Committed, structured and fun, that’s how bid work at Quicksearch is described. Peter Olsson, CEO at Quicksearch, shares his story about how the tools within the Tendium platform have helped the company to solve problems with solitary, unstructured and time-consuming bid work. Now they are curious about the tools of the future within one of their major focus areas – sales to the public sector.
Too much of the contract value was buried by the bidding process
Quicksearch is a company with 25 years of industry experience and has developed its own techniques, methods and competence to provide their customers with insightful, actionable feedback. Among Quicksearch’s customers you’ll find several well-known companies and organisations as well as government agencies, institutions, municipalities, regions, colleges and universities. The public sector makes out one fourth of the company’s revenue. Thus the public sector has become an important and lucrative focus area which is always growing. The problem for Quicksearch has been that a big portion of the contract value is eaten up in the bidding process.
“When talking with buyers, I criticise the fact that they make their procurements too complicated, with red tape everywhere. It constitutes a risk since they’ll probably receive fewer responses”, Peter explains.
Another problem is that people who work with tenders generally become quite alone with a great responsibility, tight time frames and many opinions within the company, but not very much assistance. It makes it hard to get a good workflow and in the long run to write impactful bids, Peter says.
Clearer context allows for more security, bigger commitment and better collaboration
Quicksearch uses Tender Monitoring to find relevant procurements, the Qualification Tool in order to make fast-driven decisions, and Bid Spaces to manage bids. The Tendium platform allows Quicksearch to save time, facilitate workflows and make the bidding process more comprehensive. The collaboration with procurements has also become clearer and smoother. Peter explains that these benefits result in more security, tranquillity, and commitment in their work with procurements. It’s meaningful because as a tenderer it’s important to make sure that tasks are executed correctly and submitted on time. Aspects that demand a secure bid process and great internal coordination.
“You can assign tasks, which is almost the most important part within a company”, Peter explains when sharing details on how Quicksearch works with the Tendium platform. “The one who is responsible receives help to finish tasks on time and it’s clear who is responsible for what.”
All project and bid managers in the company who target the public sector use the platform. Peter explains that this has made everyone more interested. Anyone in the company can log in, follow the workflow and communicate with a common chat function. Users can also comment and tag colleagues directly in tender documents. That way bid managers at Quicksearch don’t have to try to find time in everyone’s schedule for meetings, which as Peter explains would otherwise be difficult and time consuming.
Peter also adds that without a joint platform and communication tool, the person responsible for a public procurement would have to gather all information from different sources. For example, whenever someone calls, texts or emails, it’s easy to forget to answer a question, especially if you work with parallel bids. In the worst case scenario you have to take late night meetings an hour before submission to make decisions and work things out in the bid, Peter says.
“It’s a tremendous win. It’s really easy to work within Tendium’s platform. It’s more fun and everyone wants to be involved when they realise importance and see the full context”.
“The platform helps us make it easier and clearer, more comprehensive”.
Saving 25 % of bidding time to proactive work
Many bidders have a reactive approach to the bidding process. A public tender is published and then work commences. Peter explains that the time Quicksearch saves through Tendium’s automatic summaries is used to work more proactively with public tenders.
“This year we hope to cut up to 25% of the time we spend on the bidding process with this new way of working, and even more next year. We want to spend that time on proactive sales work instead”, Peter says.
Peter also tells us that the new workflow changes how bid managers can work.
“You can also keep an eye on upsales afterwards and let the bid manager become a more proactive seller and a more aggressive force in the entire sales process. It makes it more fun. You become part of the work instead of a sales secretary. It benefits everyone.”
Evaluation is also an important part of how Quicksearch’s bid work has evolved with the help of Tendium’s Bid Spaces. Besides seeing what’s included in the contracts, the company has a better overview of expiring contracts. You can follow the process as a whole, even when you have lost or not placed a bid on interesting procurements. Peter himself works with follow-up where he with help of the platform examines prices and if the company managed to fulfil the technical requirements stated by the procurer. This allows for a better understanding of why they lost or won an opportunity, which helps the company evolve and make their bids better for future procurements.
By knowing when contracts expire, Quicksearch has plenty of time to prepare and work proactively to write better tenders for the next procurement or call off. This means, among other things, that there is time to contact the buyer and book a meeting to discuss how they can work together. It’s particularly the platform’s systematic workflow that Peter appreciates.
“Larger organisations may have tender boards for different subsidiaries, departments or product areas. Then you will have control over all procurements,” Peter says.
A network with knowledge of “life around the product”
An important part of the collaboration between Quicksearch and Tendium is proximity – if problems or questions arise, support is quick. Peter values Tendium’s knowledge about the platform, but also about the industry in general. He explains that those who helped him are knowledgeable both in how the tools are used and why they are used. Or as he himself describes it: those who train and support the services understand “life around the product.”
Quicksearch has been strengthened through both advice and networking. Peter places particular emphasis on commitment and vision. That is something Quicksearch and Tendium share and which he believes makes the treatment from Tendium’s employees special.
“It’s not just tools in theory. Tendium knows the bidding process and understands the public market. If you don’t have your own people there is a network of talented people,” Peter explains. “It’s modern, a bit forward-looking,” he continues, referring to Tendium’s corporate model.
A platform to grow and expand with
Peter describes starting to work with public procurement as a fairly broad path. However, he explains that Tendium offers tools that can help people who are about to start that work.
“Then you can, so to speak, grow with the task. You can get into it and get a context where you learn,” he says.
But even a large and complex organisation that already works with public procurement can, according to Peter, benefit from Tendium. If public procurement is important to the company and you are willing to invest in tools to expand – make your business bigger and better – the platform offers solutions for clear workflows and structured bidding processes.
“If you have any kind of ambition with the business, then I think you should at least do a serious evaluation and consider whether you should use Tendium,” Peter says.
Innovative tools for future tender work
In its collaboration with Tendium Quicksearch has gained a better overview and clearer structure of the company’s work with public procurement. Above all, the emphasis is on commitment – public procurement has become more fun and more suitable for collaboration. It provides security for the company as a whole, both financially and in the form of peace and quiet in the work process.
In the idea of commitment, innovation and “leaning forward”, as Peter describes it, Tendium and Quicksearch are united. As in many other industries, modern, digital and well-adapted tools are needed for otherwise advanced and time-consuming tasks. Peter is curious about upcoming tools that can help him and the company to further improve bid work.
“I think it tickles one’s own curiosity. It’s fun that it’s an expansive area, that things are happening. I think it’s easier with tools like this to recruit and get people to work with public procurement,” Peter concludes.