Procurement and baking are not often mentioned in the same sentence, but they have more in common than you might think…
Recipe for success: when firms achieve excellent quality scores for their tender responses - and particularly when a tender is won on quality rather than price - it's the tenders equivalent of a Paul Hollywood handshake.
Technical challenge: conversely, when things go wrong, it's the procurement version of a soggy bottom. Baking, like procurement, is all about playing by the rules. Tenders need to be compliant as well as compelling. The sanctions for not complying can be tough: recent examples include a law firm which failed to submit the boilerplate questionnaire along with the tender submission itself, causing their entire bid to be rejected. Another case involved a firm which uploaded the wrong tender submission to a procurement portal, discovering only after the deadline had passed that a mistake had been made. Their bid was also disallowed.
Showstoppers: in the overall tender process, bidders are, above all else, trying to differentiate themselves from the competition - in other words, they are trying to produce a showstopper of a tender response. The tender which stands out as doing things differently from other offerings is almost always the winner.
Quality ingredients: the quality of a tender will often be dependent on the quality of ingredients - the experience, expertise and approach of the team. Specialist accreditations and client commendations all help to demonstrate "star baker" credentials.
As I watch the GBBO contestants, as well as being impressed by their amazing baking skills, I am struck by their grace under pressure as well as the camaraderie on display in the tent - just the sort of approach which organisations are looking for when they go out to tender for legal services. Just as Bake Off was an unexpected hit, surpassing all expectations, surely it's only a matter of time before another unlikely TV show hits our screens…"On your marks, get set…BID!"