Thursday 22 April 2010


Just learned that a consortium I'd put together to bid for some work in Glasgow failed to get the contract. We scored highly on every criteria except price.

As our pricing was pretty competitive (certainly for the quality and experience we offer) I wonder what they are buying...

This competitive bidding seems a poor process to me: it is nigh on impossible to convey the subtleties of the work we do when constrained by the boxes on the e-forms we have to complete - and I know a number of highly successful consultants who won't do these things at all, as they can generate plenty of business by recommendation, and bidding wastes so much time.

Given that I too generate plenty of business by recommendation, I may stop bidding as well; but the risk is that if all successful consultants do that, organisations who have to go through that kind of procurement process will end up having to choose only from those who can't generate business any other way (and who employ professional bid-writers, which again may not give the clients a true view of their competence) - so counter-intuitively it may work against their interests.

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