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How To Use a Partner Portal for Bid Management

What is Bid Management?


Bid management is the organised response to an invitation to tender. It’s when a business sets up a team to formulate a competitive proposal and secure a new project with the tendering organisation.

Contract bidding is a crucial activity for profit and expansion for many businesses. Designated roles such as bid director, bid manager, and bid writers are all involved in moving the bidding process forward – including technical, operational, legal, and commercial staff as appropriate. A large company will likely have to work on multiple bid proposals, concurrently.


bid management team


What challenges does Bid Management raise?

Bid management across a large organisation is in itself a mammoth task. On top of this, a prime contractor will often have to bring in supply chain partners and outside specialists to fulfill the size and complexity of specific proposals. If not handled correctly, this may lead to crossed wires and miscommunication across the team. 

On a more logistical level, the bid team members, across multiple organisations, will be geographically dispersed. This could hinder their participation and stall the bidding process for everyone.


How can a partner portal solve these issues?

Partner portals have become ideal for business activities such as bid management. 

A collaborative partner portal provides secure online workspaces, supporting bid management from inception to execution. As a virtual work environment that you can customise to suit your company’s procedures, it can consolidate teams, collaborators, and resources required for bid management, as well as other business practices. With features such as secure file sharing, document version control, task management, shared diaries, and online risk registers, a partner portal can give your organisation an eagle-eye view of all your bid activity. 

Moreover, the use of partner portals is not just limited to bid management. Workspaces within cloud collaboration platforms, such as those provided by Kahootz, can be purposed for activities after bid procurement. For example, if successful with your bid, partner portals can help you deliver the project by managing and coordinating implementation and operational activities whilst communicating ongoing tasks and processes with your new client.


Your Bid Management Strategy


Primarily, the first step in your bid strategy is to maximise your win ratio by quickly determining if you’ll be able to meet the prospect’s requirements.

Avoid wasting time bidding for work you’re unlikely to win by assessing a project’s viability through your team. With the help of a partner portal’s select features, you can do this by: 

  • Assigning a review of the tender questions through delegation of tasks to the appropriate parties
  • Collectively gather and share research on the buyer organisation and its operations for peer review
  • Assessing your given partner resources which will be able to support the project

If viable, your next step would be to use an online workspace, on your partner portal, to create a single source of consistent and relevant content and assemble a team of key players and stakeholders. Collate past projects and implementations methodologies as a reference source and provide team members with access to a bank of information, such as policies, case studies, CVs, accreditations, technical specifications, and template contracts. All of this is possible through a partner portal that offers document collaboration and secure file-sharing functions.

Once your bid literature is in place, you’ll be able to get your bid documentation prepared, compiled, signed off, and submitted in plenty of time before the deadline. This is best achieved by:

  • Sharing the bid timetable and critical milestones
  • Make sure all your team members have access to a single source of truth, thus keeping them aware of key documentation and their responsibilities
  • Being able to get draft documentation reviewed, proofread and approved efficiently
  • Providing bid teams with facilities to collaborate effectively between project review meetings

With this approach, through the help of a partner portal, you’ll be able to strengthen your tender submission and improve your bid success rate in the long term.


using partner portals


Partner Portal Functions to Support Bid Management


With its user-friendly interface and data protection mechanisms, a partner portal helps your team and partnering organisations work in tandem within a structured online setting, allowing for complex bids to be effectively delivered. Here are some partner portal features, all included in Kahootz, which can simplify and help to implement your bid management strategy:

  • Accessibility to External Users – Kahootz workspaces can help you overcome restrictions to providing access to internal IT systems and invite partners and external subject matter experts into secure online workspaces easily.
  • Knowledge Management – This function gives your team a single source of truth that saves them time when it comes to researching resources. Here, you can establish a coherent and organised library that is universal to all your bid team members, providing a centralised and accessible wealth of information.
  • Secure File Sharing – Kahootz’s file-sharing function keeps your sensitive material encrypted in transit and at rest. It provides controlled access, document versioning, and audited document downloads complete with previous draft responses and team contributions for your records.
  • Document Collaboration – Document collaboration allows you to work with multiple parties on bid documentation. It enhances co-authoring and review processes and guarantees that all members can work concurrently rather than in sequence.
  • Access Control – This primary function gives bid managers the power to assign different levels of accessibility to users for specific files, folders and workspaces according to an individual’s or team’s role within the bidding process. By selecting authorised users and applying access controls across workspace contents, bid managers can maintain information governance when sharing confidential information with outside parties.
  • Task List Management – This should be a rudimentary feature in your virtual project workspace. The Kahootz Task List Management function lets you keep track of all the significant steps in assembling your bid proposal – from subtasks and micro-projects to meetings and final drafts – this function ensures clarity for all when it comes to project progress. 
  • Shared Diaries – This Kahootz feature makes your project’s collective schedule visible to all relevant parties. Whether it’s a meeting to communicate outcomes, a review meeting with a supplier, or to ensure that all individuals meet deadlines, the Shared Diaries function will have your desired timeline at everyone’s fingertips.
  • Risk and Issue Logs – Right from the start of your bidding process, Kahootz online database forms help collectively capture, categorise and manage your risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies. This tool can also provide traffic-lights warnings through the assignment of priorities and probabilities.

From letting you track progress on tasks and bidding phases to assess solutions and sharing your team’s progress, a successful partner portal keeps you ahead of the bidding game. 

As a cloud collaboration tool that requires zero installation and is accredited and used by the UK Ministry of Defence, a partner portal powered by Kahootz gives you a system your business can rely on, with data governance being one less thing for you to worry about. It is accessible on all devices and web browsers, rendering it a single online location that overcomes geographies and time zones.

Whatever your challenges are in bid management and collaborative partnerships, Kahootz has the solutions.

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