In the course of my career, I have provided bids for many projects. How hard can it be?
Bidding on a Project is a process - a potentially expensive process. A project includes things like parts, labor and a profit margin. An error in any of these calculations can severely hurt your company.
If losing money on a project isn't bad enough, not pleasing your customer can compound the problem.
Our projects tend to be between $10k & $50k. I stick to an informal process that looks like this:
- Gather project requirements
- Gather pricing
- Prepare a project plan / Statement of work
- Prepare a price quote for the customer
- Pass it by the 2 owners for review / approval
- Meet with the customer to go over the project plan and the pricing
Our company is small, so a loss on one of these deals is a big deal. I go out of my way to make sure that the project plan and the price quotes are accurate.
Back when the first Boeing 747 was sold, there was a story in the paper that said Boeing wasn't sure whether they made money on the first plane. This doesn't surprise me - imagine getting the pricing right on a million parts and calculating the labor of hundreds of workers putting together the airplane.
Over the years, I have talked to many large companies that follow some kind of informal bid process, but I haven't spoken with one that has used BPM software to manage that process. Using BPM software to manage this process seems like the right solution and just one error could pay for it.
How are you managing your bid process?