Consequently, the process of preparing tender documentation and in fact any documentation that is to leave the office, should be undertaken with care and attention, with organisations having robust quality assurance processes to ensure that the documentation is checked at various stages. Junior and new members of staff need to be trained and supervised throughout the whole process so that they understand the significance of preparing tender documentation and that each component cannot and should not be prepared in isolation. Experienced and senior members of staff should not be excluded from the quality assurance process as they too are likely to make errors or omissions. The point is that through the supervision and quality assurance processes, any errors or omissions are identified before the documentation leaves the office.
Those who prepare the documentation often do not appreciate the time that is necessary to read through and check what they have produced. In some circumstances members of staff would bring documentation to me for checking and expect me to look at it, there and then and sign it off immediately, because of an imminent deadline (mostly down to their own poor time management!). This is where mistakes can be made, and any organisation that works in this way or allows this to happen, even in isolated cases, are likely to keep their solicitors very busy! Organisations must have clear policies in place so that everyone understands and complies with quality assurance procedures and also has respect for the time of those who will be checking it.
As stated previously robust supervision and training of staff will help everyone (not just technical members of staff), to understand the significance of accurate documentation. Organisations should not lose sight of this, particularly in the current economic climate. Client's are much more likely to cultivate relationships with those who they feel confident will deliver a project effectively and in a professionally manner. Allowing inaccurate documentation to leave your office is not professional and gives a very negative impression. There is a lot of competition out there and it will not take long to sour a relationship, 'you're only as good as your last project', comes to mind, so ignore this at your peril.
Above, I have used the example of tender documentation, as from experience I know the problems that can result from in inconsistencies in documentation. Tender documentation is a topic I will cover in more detail in a future article.
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