So, it turns out that being an outsourced tender writing company does raise a few questions amongst potential Clients, as well as eyebrows… and trust us, we know all about the trepidations of unanswered Q&As.
A key fact is that some of these queries get raised more frequently than others, which has led to Super Bock’s (Gie Bock’s) lightbulb moment – to release a blog which details ALL of the most common FAQs our team could think of.
Given that Gie is one of the team members who has to answer these similar questions from curious Clients on a daily basis, it is no surprise she has masterminded this idea. Hopefully the list below will help you, the Client, understand more about our services before you decide to use us and ultimately clear away any doubts and/or confusion you may have:
Do you work as a no win no fee?
No – the reason being is that we charge you for the work we complete. At the start of the process our accounts team have to analyse the tender documents and work out the time and resources we will need to complete the bid. There could also be other factors which could affect your chances of winning, for example not having the required experience, therefore it is only feasible for us to provide you with a fair quote for the services and time we can provide.
Can you guarantee a win?
No, unfortunately we cannot guarantee you a win. We can however provide you with our ‘Five-Star’ quality service, and write you a high-quality submission using our knowledge and experience of tender documents, scoring criteria, researching the buyer, and understanding of exactly what the buyer is looking for.
At the start of the process, our accounts team will pull out any mandatory criteria and bring it to your attention at quotation stage. We will not advise you to continue with the tender if there are mandatory areas that you cannot meet, as you will be rejected from the tender process. We will also advise you on how the tender is marked, this can indicate whether the buyer is looking for a good quality provider or the best price. We could score 100% on the quality submission, but if the pricing is not right, you could still end up scoring second or third place.
It is important to note, the quality of our responses are often dependent on the amount of Client input we have. The more our clients assist with our understanding of their industry and provide us with relevant information and evidence – the stronger the submission will be.
How long will it take to complete?
It all depends on the size of the tender, how many questions there are to complete, how much information we already have relating to your company and how well we know you. As a rough guideline, we like a minimum of four weeks to work on a tender for a new client. We will need to build a library specific to your company and allow enough time to get to know you to enable us to answer the quality questions the best we can. If we have already worked on a tender with you, we will already have pre-existing knowledge which will create time-efficiencies in the process and thus not take as long.
How does the process work in terms of writing/sending drafts etc?
Typically, we will allocate a single point of contact who we will send drafts to, to avoid issues with multiple versions. The process entails our writers holding an initial brainstorm with the Client to gain as much information as possible, to support the written responses. At the end of this brainstorm, we will set in stone a timeline for when we send first drafts, and for when we expect to receive the drafts back with any amendments. We will supplement this by sending a timeline document to allow the Client to visualise timescales.
Within these drafts, where we believe we require further information, evidence, and clarification to make the response achieve top marks, we will leave highlighted notes, questions and even templates to be populated by the Client for ease of completion. We will then send these over as scheduled.
Following this, we will then wait to receive the first drafts back with any amendments and highlighted areas addressed. We will then make any amends and make finishing touches to the document ready for submission, for example, final formatting, final spell-checking, proofreading, and checking against scoring criteria to ensure all areas have been covered.
Having said all of this – we want to make the process as customised to your needs as possible. For example, some Clients prefer to use ‘Tracked Changes’ and ‘Comment’ functions which are useful tools for editing documents, especially for larger projects that require second drafts and multiple members of the Client team reviewing responses. Others prefer to make their changes and highlight them to make them stand out in the document. We welcome all working styles and adapt to each individual Clients’ requirements.
Can you do the pricing?
We are not able to complete the pricing element for you. We do not know enough about your industry to advise on how to price a tender for your works. However, we do act as that additional quality assurance check, by reviewing the pricing once you have sent it over and checking every column is populated and nothing looks out of place or is incomplete.
Can you send an example of a previous tender you have written for someone?
We understand the anxiety of paying for a company to write a tender on your behalf, without viewing their previous work. Unfortunately, we cannot send you examples of our work. This is another clients’ tender, which they have paid for. However, we can send you references of our clients who can vouch for our work and we have plenty of testimonials we can send your way.
Can you manage the portal?
Absolutely. We understand portals can be very confusing – however, our expert Administrative Team navigate them every day. We will fully manage the online portal once you accept our quote. This includes the checking of clarifications in real-time throughout the day, informing you of anything important and emailing all Q&As across for your reference. Once the tender is complete, we will also manage the complete upload and submission of the entire tender, making sure it is all complete and everything is done correctly, including the pricing schedule, formals forms, selection questionnaires, quality responses and all related attachments and appendices – appropriately labelled as per the instructions.
Do you do any reviews/checks?
Yes – all members of the Klick team involved in tender writing and administrative control undertake numerous checks and reviews throughout the process. This includes:
- Review of initial requirements, mandatory requirements to ensure the Client can fully deliver and are prepared.
- Requesting all supporting attachments, certificates or documents that are required with the submission – we pull these out early on within the process to allow enough time for our clients to pull together the correct documentation.
- Review of all Q&As throughout and prior to submission to ensure nothing is missed – we send these to our clients on a daily basis to ensure all parties maintain an up-to-date understanding of the tender.
- Reviewing the scoring criteria against our written responses, ensuring our answers score the highest possible marks.
- Review of all quality responses – we always like to give our questions ‘a second pair of eyes’ to ensure they have been appropriately checked for quality, including spelling, grammar, layout/format and compliance with the tender requirements in terms of specified fonts and font sizes.
- Final review of all tender documents to be uploaded onto the portal – tender writers will collaborate with Administrative Team, compare lists, requirements and go through every document with a fine tooth comb to ensure the tender is fully complete and compliant.
How important is price?
It all depends on the weighting. Sometimes, price is EVERYTHING. We have had 90% price and 10% quality tenders – however we will always advise our Clients where this is the case and ask them whether they think it is worth using our services where the submission is so heavily reliant on price. However, where you can bolster price with a high-quality score, this will always make the buyer view your company favourably.
On the other hand, there are times when the price is not as important, and you have (for example) an 80% quality, 20% price split. In these cases, you need to be hyper aware of what the hidden messages are behind the quality responses, including:
- Reading into what issues the Client may have had in the past. For example, case study questions could indicate areas of dissatisfaction with the current contractor, so it is important to convey how your service mitigates and minimises similar risks.
- The standard of work required on this contract and how you will exceed these requirements. Buyers often provide KPI’s as levels of required performance, therefore it is important to show evidence of where you have exceeded this on other contracts, and methodologies for continuous improvement.
- Scoring criteria – to ensure questions are answered in accordance with the Buyers exact requirements. For example, if the Buyer requires ‘evidence’ to score the highest marks, you could use case studies, testimonials, and previous KPI’s to support your response.
We hope this has helped with your understanding of how Klick operates, however if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for further information – we are always happy to help. You can contact us on 01384 279 568 or through following this link: https://www.klickbusinesssolutions.co.uk/contact/