Remember that feeling after Thierry Henry handled the ball and everyone saw it..
We all knew when we got just 4 days notice for this tender that the whole process was stacked against us..
How in the name of God can you turn around a decent plan in just 4 days? – this request was challenging and it was designed to work against everyone except who was lined up to get it, probably who had the contract already?
This was the third year when this contract was out for “tender”.
Year 1 – we put what we felt was a really good plan together – we put huge effort into the proposal. In any normal pitch situation we will be invited in for a briefing where we can probe the client, get an understanding of the issues and put a decent plan together. In a tender situation you don’t have this opportunity.
We weren’t even invited to present …hmmm, that’s unusual – the plan we submitted was really strong and priced competitively. Maybe the other plans were so much better that we didn’t even deserve the opportunity to present?
Year 2 – let’s dig even deeper. Our plan was really strong, priced competitively and once again we didn’t even get a chance to present. Hmmm.. that’s unusual, were we that far off the pace again? I was surprised so this time I carefully monitored the event and the media coverage to see what “magic” was delivered to the event that we were not able to provide – to be honest it seemed to be more of the same as every other year, no new ideas and more of the same formula repeated.
Ok ….this time, lets request a meeting in advance of the tender process so we can meet the team and have that opportunity to get a proper debrief. This meeting went well and we seemed to actually address all of their key issues in our previous plan – there was no point pointing that out! It was clear from this briefing meeting that the whole project had gone stale and needed a shake-up. We stated clearly that we wanted a fair crack of the whip this year.
Year 3 – We get four days notice, and they are operating to a tight budget …hmmm, that’s unfair and the launch date is nearly here.
Let’s make a choice – do we bow out (making it easy for whoever) and not accept the challenge or do we drop what we are working on, dig deep and ask the team to put everything into turning around a plan within the few days? Let’s go for it..this is a contract for a project we really wanted to work on.
We put everything into this plan, give a great price well within the stated tight budget and sure enough we get the “Dear John” letter and once again not even the opportunity to present.
Was our plan that inferior?
I’m not bragging but when Fuzion get a fair crack of the whip we win more than our share of accounts – here we weren’t even worthy of a “look-in”. We are really busy, we have grown our business winning lots of great new contracts from Irish and international clients but this is a particular one that we were determined wanted to win.
While we pretend to be following guidelines and giving everyone a “fair” chance a lot of this appears to be window dressing and the usual suspects normally end up getting these contracts, because they always have ..this right must earned fairly.
How was that for a rant !!
Must make a cuppa, forget about Thierry and put my head down .. I have way too much to do!
A late addition to the blog post compliments of Brendan Palmer – this is a great YouTube clip