality bid from a supplier that is well written, answers the questions, doesn’t waffle and shows they really understand the project is absolutely key.

What is so important, is for clients to build up a library of responses under specific headings that they can ‘cut and paste’ from. They then must spend the time to bespoke those answers per bid. So, it’s great to have a core answer but one you can add to and expand on where needed.

And don’t forget to actually READ the question! You may see one word that you recognize (let’s say ‘sustainability’) and then write everything you know about that but, actually, the customer is looking for a very specific area of experience or outcomes of your approach. Your score will be affected.

“It’s always obvious when a bidder hasn’t read the question or the evaluation guidance. We often see ‘information dumps’ which are clearly ‘off the shelf’ answers not tailored at all and that always affects scores we can give if the content isn’t relevant”.    Anna Keys Partner at Calford Seaden 

After years of experience bid writing, NDA know that the same types of questions come up from our client’s customers time and again. Value for Money, Communication, Business Continuity, Social Value, Risk Management etc are usual suspects.

When we are appointed by a client, we look forward to working with them on a long-term basis, focusing on building up a library of standard answers which we keep up to date on their behalf.  This makes pulling basic answers together so much easier and we then use our time and skills to extract the winning themes and interviewing client staff members to gather evidence etc to ensure every response is bespoke to the question.

Working over time with our most regular clients has meant we have created substantial hubs of current data which as well as their standard answers include all their project case studies, photographs, staff CV’s, testimonials etc. At this point we add significant value to our clients and act almost like their in-house bid team, creating drafts based on the information we know about them.

If you would like to know more about how NDA can support your bidding resources (and make cutting and pasting work for better for you!) please get in touch.  

August 2021