I came to Australia in 2007 to fill a tender writing role. Till then, while I was familiar with responding to tenders, I hadn’t comprehended that responding to tenders could be a full time role.
Since 2007 though, on average, I’d guess that I have responded to one RFT – panel or project – per week (and I should add that during this period my roles have changed from tender heavy to tender light to tender heavy without that much difference in tender workload). I would guess that I also probably respond to one Request for Quote (RfQ) every two days and I must assist with at least two capability statements per week.
What I’m trying to say is this:- I’ve worked on a lot of proposals over the past decade.
And why wouldn’t I have? So far as I’m aware, in Australia:-
- every level of government – Federal, State, Territory and Local – is panelled to some extent. A number of states, including NSW, QLD, Vic and WA also have collective Local Council panels.
- approximately 80% of the ASX 200 is panelled.
That’s an awful lot of tenders – some of which are public and others invitation only.
Right about now you’re probably asking why this all matters?
The answer is this, last Friday Corporate Counsel reported that ‘Barclays Looks to Shake Up Law Firm Panel Model in Coming Years‘, going on to state that:-
“Beginning in 2021, Barclays will ditch RFPs and adopt a more flexible approach to outside counsel management.”
[Noting that the terms RFP and RFT are largely inter-changeable]
Having been at the coal-face of requests for tenders for so long, this is music to my ears!
Only, as a half decent tenderer can tell you, on closer inspection it isn’t.
Chris Grant, the head of Barclays’s firm relationships, has come up with guidelines that the Bank hopes will allow them to build better connections with their firms. These include Barclays using a “gateway process” that includes a probationary period for new legal service providers.
Hang on a second – this is suddenly sounding like an ad hoc – as opposed to a structured – RFT process.
Shame really as one day B2B clients will come to realise that legal panels are a very costly and time consuming process.