How to improve your company’s internal bid awareness

Implement an internal communications plan

Does your company have an efficient process for dispatching all pre-request for proposal (RFP) and post-RFP submission notices from the customer to the correct capture, proposal, or program management office (PMO) staff members? Do you proactively alert your PMO and production staff about upcoming bids? Do you alert your capture and proposal teams as to when contracts are ending so they have adequate time to position for a recompete? If you answered no to any of these questions, consider implemented an internal communications plan—an alerting process. Table 1 suggests check points you can add to your process.

Table 1: Define roles/responsibilities to improve internal bid awareness

Role Responsibility
  • Sets up search agents for pre-RFP, post-RFP, post-submission, award alerts, and new opportunities
  • Upon receiving an alert, indicating an active request for information (RFI)/sources sought notice, or RFP notifies proposals, human resources (HR), pricing, and production teams
  • Sets up a kick-off meeting within 72 hours of RFI/RFP release
  • Creates a monthly report to alert contracts, proposals, pricing, publications, and HR of bids coming up by the 1st of the month based on the best estimate of release dates
  • Notifies relevant capture POC upon receipt of a pre-RFP, post-RFP, post-submission, or award alert from the customer
  • Upon notification of a pre-RFP, post-RFP, or a post-submission alert, gathers materials for meetings scheduled by capture or executives
  • Submits questions about RFIs or RFPs on schedule
Human Resources
  • Upon receiving a specific request for assistance, coordinates with capture regarding HR department requirements or need for key personnel
  • Keeps capture informed of key personnel screening, interviews, and accepted offers
  • Sets up collaboration areas for new bids
  • Coordinates with capture and/or proposals concerning production process and schedule
  • Archives bid folders once an award notice is made
IT Staff
  • Help capture staff set up internal email lists and other IT requirements
  • Enables collaboration tools to accept and manage internal/external content

In summary, ensuring the entire team is aware of and alerted to bid events minimizes the risk your company will miss milestones or have inadequate time to respond to a customer solicitation.

brenda_crist-jpgBrenda Crist teaches our Winning Business for Federal Contract Project Managers class, Proposal Writing, and APMP Foundation Certification classes. As a consultant, she serves as a senior capture and proposal manager. She helps clients work with their staff and partners to create winning, well-written proposal solutions. She offers hands-on experience from leading and conducting systems and network management projects for many civilian and military clients.

Brenda stays current with the latest procurements, their requirements, and industry best practices. She served as the 2010 President and formerly as 2009 Vice President and Professional Day Chairperson for the APMP-NCA Chapter. She has been an active member of APMP-NCA since 2003, serving as Professional Day Chair of Publicity, Speakers Program, and Chairperson for the 2006, 2007, and 2008 events, respectively. Brenda was inducted as an APMP Fellow in June 2011.