Complacency is a killer

Imagine losing a contract you have held for 90 years…. This is what has happened to the Met Office this week. The BBC announced last Friday that it is no longer considering the Met Office in an open tender process for a new five-year contract to supply radio and TV weather reports to the broadcaster beginning in the autumn of 2016. The Met Office has supplied weather reports to the BBC since 1922. THE MET HAS NOT MADE IT TO THE SHORT-LIST.

Given how early the Met Office were rejected in the process, we must assume it was NOT price that the decision was made on but the quality and range of services provided.


Reasons why incumbents can lose re-tendered contract are?

  • Complacency
  • Over familiarity
  • Arrogance
  • Just presenting the current service with no new developments
  • Relying on the train of thought that the buyer already knows about me, who we are, what we do etc, and losing sight of the fact that companies bidding to be new entrants will be aggressively competitive
  • Laziness, just expecting to be re-awarded


  • Treat the rebid as seriously, if not MORE seriously than a new bid – Approach the bid as if it was a new client whom you really wanted to work for. Give 100% effort to the new tender, treat it as new business.
  • Read and respond to the document as though it was a new business opportunity you really want to win, think about how much effort you put into your submission when you won it first time round
  • Bid as if it’s a new contract. Don’t assume the buyer knows about your organisation. If you don’t detail the facts/information etc in your submission it won’t be considered – the buyer/evaluation panel can only evaluate what is front of them in black and white. Respond to the bid as if it’s brand new and the relationship doesn’t exist because that’s how the bid will be evaluated”
  • Use your history to your advantage. You have knowledge of the buyer’s strategic priorities, use this to add value and offer service solutions for the next contract period. Clearly detail how you will deliver and improve performance on the contract over the next term. You know the contract so use this knowledge to show how you can deliver cost saving innovations and suggestions.
  • Be honest about your performance. If mistakes have been made during your time as incumbent, don’t avoid the issue. Face up to the problem/s and explain what corrective actions were taken to ensure no repeat and prove outcomes since the corrective actions were implemented.
  • Research your competitors well. They have everything to gain, you have everything to lose. You have to know what their latest technology/innovations and awards are. They will use all the tools in their box to win this contract and you must be ready to match their offerings. To retain this contract and beat the competition, you will have to add value and innovate. Don’t assume more of the same will win the rebid.
  • As the incumbent you do have an advantage if you use it carefully and wisely, make sure you detail to the buyer the benefits of your Insider knowledge and the benefits of no steep learning curve or complicated mobilisation. Use your knowledge of the Buyers organisation in an intelligent way, giving examples of the successful work you have done in partnership.