Overview of the bid
We were recently approached by a client new to the tendering process who wanted assistance to win a contract for fixed data cabling and Wi-Fi installation services – they were the incumbent on the contract but had never had to go through the tendering process before.
The submission required over 17,000 words of narrative across 34 responses, and we had approximately 3 weeks to complete the bid – bid writers Mary and Kate were the lead writers on the project. The questions were split into three sections: a selection questionnaire, award questionnaire and award criteria, which were then to be uploaded onto a portal. The questions themselves varied greatly and covered topics including management, delivery, innovation, quality and environment.
This submission was a niche area and we had quite a short timescale, however, by approaching the tender from the bottom up, working closely with the client and following the proven processes in place at Executive Compass the tender was completed, bespoke to the client’s experience.
Complex questions – several of the questions asked for examples of previous contracts, including examples of exit management. As the customer had not been involved in many contracts apart from the one in question, this was difficult to answer. After an internal discussion and talks with the client, we decided to write a best practice response which incorporated what we would do rather than what we had done on this occasion. It can be difficult bidding as the incumbent if the particular contract makes up a large proportion of your business.
Industry-specific knowledge – this is a niche area, and approaching a new topic requires a copious amount of research prior to discussion and interviews with the client. The bid writers who worked on this tender spent time researching the contract requirements and the nature of the works, and were supported by the rest of the team via quality assurance.
Tight deadline – working within a short time frame required excellent communication between the bid writer and the client. To manage the deadline, Mary and Kate proactively engaged with the client to arrange a series of interviews which included information gathering, review of content and offering reassurance and guidance in the bidding process.
Standing out – to secure top marks in the quality sections it is important to make sure your company is compliant and stands out. Luckily for us, our client had a lot of experience and knowledge in this particular contract and contracting authority, which we could draw upon successfully.
The tender was submitted in early March and is yet to be evaluated. The nature of the bid proves that we are continuously tackling new areas of tendering and working with new clients, allowing us to broaden our understanding across all industry sectors.
To discuss how our team can support you in the tendering process contact us today.