Successful Bid Proposal to Product Manufacture

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Successful Bid Proposal to Product Manufacture

If you operate the type of organization that requires you to bid on work, you need to know how to compete the entire process successfully from bid to engineering to manufacture. This process is as much an art as a science, and cannot be taken lightly.  Just winning the bid is not enough.  The entire process must be completed in order to establish customer loyalty through the proof of competence, confidence and professionalism.

Making balanced decisions while transitioning from proposal to engineering and production is a concept to be kept in the forefront of any organization's mind.

Making balanced decisions while transitioning from proposal to engineering and production is a concept to be kept in the forefront of any organization’s mind.

In many cases organizations tend to focus on the bidding phase in this process.  Making the bid stand out from all the others is an important aspect of conducting a successful business transaction, but knowing how to manage the transition from winning the proposal to successfully producing the product is paramount.

There are three key areas to consider when approaching an entire process like this.  These are the understanding your customer priorities, managing the conflict in customer requirements and operations capabilities, along with providing for a seamless transition across the organization’s functional silo.

Capture customer priorities

In any process, organizations must capture customer priorities in a way that assures continued focus.  In many instances meeting customer priorities is defined as meeting customer needs and providing superior value.  In many ways this can be as simple as developing an approach to defining customer needs or requirements and translating them into specific plans to produce products to meet those needs.

Direct discussion or interviews, surveys, focus groups, going over customer specifications, and reviewing observation are a variety of ways to learn an organization’s priorities. These sorts of exercises can uncover the real or ‘root’ needs of customers.  This understanding of the customer needs can even be summarized in a product planning matrix. A matrix such as this can then be translated into higher level wants pointing at lower level product requirements or technical characteristics. In this way, the customer’s needs can effectively be satisfied.

Transition smoothly from proposal to engineering and production

Making balanced decisions while transitioning from proposal to engineering and production is a concept to be kept in the forefront of any organization’s mind.  Using a methodology that will support and advance the decision-making process across the life of the project is ideal.  Knowing the capabilities of your engineering function and your production function when applying this decision-making methodology will make the whole process better.  Not to mention that having this in mind during the bidding process will make that step much easier.

The greatest significance of having some sort of methodology in mind, when making decisions is that it provides a structure to guide organizations through an entire process. Criteria must be identified and considered systematically in the whole process. This will also visibly show and identify any pitfalls you may experience in the project.

Align a manufacturing plan

Integrating the many functional viewpoints into an aligned manufacturing plan is key to any successful project.  The need for the alignment of engineering and manufacturing with areas such as IT is absolutely necessary.  As the landscape becomes more competitive, companies must be more responsive to change.

There are many different methodologies and models to use as a guide for alignment.  As always, an organization must consider the culture of its workforce. Cross-functional teamwork must be reached in order to develop any successful manufacturing plan.  The right methodology can be applied to accomplish this.  Having a thorough understanding of all areas in an organization including business and IT functions can facilitate alignment.

These areas kept at the forefront when tackling any project is helpful. Creating proactive ways to manage the integration of bidding, engineering and operations of an entire process is important.  This will promote customer satisfaction when your organization delivers successfully on a project.  It also promotes departmental harmony, effective and efficient organizational operations, and an organization’s future growth.

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About Kim Crabtree

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Phone: 734-425-1455 | Fax: 734-943-6608 | Livonia, MI 48154

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