Tag Archives: process

Get with the times or die | Dynamic Business – Small Business Advice – Forums | Dynamic Business Australia


An excellent article on the concepts of cloud computing.. if you are in business and want to stay ahead of the game.. cloud solutions like Xero or Vend as a couple of examples may be the right thing for you.

In the cloud

Get with the times or die | Dynamic Business – Small Business Advice – Forums | Dynamic Business Australia.

Tender Process – The Frequent Errors and how to Overcome them – By Craig Millhouse.


RFT-Request-For-Tender

The tender process is known to be notoriously lengthy, complex and bureaucratic. For many companies – and small businesses in particular – the lengthy process is somewhat daunting and represents a significant drain on resources.  The substantial time and resources directed towards bids is often considered a waste if the bid is unsuccessful. One way to drastically transform the quality of your bids is to address the universal errors made by many businesses. Below we go through some of the more frequent errors and provide solutions for each one

Error #1 – The first and perhaps most grievous error made by many businesses is using old tender trackers that only provide contracts which are 3-4 weeks from their end date.  This restricted deadline severely impacts a business’s ability to engage in pre-bid discussions, carry out detailed research, influence the bid specification, ask questions, seek clarifications and generally formulate a well planned, meticulous bid.

Solution – The solution to this serious issue is to invest in an advanced tender notification system that provides contracts that are at least 6 months from end date. These lengthy deadlines provide businesses with a solid base and allow them to create well structured, detailed and relevant bids.

Error #2 –One recurrent error made by countless companies is to assume they understand the requirements without engaging with the buyer. Second guessing certain aspects of the contract – no matter how small or irrelevant they seem – often causes otherwise well structured bids to fail. It is important for businesses to have a complete grasp of all stipulations in the contract and an understanding of how each condition is to be fulfilled.

Solution – Tender forms come with contact details, – make sure they are utilised. Engage with the buyer, discuss the contract and offer value and insight where required to stand out from the competition.

Error #3 – Some of the most common tender errors are usually seen within the PQQ form.The lengthy PQQ documents are designed to assess your capability as a business and simple grammatical and numerical errors will have a negative impact on the perceived aptitude of your business.

Solution – One way to overcome PQQ errors is to have THREE different people re-read the forms once they have been completed. Taking a slow, methodical approach to the PQQ stage will enhance the bid substantially.

Error #4 – Using a generic tender template is a major mistake that many businesses make. Whilst a tender template may work well for one particular submission, it may be totally unsuitable for another. Every submission should be tailored to tie in with the requirements of the buyer.

Solution – Rather than using tender templates, personalise each bid. Buyers don’t want to hear generic information that is irrelevant to their needs. It is important to concentrate on the aspects of your business from which the buyer can derive benefit and profit and ignore the things which are not relevant to that particular contract. Buyers will be reading numerous bids so it is vital that each submission is clear, concise and, most importantly, relevant.

Author Bio

Craig Millhouse is the founding member and managing director of 7House, a specialist business development firm that offers clients an array of services to aid in their growth. As part of the service, 7House also offers an advanced tender notification system called Contracts Advance.

With over a decade of experience within professional and service based industries, Craig uses his expertise to develop new businesses and kick-start existing ones through a consultative role.

Connect with him on Google Plus to stay in touch with his latest activities, events and articles

Winning Customers Without Trying – Forbes


Handshake

Here is a valuable story about business culture and why it is important for your small business.

Customer service isn’t just good systems.

It’s also about the people that work in your business.

Winning Customers Without Trying – Forbes.

Communication is the key to awesome customer service.


This is a true story about communication failure, and it’s a little funny, but had implications for customer delivery.

Cosmo Lounge Suite

A customer purchased a lounge suite and selected a specific colour of fabric. This information was fully documented on the invoice and the order placed with the lounge manufacturer. As the manufacturer builds a lounge suite, they order the appropriate fabrics form the various fabric distributors in the lengths they require for the order. This keeps the manufacturers costs down as they only purchase what they need when they need it. A logical and simple method of not tying up loads of funds an fabrics that may sit on shelves as there are so many variations and choices.

Although the order to the manufacturer was placed via fax (yes many industries are still using the fax as their main form of communication for documents), the manufacturer ordered the fabric from the distributor over the phone. The fabric was dispatched, the lounge suite upholstered and shipped off to the store for delivery to the customer. Many stores do not even get the product in after manufacture. Often it is delivered from manufacturer to customer direct. This reduces handling costs for all concerned and minimises risk of damage to the product.

Quality assurance

In our instance, for quality and customer experience control we get the products delivered to our store for QA inspection before delivery to customer by our in-house teams. Although this is counter intuitive to maximising profits, it is our way of ensuring a consistent quality customer service and experience. A trade off, but one that has paid of many times over.

Colour Samples

On inspection it was discovered that the lounge suite was the wrong colour. The colour wasn’t out just a little, but out by the full width of the colour spectrum. The suite was ordered in a cream colour and received in a dark red. Certainly not what the customer wanted. As the customer was expecting delivery, the situation needed to be managed, customer was informed of the error and the manufacturer was instructed to expedite a replacement in the correct colour.

What went wrong?

The question was… what went wrong and could the error have been avoided?

Well after investigation it was found to have been a simple communication error between the manufacturer and the fabric distributor when the order was placed over the phone.

The fabric colour specified by the customer was Mellow and the lounge was upholstered in the colour Merlot. Two extremely different colours that sound similar over a phone line..

This is how simple errors of communication can undermine a customer experience.