How to bid for security contracts

Security tenders are a competitive process; there are approximately 1,000 security tenders in the UK, with 500 security firms interested in pursuing them. As experts in the tendering process, we are well versed in successfully tendering for sought after contracts on behalf of our clients. 

Every public and private sector body commissions security services. They are outsourced by companies who want to utilise the expertise and experience that a dedicated security company provides and save themselves the cost of directly employing security personnel and purchasing the associate equipment. The relentless evolving range of threats including terrorism, digital access, and identity fraud, means that commissioners need a supplier capable of not only responding to day-to-day issues, but in helping them foresee and respond to future challenges. 

A predominant requirement for a bidder is to be able to balance risk control with cost. You must be able to demonstrate that you can deliver a responsive resource for incidents, without creating excessive day-to-day spend. 

Security tenders can be varied, touching on services such as reception/concierge services, high-visibility patrolling, CCTV monitoring, event security, manned guarding and facilities management. It is not uncommon for security contracts to include one or more of these services, making the specification for a security tender complicated. In some cases, the specification can be divided into multiple lots. As an outcome, security tenders can be an excellent way to develop and diversify a security related business to increase revenue and market resilience. 

A Common Issue

Due to the competitiveness of security contracts, it puts a spotlight on the tenders’ specification for the level of experience and ability of the bidder. It is important that requirements of the tender matches and is appropriate for the level of ability, service provision and experience of your business. 

It is crucial to evolve and establish security solutions that will generate the savings and efficiencies that the buyers are looking for. This is what larger security companies do. Therefore, a main obstacle would be demonstrating that you are able to match up to larger businesses that infer they can implement the most effective solutions. By showing how much more efficient your services are in the long-term and how delivered solutions with a better-quality outcome are the key differentiators when it comes to winning security tenders.  

As a result, it is essential to establish and collect all the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), credentials, facts and statistics that evidence your performance for customers. 

Top Tips

  • Check how the tender is structured

The first step would be to confirm how the tender is structured. If the all the services are grouped together, make sure you can deliver on all the conditions effectively.  This is a great opportunity to exhibit to the buyer how you will be able to achieve exceptional volume efficiencies by working on more than one security requirement at a time. 

  • Proof Reading and Grammar

Whether it be for a security tender or any other type of contract, it is crucial that your grammar is beyond reproach. Grammar mistakes will not impress the buyer. To avoid this, read over your work multiple times and possibly get a colleague to review it. If it is high stakes contract the option of outsourcing the proof reading to a professional bus writer would be an advantage to ensure the standard has been met.

  • Qualifications and Accreditations

As the security industry entails high-stakes situations, qualifications are a must. Keeping and attaining any relevant qualifications, policies and accreditations is essential. This can include:

  • SIA
  • Equality and Diversity Policies
  • Health and Safety Policies

Health and Safety Policies

Buyers are risk adverse and want to be confident that the security services you provide will be carried out to the highest Health and Safety standard with minimal risk to your employees, their employees and the general public. You may be asked details of any incidents under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). You will need to supply plenty of evidence such as risk assessments, method statements, Health and Safety audits, and your current Health and Safety policy. It can be just as important to show how you have learned from any Health and Safety Incidents, rather than stating accidents never happened.

  • Evidence

The buyer will want a company who can demonstrate experience with effective outcomes. This is where your case studies will come into action. Testimonials are too crucial to exclude, as they can highlight your suitability. Experience that relates well to the tender is more helpful. If the buyer can see that you have handled high-risk situations previously, then will gain favourable traction. For buyers, evidence is a priority, so it is important that you get the case studies sorted. On average, the buyer will want to see two to three case studies that cover the last three to five years.

  • Social Value

It is crucial to recognise the importance of social value in bid writing. Buyers want to see you improving specific causes, such as:

  • Supporting COVID-19 recovery
  • Reducing waster
  • Creating new jobs or skills to tackle economic inequality
  • The environmental considerations you have in place
  • Supporting equality and diversity

These are important factors that buyers look for in suppliers. Public sector buyers actually place a 10% weighting in social value, so it is important that you are prepared. 

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