How to create a Bid or Tender Management System in Dynamics 365?

Bid management is a process by which Bid Managers completes the submissions to respond to a proposal. It is an end to end process of ensuring quality standards are met.

Bid management is also called Tender Management some time.

For example, lets suppose there is a “Flinders Train Station Upgrade Project” in Melbourne and Public Transport Victoria, has requested a tender submission from the Victorian Companies (Companies which are in Victoria state – for example).  Lets suppose you are the Bid Manager of a Company and you want to submit a tender response to PTV.  The whole tender process might run for two years, so you want to track this process from end to end.

You have a lot of choices in the market, to manage and track your tender’s submission.  You can use a system or do it manually. There are several systems, softwares, hardwares to manage your company requirements. The more you explore, the more complex it gets.

So, my advice, keep it simple!

The smart choice will be Dynamics 365. Because you are already using Outlook or Office 365, so it would be intelligent and economical, to keep all your data in one place “Office 365”.

The Bid Management might include below activities:

1- Customer Database, Contact Information, Correspondence tracking between all the stakeholders

2- Previous Contracts, Content, Case Study, Tender Submissions reference lookup. You don’t want to re-write the stuff, that you already have

3- Sales Pipeline Management and Numbers crunching

4- Leads Management (Coffee Catchups) and Relationship Management

5- Deadlines and Time management

6 – Alerts, notifications, approvals, escalations

Today I will talk about Tender or Bid Management System, that how you can setup Tender Management System in your Business using Dynamics 365. Most organisations use SharePoint to manage their business process, which is fine – but SharePoint is a Content Management System not a business process system.

In Dynamics 365 you can use the “Sales” module to implement your Tender Management System and keep your documents in SharePoint. Because there is a seamless integration between Dynamics 365 and SharePoint online. Your Dynamics 365 Solution Architect can configure this.

To deploy this system, you will need below ingredients:

– Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan

– Dynamics 365 Solution Architect OR Developer with Sales functional knowledge and SharePoint knowledge

– Approx 2 months’ time for deployment and training

– Top level management support to ensure data integrity and user commitment

You can use the Sales Hub or create your own app, by giving it a name “Tender Management System” App. You can pick up the below entities and deploy it:

– Accounts

– Contacts

– Leads

– Opportunities

The Opportunities can be your Tenders or Bids, you can rename the Entity description as tenders or bids. You can rename this, on the form page, create new views and deploy charts. For every Tender, you can create a fresh record and a SharePoint folder, associated with that Tender Record is automatically created. This happens after your Dynamics 365 Solution Architect configure your system.

If you want to be fancy, you can create your own company’s business process in Dynamics 365. Your dynamics 365 developer can do that for you. Or else, you can keep it simple.

You can store documents, under the tender record that you created in the first place. The tender record is in Dynamics 365, and there will be a button on the record page, where you can upload tender documents. The documents will be stored in SharePoint, but the front end will be Dynamics 365.

The benefit of doing this is, you can track, record, document the Tender Management process from end to end. Find lessons learned, if you win or lose the tender. You can prepare reports, dashboards for your CEO or Management Committee. Some tenders might run for 2 or more years, so Bid Managers might lose track of it, if it’s not managed in a system.

If you want more information on this, you can always comment or drop me a message. This is a complete system and it will be different for every business.


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