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Article Details

Published Date: 1-06-2023
Author: Amy Lawson
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
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With the holiday season approaching and the weather taking a sunnier turn, your company’s holiday calendar may be filling up more quickly than anticipated. This may have an unintended impact on resources and capacity required to complete crucial bid and tender submissions.

Unlike some sectors, bid and tender writing is not seasonal – our team of writers and quality reviewers are busy year-round producing the highest quality submissions on behalf of clients. Given the unique style and skillset which tender writing demands, it only takes a couple of your in-house bid team members to be on annual leave for a bid to become unrealistic and untenable.

With this in mind, we have compiled some tips for ensuring your bid submission schedule remains on track when employees are on annual leave, as well as outlining the expert bid services we can provide if your organisation requires additional resource.

Forward planning for bid submissions

Public sector tender opportunities typically operate within a six-week window from the publication of a contract notice to the submission deadline – timescales for completing private sector bids are often shorter. Monitoring and managing in-house capacity, particularly during typical holiday/annual leave periods, will make it easier to assess whether you have the resources to complete the submission or if external support is required. Creating a pipeline or project planner to allocate a tender period alongside other commitments will give a fuller dimension to your forward planning and support your ‘bid/no-bid’ decision.

It is crucial to implement a forward planning structure for your bid submissions. One of the key mistakes we see from new or prospective clients is rushing to submit at the last minute. Naturally, a hurried submission will lead to quality responses which are less specific to your organisation, the purchasing authority and the opportunity, translating to lower scores across the board from evaluators. A simple ‘copy and paste’ exercise or producing responses which do not comprehensively address the question set and specification may save time in the short term, but it is highly unlikely to lead to a successful bid and contract award – particularly when your competitors have been planning well in advance of the opportunity.

Meeting the tender deadlines

Although open submissions occasionally crop up (usually on large frameworks or dynamic purchasing system), the vast majority of bid deadlines are hard and immovable. This demands careful planning and preparation of relevant materials, including appendices such as copies of policies or mobilisation plans, prior to entering the tender exercise. Consequently, the further out an opportunity is identified, the more time there is to produce a quality tender which evidences your organisation’s strengths and suitability.

Some tips for effectively meeting deadlines include:

  • Monitoring prior information notes (PINs) and contract notices daily via the government’s Find a Tender and Contracts Finder websites, ensuring you will be well prepared in advance of the opportunity.
  • Tracking relevant contracts which are reaching their end date, including those on which you are the incumbent provider. This ensures you will have the resources and necessary documents, or alternatively can arrange for external support if required.
  • Contacting Executive Compass for contingency support for a prompt, efficient and knowledgeable bid service.

Establishing a dedicated monitoring system for ‘must-win’ tenders or those which are aligned with your organisation’s business strategy will enable you to identify relevant opportunities, thereby increasing growth and turnover.

Our bid support services

All bid support services offered by Executive Compass are supported by a tried-and-tested methodology developed over 14 years and over 6,000 SQ and ITT submissions. This is accompanied by our UKAS-accredited ISO9001:2015 quality management system, guaranteeing a high-quality service irrespective of the overall size or scope of services. Furthermore, our team of 18 full-time, directly employed bid writers and 10 bid managers, quality reviewers and senior writers are ideally placed to provide expert tendering advice. The scope of our bid services offered includes:

  • SQ, PQQ and tender review: our review services are available to companies who are new to tendering in addition to those with large, in-house bid teams. Review services are conducted by quality managers or senior writers, providing in-depth comments, feedback and suggestions for consideration well in advance of the final deadline. An objective, third-party review is particularly beneficial for any ‘must-win’ or ‘business-critical’ tenders.
  • Full writing support: outsource the entirety of your SQ and ITT responses to one of our team of professional, experienced bid writers. Simply provide us with the tender documents and necessary information (including a client interview) and we will prepare a bespoke tender submission, tailored to the requirements of the specification and strengthened via rigorous review from our quality reviewers.
  • Partial completion: if you have internal resources to write portions of the bid but still require assistance on certain topics, such as social value, a partial writing support is ideal and can also be paired with a review. Our team of writers are highly skilled at adapting to the tone and style of varying clients, achieving a cohesive and consistent bid.
  • Interim bid writer: an option best-suited for organisations requiring the completion of multiple submissions across several months, or a particularly large bid, an interim bid writer on secondment will work with your relevant representatives to deliver full bid management and writing services. In addition to integrating with existing staff or bid team, they will provide personalised, end-to-end support from preparation to the final tender submission.

Our services can be tailored to your exact requirements, providing comprehensive bid services ranging from a couple of days to several months. Contact our team today at 0800 612 5563, or alternatively via email, to find out more about how we can support your organisation during the holiday period and beyond.

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