By Charles Abuede
- Dangote’s insurance risks expert gives brokers master class on bidding for business
- At NCRIB members’ evening in Lagos
The preparation of bids is usually labour intensive in today’s business and creative services world. In the past, most bids were initiated by government agencies irrespective of the rise in the number of private firms which rely on the bid process in their selection for insurance brokers. However, insurance experts have identified that there is a greater possibility for insurance brokers to participate in an insurance portfolio rather than relying on traditional methods of marketing and business development as some top strategies for packaging insurance winning bids.
Obashola Alo, group head, insurance and financial risks, Dangote Industries Limited, in a keynote presentation at the recently held Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) members’ evening held in Lagos, said there are ways or categorical segmentation of bids packaging process which can be attempted by brokers in the insurance industry, who can decide on the use of the public and private sectors for their bids.
The insurance and financial risks expert noted that dealers can package their bids through the open competitive bidding process, which is the point whereby a company or a supplier defines some criteria, opportunity to reach consensus for the supply of commodities. Another category or process to packaging insurance winning bid is the special and restricted bidding petition, which can be used in different instances, such as when the specifications for a certain good or service is not feasible to be provided or in the case of identical services which requires bids in advance, as well as during a period when a firm intends to enter into a contract for research, study or product development.
Also, Obashola stated that the direct procurement process to packaging insurance bids could be in the form of a firm requesting a single bid proposal price. He disclosed that this can be done in an instance where the goods or services available from a particular company or supplier have been given already as a way to avoid the issue of time consumption in the processes involved in procurement.
“An instance could be when a government wants to procure some vaccines; they will surely see it as very urgent and critical as it requires that they go through a direct procurement for the easy and direct obtainment of the goods (vaccines) to avoid the time-wasting processes,” he said.
Properly zeroing in on the ways to package winning bids in the insurance industry, Obashola asserted that a broker or business development executive must decide if he or she wants to participate in the business or not. He noted the fact that many companies, ranging from non-profit to government agencies, to big firms, will send a request for proposals to prospective clients or insurance brokers. But on the reception of such request, the broker should decide on participating or not, irrespective of the level of expertise or desperation for the job.
Also, the need to clarify some important details with the client is important and requires some level of expertise and due diligence so as not to let slip some confidential information about your company or place your clients in a position that may have them thinking of data breach or violation of data protection rules which, overtime, has placed some organisations in a vulnerable situation for an attack.
Furthermore, he admonished that in packaging an insurance winning bid, an insurance broker should correctly estimate the costs that can set them up to profit down the road. Factor all necessarily needed materials and labour and also stick prices on 10 to 15 per cent as a service charge fee. This, the insurance and finance risks expert said will set the broker on a profitability journey in the bid process. In addition, brokers should check for profit margin by marking up costs based on the industry’s expectations. However, a bid may be won if a client underbids his competitors but such a bid may not sustain the business in future.
Finally, the use of technology and social media can also aid a broker in the process of packaging an insurance winning bid in today’s world, Obashola said.
According to him, the transition of the world and the insurance industry into a technologically driven community has created an avenue for brokers as well as firms to relate with their clients with the use of technology and social media.