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Nirvans Consulting

Business Project Consultants

Help or Hurt? Contacting client's procurement people between Bid Issue and Bid Open dates

A lot of people have queried whether building contacts inside the procuring organization during the bid phase helps or hurts your bid. The answer is - it depends on several factors. We will answer in general terms first followed by the relevance to technical/review stage of the bid. First of all, some bid documents explicitly forbid vendors and bidders from having contacts with the procurement agency during the competitive bidding process. If this is the case we recommend that you do not reach out to the bidding team or other officers in procuring organization, including agencies where the goods or services will be delivered. This is more so if you have had no prior business relationship with this client. The downside in this case is much greater than the upside, and you could end up being disqualified.

If, however, the RFP or Bid has not explicitly stated the no-contact clause, chances are you are still better off without trying to build a new relationship in the limited time that you have to bid. If your Client Relationship Manager in the relevant local office has never even spoken or exchanged emails with the Procurement Organization its not gonna help now! In fact, it might be unfavorably perceived as opportunistic.

There are however more than a few ways in which you use person to person contact with the procurement organization to your advantage and improve the quality of your written RFP response. Contextual information, not apparent from reading the RFP can increase the chances of clearing the technical stage. Most bids have a evaluation criteria that is pretty explicit in the RFI/RFP itself. A simple fact like a broad a range of price which will make your bid competitive can give you a distinct competitive advantage (assuming this information is not well known). Clearly knowing the procuring department's thought process vis-a-vis setting the evaluation criteria could be crucial in improving your chances of winning the bid.

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