GPM First
Chapter 8 of Winning Your Rebid (978-1-4094-4035-2) by Nigel Thacker

The Rebid Strategy


The first task of the rebid team leader will be to set out a high level Rebid Strategy. This will bring together, as with any strategy:

  • A review of the situation.

  • The outcome that you want to achieve.

  • Your outline plan for achieving this outcome.

  • And a more detailed programme of work streams and resources that will deliver the plan.


Having a strategy in place means that you have discussed, agreed and communicated to all those involved, both on the rebid team and the operational team on the contract. This should mean that there is clear buy-in from all involved of the task ahead and their roles within it, and clarity of the time available to complete the tasks required. Of course as with all strategies, the rebid strategy will need to be regularly checked to ensure that it is on track and that any changes in the situation surrounding the customer, contract and rebid are incorporated into your strategy and plans to achieve it. Below is a brief explanation of each of the elements listed.

Review of the Situation

This will include, but will not be limited to the areas already discussed in earlier chapters:

  • The performance on the contract to date.

  • A review of the customer – who does what, what are the customer’s requirements and aims, what pressures are on the customer etc.

  • The relationship that has been built with the customer – and crucially an assessment of how much the customer is in favour of retaining your services in the next contract period.

  • The likely changes the customer will be making to the contract in the rebid.

  • The effectiveness of the existing contract structure in delivering effectively and efficiently the customer’s needs, and at the same time making a return for the company.

  • Who are the likely competitors – what are their strengths and weaknesses.

  • What has progressed in your company in the intervening period.

  • What has changed in the market during the period of the contract – is new technology available, have trends in contract type changed? (For examples of this see Chapters 2 and 5.)

  • Is there an option to extend the contract rather than go through a rebid – and is this the preferred option for the business?

  • How prepared are you for the rebid – is the right team available, is the right information about the contract to date, the likely rebid format and the opportunities going forward to innovate, cut costs, and/or improve the contract performance already clear and obvious? Or are you starting from scratch and need to build this information quickly?


The Outcome You Want To Achieve

This may seem obvious at first glance – you want to win the rebid of course. But it is worth checking that this is actually the case – perhaps your business is moving into different areas, or the margin that the contract offers is no longer attractive, or perhaps the customer is a particularly difficult one that the cost of dealing with it is greater than the margin available is worth. Unlikely as it is that you will not wish to rebid, it is sensible to check all these factors so that you are going ahead with clarity.

Beyond this, you should check the particular outcomes that you want to achieve for the contract ahead – can you get an extension as has been mentioned above? Also, is there the opportunity to expand the scope of the contract, or deliver it in a new way? If these are options then you will need to be communicating with and influencing the customer to attempt to get the rebid specified in a way that will help you achieve these things.

Your Outline Plan For Achieving Your Outcomes

This will cover a number of key areas:

  • The team and resources you need to deliver the rebid win.

  • The rebid budget. This is something often not specifically set out in some businesses.


How much will your rebid cost you – in terms of people costs; potentially accommodation costs; costs of advisors, such as legal and commercial support; the cost of preparing the bid documentation, etc. Setting and managing a rebid budget effectively means that the business has clarity on the full costs and therefore returns of the contract:

  • The timetable for the rebid process and the key dates by which specific actions need completion.

  • The level of change that you will be addressing in the rebid and how you plan to find the best solution to win.

  • Whether you will need to find partners or significant new subcontractors for the new contract.

  • The review process for the rebid.

  • The commercial aspects of the rebid, and if there is a sense of the price levels that you may need to achieve.

  • Customer relationship management during the rebid.

  • Timings and responsibilities for actions and how the rebid will be managed as a project.


Once the outline plan is completed this should be shared with the core team to be sure that everyone is aware of the requirements that the plan implies – making sure of course that you keep security around the plan so that competitors do not gain information that will be valuable to them.

More Detailed Work Streams

These will break down the overall tasks and set detailed timetables for each and allocate specific people to achieve them. The plan should be created on a project basis, perhaps with Gannt charts etc., to ensure that all aspects of the plan are coordinated and the critical path is clear. Depending on the size and complexity of the rebid you may need to allocate as part of the team a project coordinator who will keep the plan up to date, ensure that all elements of the work streams are progressing to plan, and ensure that the overall project plan is kept up to date and continues to be communicated to the team and remains viable in terms of delivering the rebid on time. Part of the detailed plan will be regular reviews of progress to ensure that you are on track and as new information becomes available the strategy is reviewed to ensure that it is still be best way to deliver the successful rebid.

With your team in place, your rebid strategy decided and a clear project plan in place you are now in a position to manage and deliver your rebid.

Chapter 8 Checklist:

  • Start the rebid process in good time.

  • Review the rebid situation.

  • Create a clear Rebid Strategy and associated project plan for the rebid.

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