You may have seen advertisements for contracts and tenders, or discovered that there is a world of public and private sector contracts available to win through a tender process, but are not sure what to do next?
Tendering can be a great opportunity to win new work and grow your business. Sometimes it will be a necessity, especially if you are the incumbent supplier, but a strategy is needed to ensure you don’t go after everything, as bid writing, pricing a tender and reading all the legal and formal documentation can be a very time intensive and costly process. If you don’t properly qualify opportunities by undertaking a thorough BID/NO BID process you may waste time, money and become demoralised quickly.
- Is this product/service offering something your organisation is known for?
- Do you have good references/testimonials in this sector?
- How strong is your relationship with the buyer? Are you incumbent, do you have a contact within the organisation?
- Do you believe you have a competitive offer that provides a competitive advantage?
- Can you deliver the scope of work within the timescale?
- Is your company capable of delivering this size contract with your existing resources?
- Is it profitable and an attractive proposition?
If you answered ‘No’ to any of these questions, this tender might not be a ‘realistic’ proposition, it may be better to wait for the next, more suitable opportunity.
Top tips to help you win:
No one is an expert at everything, create a ‘bid team’ of representatives from across the company. Never attempt the process alone. You need real, hands-on evidence of completing similar works, so ensure you involve operations and build relevant/powerful proof of previous delivery.
Read the buyers specification/scope of work carefully:
This is the buyer telling you what they want to buy. Your response needs to outline specifically how you will deliver what is required on THIS Project and if possible, EXCEED the requirements (This is added value). It is not about telling the buyer what your company does, that’s your marketing material, they don’t want that.
Understand how the tender will be scored:
The buyer will tell you how your responses can score FULL marks, you must read and follow these criteria, ensuring you cover off all their scoring requirements in every question.
Think from the buyer’s perspective. You must mitigate any risk of them selecting and working with you. A good way to approach this is to list potential risks, acknowledge them in your response and provide a strong mitigation/contingency.
Don’t assume those evaluating the tender know about you and your business:
If it’s not written down, it won’t get marked! (Remind you of exams and schooldays?) Even if you are the incumbent supplier and have supplied for 10 years, you still need to tell the buyer everything that is relevant.