When bidding complex manufacturing jobs whether a factory process or administration process, such as coding, it is important to keep a few things in mind to increase profit margins. Understanding the client, the job and the tools needed in bidding jobs can drastically improve the profitability of your organization.
Using the tools learned via operational excellence to confront the challenges inherent in any complex system can help overcome any adversity. Road mapping, value stream mapping and many other improvement concepts can make bidding each job one that is successful and profitable.
The key when planning and quoting is identifying the most common challenges and applying the proper tools. Some fact-finding about the nature of the issues being faced and uncovering root causes can lead to the empowerment to discuss and address these issues.
One of the challenges encountered in any complex process is often the use of a single process to accomplish it. The desire to simplify things often has unintended consequences. Complex processes often require multiple approaches. This is where organizational excellence concepts and tools come in handy. Road mapping the process “as is” and then brainstorming unique and varied solutions can be very beneficial when planning complex jobs.
Another pitfall people often fall into is assuming that the customer actually knows what to tell you so that you can properly quote and bid on a complex item. Customers notoriously say they want one thing, but require something different. The use of continuous improvement tools allows you to give them what they actually want. It also allows you to do it in a manner that actually meets their needs without it being over or under engineered on your side. These tools allow you the ability to hit on the exact amount of work needed to complete the job without bidding too much or too little. This only increases your profitability.
Finally, silo thinking in some organizations around doing bidding and quoting has many unintended consequences that show up later. This thinking is an attitude found in some organizations that occurs when several departments or groups do not want to share information or knowledge with other individuals. Silo thinking reduces efficiency and reduces accountability for the results of a project. Once again the tools of operational excellence can help this situation along. These tools promote the sharing of information in an attempt to let the group function as a team thereby reducing misaligned objectives and helping you bid successfully.
Recognizing these situations and applying operational excellence thinking can provide solutions and roadmaps to solving these three big challenges. It helps diagnose the root causes of the issues the organization faces. It often creates and facilitates dialogue to help develop successful solutions and shows the way to implement those solutions.
By doing so the bidding process for complex jobs is easily defined and can lead to success in the job and success in your organization. It ultimately comes down to the ability to do your analysis to determine the relative profitability and executability associated with the jobs you’re bidding. It allows you to do it properly and efficiently.