It will probably come as no surprise to learn that today was spent reviewing PowerPoint slides and answering questions raised by the Client. Apparently it has become my role to take minutes and convert Executive scrawl in to polished prose. I was not best impressed at landing these jobs as we do have a team member specifically in place to perform those duties ...
... Lets call him John, "Hello John, what are you doing today". "Hello bad man, I'm sat out on the verandah drinking a Pimms. Do you know, I've a terrible mole problem out on the Southern Lawn at the moment"
That pretty much sums up John. He is a delightful chap, beautifully spoken with a splendid turn of phrase from a bygone age, but as a Bid Manager he is a complete waste of space. I have worked with him ... well I say worked, what I really mean that we have been assigned on the same deals a number of times and I have yet to see him do anything worthwhile and if he does do something it is usually wrong.
The first time I encountered him we were discussing a unit rate on an opportunity and I mentioned that the number looked totally wrong and seemed to be a pricing problem. He told me that couldn't be so. I did what any "newby" would do and ignored him and looked in to how this number had been developed. Surprise, Surprise! The Pricer advised that he had taken annual costs and converted them in to a monthly rate thereby producing a price twelve times higher than it should be.
From that point forward he has dithered around the far edges of my projects doing the bare minimum and taking a healthy bonus when they get signed. On rare occasions I have worked with proper bid managers that actually know what they are doing and they are an absolute boon. They really do take the weight and leave you to concentrate on the important elements. They will act as your chaser, your compiler or your event organiser and do it far better than you can because that is all they do. They are not responsible for delivering anything they simply collate and arrange. I am seriously considering becoming a bid manager when I get too old to perform my current role.
I will say one more thing about dear old John. On the reviews last week I noticed that one of the slides had a comment assigned to it. I clicked on the flag and noticed that it was one I made early in 2011. The lazy old sod had been repeatedly using the same deck on deal after deal and had never bothered to review and delete irrelevant and possible confusing information.
Talk about a quality product.