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Outlook Improving the


Bid-to-Win Rate


Bidding for business remains an essen- tial yet challenging component of many companies’ sales process. Tis is espe- cially true in the auto industry where suppliers must cope with constantly changing customer demand, increasing local and global competition, and the escalating needs and complexities of today’s vehicles and related design and manufacturing processes. Disconnected and oſten manual bid


processes, coupled with the forces that drive cost and inaccuracy into offers, means companies must consider new ways to deliver more profitable, accu- rate, timely, and differentiating propos- als. And this needs to be done without adverse effect on the costs of the bidding process or bandwidth of their people. For most suppliers, a bid rarely exists


in isolation; it’s just one of many offers the company makes. Tis means a new request should be viewed in the context of the whole business. Does it fit with the company’s core offerings? Will all re- sources be available to propose and de- liver? Were recent bids profitable? Who is the competition and what might they offer? Merging this into a single source and presenting it in an easily accessible manner, such as a graphical dashboard, helps answer these questions, enabling better-informed decisions. When it comes to developing a bid


one must take into account the compa- ny’s rate and capacity to design, engineer and cost a compelling offer. Making effective use of what’s successfully been done in the past means bid team members can focus on areas where they add value while reducing bid risk and saving time. Having easy and immediate


access to existing designs, for example, helps reduce bid development costs and ensures the viability and performance of the final offer. For instance, a mirror system may have five components, each constrained by engineering require-


A new bid request should be viewed in the context of the business as a whole.


ments where altering the shape or posi- tion of any one will directly impact the others. Without access to prior designs, it could take 40–50 hours to design this module. If previous information can be leveraged, the design time can be re- duced to less than a day and the supplier would understand which components must be designed and which can be bor- rowed from existing inventory. Aggregating and efficiently ratio-


nalizing complex information in areas such as technical compliance, timelines, resource allocations, costs and profit- ability allows bid teams to make better decisions early and help reduce bid risk. Dynamic management dashboards help the team to understand situations and choices in the context of the bid and against the company’s key performance criteria, allowing the team to audit and adapt quickly if change is necessary. A disconnected environment reduces


efficiency and can cause many errors. Connecting information with people— sales, purchasing and engineering teams—enables the reuse of informa- tion and helps to standardize business processes. With this integrated approach, all departments can see how they relate to each other and any changes immedi-


Michael Lalande Director


Americas Transportation & Mobility Dassault Systèmes


ately are reflected to all stakeholders. In the end this delivers more accurate and better performing offers. Importantly, by using technology to unify the bid process around a commonly accessible and man- aged environment, necessities such as bid and company governance, reporting and measurement are available on demand, in real time, and more accurately. Te final bid deliverable is of-


ten overlooked as an opportunity to differentiate, promote and excel. Of course it’s essential that final output be performing, correct to specification and presentable. But, with the availability of the bid information inclusive of CAD models produced as a by-product of an integrated bid development process, why stop at a paper or PowerPoint proposal? Demonstrating the form, fit and function of the final offer in context, in motion (in 3D) or even interactively, allows suppliers to emphasize differ- entiating attributes of their bid in an attractive, easily understandable format. If a picture paints a thousand words, a virtual 3D world paints a million. Old, disconnected processes can’t


deliver the improvements that many companies aspire to instill into their bid processes, but there is opportunity to improve. Challenges facing auto suppli- ers to create winning proposals can be addressed by unifying the bid manage- ment environment. With an integrated system capturing all development and business processes for reuse, multiple design and engineering options can be considered, along with their associated costs, within the context of the business as a whole thus improving both your bid-to-win rate and business results.


Motorized Vehicle Manufacturing 29


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