A ‘bid’, or ‘tender’ is a submission made by a prospective supplier, such as a contractor, in response to an invitation from an employer. It makes an offer for the supply of goods or services to the employer.
A bid writer prepares documents for suppliers as part of the tendering process. In the construction industry, bid writers are typically associated with contractors preparing tenders for construction works, but they may also work for subcontractors, specialist suppliers or bid writing consultancies.
Initial responsibilities on a project may involve leading on, and coordinating input and responses for, pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQ) that are used by the client to produce a shortlist of contractors who are then invited to tender. If short-listed they may then go on to co-ordinate, or be involved the preparation of the bid itself.
Often answerable to a bid manager, the bid writer is responsible for developing and managing a network of subject matter experts and engaging with a variety of stakeholders, such as subcontractors and suppliers to assess and define business opportunities and ideas and to incorporate contributions into PQQ responses or tender documentation.
It is important that the bid writer is able to identify the needs and values of the employer so that these can be addressed in submissions, balanced at all times with the business strategy of the contractor.
Communication is a large part of the bid writer’s role, as they must be able to provide advice and guidance to colleagues regarding approaches to potential clients, and to co-ordinate and share information to the wider team.
A bid writer must have excellent research, writing and analytical skills, to be able to examine and collect data from financial records and technical reports to inform bids. They must have good attention to detail and be able to present technical information in easily understandable ways.
They must be able to obtain and assess feedback from employers regarding successful and unsuccessful bids in order to drive continuous improvement.
While there is no typical entry requirement or formal training for bid management, those carrying out the role will usually be educated to degree level or have experience of project management.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Appointing consultants.
- Auction theory.
- Bid evaluation.
- Bid strategies.
- Client’s representative.
- Commercial manager.
- Construction contract.
- Cost consultant.
- Expression of interest.
- Invitation to tender.
- Pre-qualification questionnaire PQQ.
- Procurement route.
- Project manager.
- Project team for building design and construction.
- Quantity surveyor.
- Tender documentation.
- Tender processes.
 External resources
- National Career Service - Bid writer
Featured articles and news
Studio Libeskind reveal designs for a new skyscraper with a living facade in Toulouse.
A mega-dome, a cenotaph for Newton, a bubble over New York - some of the most famous projects that were never realised.
One of the oldest and finest examples of Byzantine and Islamic architecture, the Dome of the Rock.
Have a look at our article explaining thermal comfort in buildings.
BRE's ethical labour sourcing standard and how it could help tackle modern slavery in the construction industry.
BSRIA publish mechanical and electrical maintenance customer satisfaction key performance indicators.
Have a look at our article on the history, practice and techniques of placemaking.
Have a look at the key recommendations from ICE's new report on the digital transformation of infrastructure.
The Gate of Europe, the world's first inclining high-rises, with a lean of 15-degrees.
Why engineers need to keep pace with the challenges and opportunities of the digital transformation of the infrastructure sector.
Have a read of our introductory article on fabric structures; their history, properties and characteristics, and more...