A winning bid response is in the planning. Analysing the tender request should be among the first steps that is taken when preparing a response. All public tender requests, often referred to as invitations to offer (ITOs), requests for tender (RFTs) or requests for proposal (RFPs), have common elements such as:
- Outline of the job’s requirements
- List of criteria that providers/suppliers must meet
- Instructions about the tender process.
If it is a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) or framework, it would be preferable to set a submission deadline for the bid response. It is important that the tender specifications are read, along with the contract terms and conditions. Familiarity with the policies, guidelines and regulations for tendering. Once the tender request is understood, it will be important to determine if the opportunity is a good fit for the business.
The next step is to determine whether the business has the capability to perform the job. A way to test this would be to list the components for the job. Identify the tasks and requirements that can be confidently met and any aspects that cause concern. At this point it would be advantageous to review any similar work undertaken in the past. Analyse and scope the costs that may be incurred to ensure that there would be a good return on any investment in the project.
Finally, consider the risks that may be encountered if the contract is won and how would be best manage or minimise the risks.
Research the buyer
The next stage of planning is to research the buyer. The commissioner may meet certain targets or objectives they need to meet each year when doing business. This could provide advantages to small businesses. This is because many businesses and public entities have targets to work with SMEs. Additionally, smaller businesses are likely to be more sustainable; such as using environmentally friendly products or working towards being carbon neutral /negative. Working with businesses that do this is a big bonus for bigger businesses or public entities.
Researching the buyer begins by gathering as much information as possible about the government agency requesting the tender and the work they require. An example of this would be to ask questions such as, if the agency has any strong environmental concern? Or if there are issues driving the request for tender. Having detailed information about the potential buyer, will enable the bid to be tailored to their specific needs.
If there are any briefing sessions, it would be desirable to attend them. If there are any questions, contact the tender coordinator which can help establish a rapport with key contacts.
Tailor your case studies and testimonials
When tailoring the bid, present relevant information for the convenience of the buyer. It is important to be specific when writing and fill in any blanks. If the proposed Contract manager is mentioned, put down their name. If describing an electronic management system, name it. Being specific suggests that the bidder is both credible and accountable. It makes the delivery proposal concrete and realistic.
When tendering competitively, always give evidence to reinforce points in the tender responses. Referencing other contracts in which the bidder has completed similar or identical services is advantageous. This demonstrates the bidder is experienced at what they do and gives the buyer confidence that the bidder is competent.
It is common for buyers to ask for case studies, often up to three, when a tender for business is made. If possible, these case studies should be within the last three to five years. They must be similar in scope and style to the contract that is being advertised.
Including positive testimonials from a previous client can help build the bidders reputation. Although, the bidder must be aware of the word count. If the bidder does provide testimonials, it would be important to provide the contact details of the client.
Another method of strengthening any case studies provided is to include how the challenges (if any) were overcome. This will exhibit problem-solving skills and flexibility of the bidder.
Make sure you the relevant accreditations and quailifications
When bidding on contracts, it is important to include the relevant qualifications and accreditations. It is vital that the bidder checks that they meet the necessary requirements before applying for the opportunity. The bidder should thoroughly read through the specification provided as it will provide details of what is needed.
Standing out from competitors can be one of the biggest challenges that bidders face. Although the bidder may provide an excellent response, it may not be enough. The way the presentation is conveyed can make a large difference. Creativity can stretch both across content and presentation.
Free-flowing proposals give the opportunity for the bidder to be creative. Formatting can include using bullet points and subheadings. Using bullet points and subheadings can break up large pieces of texts. This can help the buyer to retain information as it is easier to read. The bidder should carefully consider the design. This includes company colours and the company logo, which can help the bidders tender stand out from others. The bidder could use this opportunity to outsource work to make sure the bid is professional and grbas the buyer’s attention.
Although it can be beneficial to be creative, it is important to adhere to the format dictated in the specification, especially if it is a pre-formatted response documentation. The specification will likely include font type and size, and rules on tables.
Presenting added value can improve the buyer’s response for the tender for business. If the bidder has an innovative idea that will save time and money, this would be the opportunity to showcase it. Anything that will cut costs or add value to the contract will grab the buyers attention.
In the public sector, contracts are awarded to the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT). The bidder would need to state how the business as a whole would benefit the buyer. This is when the bid is assessed on more than just price.
Uniform company CV
It may be required for the builder to include company CVs in the response. Providing company CVs shows attention to detail if they are presented uniformly. If the CVs are all uniform, it will show the effort placed in the consistency. This can strengthen the bid when tendering for business.
If you need any extra help or support in writing your bid, get in contact with our experts at JGP Consultancy.