Watching some scary films for Halloween got us thinking about our bid horror stories over the years. These are just a few examples, sure there are many more if we thought about it (although we try very hard to forget them!)
- Being sat in a hotel room at 2am the day before submission, trying to translate our bid speak into formal contract terminology.
- Uploading a huge multi-partner £50million bid to an online portal, all the bid team stood around watching, with the documents so large they were taking forever to upload. Finally submitted and accepted with 43 seconds to go.
- Proof reading a global opportunity with a colleague from 4pm to midnight, then back up at 5am to finish off. The week before Christmas. Independence Day was on in the background; have not been able to watch it since.
- First bid for a new employer. Hard copy required – courier was late picking it up, then got lost. Sent out with a junior employee in a taxi while ringing the client to beg them to accept it…
- Sat in a deserted office the night before a Bank Holiday, awaiting a courier delivery of a new contract for signing the next week.
- Hitting roadblocks at every stage of the process when the bid sponsor wouldn’t take on board any suggestions from the rest of the team – only for them to change their minds at the last minute. Cue mass re-write…
- The client who sent out hundreds of clarification responses one message at a time.
- Working with a teaming partner whose pricing put us £50k above budget, and who refused to take anything out of their model.
- Having a member of the team going into labour the morning of the client presentation, and prepping someone to jump in!
- The multi-work area global bid that landed on Christmas Eve and was due on January 2nd. Why do clients do that?!
- An e-auction that was originally booked for 30 minutes, and would extend by 10 minutes if someone placed a new bid in the last two minutes. Three hours we sat in that room…
- The huge re-tender that was in progress for 18 months and we were incumbents – only to lose it on price, undercut by several £million. Devastated doesn’t cover it!
- Being asked to pick up a bid started by a colleague whom our manager had been asked to remove by the lead contributor. Awkward… and a week left to turn it around. Don’t think daylight was seen that week.
And yet, despite all the horror stories, this is still a job we love to do! Most of the time…!