The Bid Manager

The role of the Bid Manager requires someone with a wide-ranging set of skills and broad experience although both the expectations and background of a Bid Manager can vary. Reader, writer, psychologist, strategist, and presenter are all words that can be used to describe what is expected from a Bid Manager at times. This article sets out to try and describe this in a bit more detail but is not intended to be exhaustive.

In some industries, the Role of Bid Manager is often someone that is a process Bid Manager, but typically a construction Bid Manager will have a strong technical background as well and this may be from a design, operational, commercial, or engineering discipline.

A Bid Manager’s prime objective is to lead and manage the bid process (ranging from pre-qualification to final submission) and maximise the chances of winning the work by producing a persuasive and appealing offer.

A Bid Manager may also be responsible for engaging a design team for the bid or for ensuring that an allocated Design Manager does. The specific role of a Design Manager including during the bid/tender stage is covered by a separate article.

Depending on the size of the Contractor, the complexity of the opportunities being pursued and the Seniority, the Bid Manager may actually do some/all of the tasks as set out below or co-ordinate a bid team that will carry them out.

Read bid documents

This is really the first action for a Bid Manager for any bid. They need to be able to read potentially large amounts of information in a short space of time with a view understanding the following…

  • Scope of the project
  • Procurement route
  • Deliverables to be submitted
  • Key risks and opportunities
  • Proposed form of contract and any legal requirements
  • Client team decision-makers and influencers
  • Client drivers and priorities
  • Potential win themes / USP’s for the bid submission
  • Bid programme and submission date(s)
  • Information that is inadequate, incorrect or needs further clarification

Bid or not

Decide/advise/be part of the decision process on whether or not to proceed with the bid, based on if the opportunity aligns with the business plan and objectives, creates a realistic opportunity and does not pose unacceptable risks.


  • Establish what is expected with the bid submission
  • Allocate owners and contributors for each deliverable which may include
    • Quality questions on a range of topics (increasingly including sustainability and social value agendas)
    • Programme
    • Cost
    • Legal/Contract review
    • Design (review, design team appointment and/or obtaining design fees)
  • Share with the bid team in a format that can be monitored and managed

Bid Programme

Set out the bid programme identifying dates for any mid-bid client team meetings, internal bid team meetings, dates for drafts and final issue of deliverables etc

Other activities

  • Bid Launch: Present the bid to the bid team and potentially business leaders to assist in decision making
  • Bid/Tender Queries identified, communicated and managed
  • Bid/Tender Clarifications collated and prepared for inclusion within submission if appropriate
  • Establish/manage relationships (internal and external)
  • Bid Meetings to monitor progress, discuss strategy etc
  • Research to inform bid submission
  • Proofing reading/editing/writing  
  • Value Engineering
  • Compliance with corporate governance and processes
  • Bid settlement: Bid team presents to leaders, submission reviewed at a high level and often the final decision on financial elements of submission
  • Post tender query review, management and response
  • Handover of successful bids to the delivery team

A good Bid Manager

  • Good communicator (oral and written) and confident presenter
  • Able to work to and manage strict deadlines
  • Analytical, logical and at least in part be process-driven
  • Attentive to detail
  • Problem solver and lateral thinker at times
  • Commercial thinker


You can see that a construction Bid Manager will need to have a varied skillset and potentially wear a number of different hats during the bid process to deliver the best submission possible. The success of a bid will depend equally on the quality of the bid team and the leadership of the Bid Manager (as well as prevailing market conditions and the appetite of your competitors).

Multiple people working together with wooden cogs.

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You may have seen the requirement for a Collateral Warranty, but not been sure what this means for you, the builder. The wording of any such document needs to be carefully reviewed and the failure to provide one where called for can have significant contractual and financial impact.
Role of the Principal Designer
What makes a good Application for Payment?
An application for payment is an assessment of the works due to be completed up to the next payment due date.

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