Book review – “Creating winning bids” (architecture and construction) by Basil Sawczuk

Posted on: April 2, 2013

Back in April 2010, I was rather complimentary about Basil’s book which provided an overall model of business development for those in smaller consultancies in the architecture and construction industry http://kimtasso1.wpengine.com/architecture-and-construction-marketing-and-selling-professional-services

His latest book “Creating winning bids” is a quick and easy read over 110 pages and covers the following:

  1. Finding opportunities to bid for work
  2. What to establish before tender or pre-qualification release
  3. Credibility, Capability, Compatibility and Reliability (the 3Cs and R test)
  4. Improving your chances of success through better understanding of your competitors
  5. Preparation and planning the process
  6. Creating the document
  7. Using appendices
  8. Showing off past projects
  9. Other considerations

I would have no hesitation in giving the book to a small or medium sized architecture or construction related consultancy which was trying to manage its own bids with no expert assistance. It’s down to earth and pragmatic. However, I fear that most marketers and business developers will be familiar with the content and probably already possess a higher level of sophistication than would be supplemented by the book.

I liked the list of attributes that are needed for successful bidding, the 25 things you should know before the documentation is received, the handy pointers to how you might monitor imminent bids, the guidance on keeping basic client records, phrases to avoid (with suggested alternatives), the list of questions for debriefs and the need to focus on the service gap if there is an incumbent.

There’s a good explanation of framework agreements and some help on collaborative bidding. The seven step process for creating the document is sound and there is some solid (if basic) advice on writing. There’s also a helpful section at the end to guide the creation of a knowledge bank of past projects.

Sadly, the sections on e-procurement and e-auctions were rather short and there was an almost complete lack of information about the role of social media and how the latest technology might assist in either the research process or any other aspect of bid or relationship management. I was also a little disappointed that there was nothing about fee estimating – an area in which the construction sector excels generally.

 

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