When approaching public and private sector tendering there can be the temptation to jump right in without any preparation.
Companies often find applicable contracts and submit a bid without giving thought to the overall process and strength of the submission. This is one of the most common mistakes we find when working with new clients.
Bid writing is a long process that begins before the release of a contract and continues well after submission. In this blog we look at how to audit your business for tendering and in doing so, improve your success rate.
The first stage of auditing your business is to look at what bid criteria you meet, this will allow you to find relevant contracts.
- Number of years trading – contracts require at least three years trading
- Company turnover – most authorities only allow you to bid for a contract valued at one third your turnover
- Relevant experience – companies must have relevant experience in a field in order to bid
- Policies and procedures – a standard requirement for bidding
- Accreditations – in many cases these are a minimum requirement and others often gain extra marks
Once you have a thorough understanding of what criteria you business meets, you can begin searching for relevant contracts for which you are compliant.
Before working on a submission each team member must understand what is required of them. There should be a thorough process in place for the completion of a bid which will enable a smooth, hopefully problem free, submission.
Assign roles to your bid team, including a chain of command and procedure for bid completion. For example:
- Person 1 – forms and data sections
- Person 2 – health and safety and quality sections
- Person 3 – manager – oversee entire process and quality check each response
Procedure: Section completed – passed to manager for approval – returned to writer for amendments – final quality check by manager and proof read by external proof reader.
Work can also be carried out prior to the release of the contract. Supporting documents such as case studies and CVs can all be created ahead of time, which will save time during the submission and also improve quality.
Building a submission
Each bid must have a unique plan. Upon release of the tender documents the writer or manager must read the specification and submission and create a plan for completion.
This must include timeframes for sections and quality checks. Sticking to these will ensure that your bid remains on track and you do not miss the deadline.
Utilise supporting documents and responses created prior to the release of the document, but always ensure to make them relevant to the specific submission. Follow the procedure for completion and quality checks in order to create the highest possible quality bid.
Evaluation and improvement
Following submission and release of the results, always request feedback regardless of whether you won or lost. This will enable you to improve on future submissions.
Highlight both strong and weak areas creating or adding to a company bid library. Conduct a full team evaluation to ensure all members understand what did and did not work.
See our full detailed article on what to do after a submission for more information on improving from evaluator feedback.
For more information on the contract and tender process, watch the video below: