Preparing for a Bid

Success in any organisation comes directly as a result of how the organisation is managed and governed from the very beginning.  For a CRC to be successful, it must have a solid foundation laid down from the outset.  Many think the beginning of a CRC is when the bid is won, however in reality this is not the case.  Success for a CRC starts with a strong information management and governance foundation prior to the submission of a bid.

For a CRC bid to be successful, it must be organised, structured, accountable and transparent.  The Bid Centric System can deliver all of these aspects as it has been built on a solid and intimate knowledge of Bid and CRC management.  After all, CRC clients are a major part of our business.  Our system supports all the logistics, and tracks all of the key contributions and structured information associated with a bid.

Centric has been servicing CRCs with the Centric product for over 9 years which makes us well qualified to make the following observations for you to consider in your bid journey.  Whilst the CRC program has always been competitive, it would be fair to say that the current process is certainly more structured and complicated by various constraints and checks than it ever has been before.  Not least of which, is the on-line BID submission system used by DIISR.  Due to this on-line submission and vetting system, there are certainly now more points of potential failure within any bid cycle.

As a general observation about putting forward a CRC bid, Centric have identified 4 potential outcomes for consortiums that could ensue.  The following table provides a snapshot of what we have witnessed during the last 3 bid rounds under the current approach used by DIISR.



Outcome / Result

Reasons / Comments / Observations


The consortia fails to submit their bid.

a)   The consortium underestimates the time required to submit the application and all of the associated materials etc – this is a fundamental failure of bid management and logistics within the consortia.

b)   The consortium fails to attract enough commitment from partners and withdraws from the bid process.


The consortia submits a bid and it fails to progress past stage 1 or 2 reviews.

There are a plethora of reasons why this might happen. Some of the key reasons are:

a)       Unclear program structures;

b)       Inaccurate presentation of commitments;

c)       Unclear Management Approach; and

d)       Un-compelling outcomes.


The consortia submits a bid and are awarded a CRC by DIISR, however the consortia then acts in a completely unprepared way and struggles to get the CRC operational in a reasonable time frame.

There are several reasons why this happens and from our extensive experience the following points are some of the key contributing factors:

a)   Poor interpretation of DIISR guidelines on how to account for the CRC leading to contract / agreement delays.  The key thing to note here is that more often than not this leads to completely inefficient, ineffective and more expensive administrative overheads for the CRCs concerned.  Unfortunately, these increased administration costs, rob funds from being applied more directly to research efforts;

b)   Missing or altered financial information and gaps in data related to partner contributions which make it difficult to finalise the arrangement in a timely fashion;

c)    Changes made at the last minute to critical documents and data with no records which leads to further delays in finalisation;

d)   Alternative non DIISR compliant methods of valuations of in-kind; and

e)   Poorly thought out partner arrangements that will cause greater investment in non value adding administration tasks over the life of the CRC. 

Bluntly put, poor management coordination and organisation structure causes delays, disputes and risks the success of the CRC.


The consortia is completely prepared
and ready to go.


This seems to be a rare situation. With good management and stakeholder alignment and the use of a purpose built management system like Bid Centric the chances of achieving this are much, much higher.

There is no doubt based on our experience an outcome of 1, 2, or 3 is as a direct result of how a bid process is managed. That is why, as a consequence of continually witnessing poorly managed bids, and in order to eradicate these problems, Centric moved to create the Bid Centric product.  With Bid Centric being used from the outset we can help turn the dream of a sought after Bid into a well functioning and successful CRC.

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Ted Scott
CRC for Infrastructure and Engineering Asset Management

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