Business Development Solutions for the Construction Industry

Bid Cost Survey

2014 Bid Cost Survey

In 2014 MarketingWorks, in association with Professor Will Hughes of the University of Reading, updated their 2003 research assessing how the bid cost investment affects work winning within the construction industry.

The data was collected by reference to actual projects and was analysed to discover what can be learnt, not only in the cost of bidding for work, but also how differing behaviours and approaches have influenced whether a company wins or loses the bid.

In addition to providing some interesting indications on how and why a bid is successful, the survey also highlights that many companies fail to capture bid cost information and to fully evaluate their own specific market and processes. This has a real and clear impact on the profitability of the company and is an issue that the industry could greatly profit from, if addressed.


Improving the win rate

As there are many variables influencing how effort or bid spend affect outcomes for different types of project, it is important for contractors and consultants to be analytical of their market and rigorous in the management of their work-winning and bidding behaviours. The resulting knowledge can be applied to enhance work-winning effectiveness.

It was found that there is enormous potential for this type of data to help in decisions which could identify:

o   Where to invest effort (in activities that will win the work)

o   How this varies by client/ sector/ procurement route

o   How to exploit selectivity to maximise profitability

o   How this would influence strategic organisation

Read more about the 2014 Bid Cost Survey as reported in Construction News analysis pieces and also in a summary of the research findings prepared by MarketingWorks. All available in the downloads on the left of this page. 

In most cases activities focused on the specific client (i.e. client-centric, aligned activities) win the most work, in the most cost effective manner.


MarketingWorks offers a range of solutions to help our clients achieve these objectives including:


Creating bespoke win work flow processes and guidance that supports company-wide adoption of a work winning culture with embedded client centric behaviours and attitudes that improve win rates and work winning efficiencies.
    • MarketingWorks works with you to identify desirable changes in behaviours and processes and then works with your teams to uplift their capability, achieving rapid buy-in to desired behavioural change resulting in dramatic and immediate improvement. Read More.
Bespoke easy-to-use bid selection tools that help contractors and consultants to quickly evaluate their bidding opportunities, enabling consistency and transparency in decision taking.
    • By using MarketingWorks Selectivity and Reporting Tools you will be able to avoid waste by refocusing resources and effort on enhancing the quality of those bids where they have the highest chance of winning. Read More.

Work winning efficiencies are achieved through a combination of improved effectiveness (resulting in fewer abortive bids) and increased rigour in selectivity and focusing of available resources. The 2014 survey gives pointers on where winning bidders focus their resources and the MarketingWorks Work Winning Solutions help organisations to apply this learning for greater work winning effectiveness. 

To discuss the outcomes from the survey further contact philipcollard@marketingworks.co.uk



To participate further, Contractors and Consultants wanted

MarketingWorks helps our clients to capture this data through online tools and processes and, when analysed, the outputs deliver invaluable information at company level. For this reason, we are looking for more contractors and consultants to provide us with access to their internal metrics so we can explore this potential for them. 

There is a one-off bespoking cost and an ongoing monthly fee per user, but the resulting reports will equip participating organisations to make more consistent bid/no bid decisions and inform them where best to focus their investment.

To discuss this opportunity further please contact philipcollard@marketingworks.co.uk


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