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Increasingly, large organisations (including government) are expecting to put much of their core processes out to tender for subsequent outsourcing. Dell does not manufacture its PCs, xxxxx. Bidding for these contracts will become a core competence for service organisations. However, the skills and disciplines involved take time to acquire.

If there are no prizes (but plenty of costs involved) for coming second, it will pay to learn to analyse all the requirements needed to win and decide beforehand whether to compete.

In depth analysis of the customer, the customer;s customer, the core requirements, the optional factors and how they are best presented, the negotiating strategy, the roles of the various players and so on are best donew before £10m or more has been thrown away to please a few egos. Choosing which battles to fight is one of the keys to longer term success.

Here are a couple of brief case studies showing a success and a failure. The failure could have been predicted and either stapes taken to improve the chances of a win or the scarce resources incolved devoted in a later opportunity with much higher likelihood of success.