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Article Details

Published Date: 3-03-2022
Author: Daniel Litherland
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
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When writing a tender, one of the most prominent trapdoors and pitfalls is to simply forget the competitive nature of the process. We discuss how our team of bid writers remain competitive, and how this can be applied to in-house bid writers for organisations.

If a question appears to bluntly ask for X, Y, and Z, or alternatively appear overly ‘wordy’, it can be tempting to provide quickly produced, generic, and unelaborated responses which ‘get straight to the point’. However, in doing so, you almost certainly sell yourself short against the opposition.

To be truly competitive, tendering is dependent on the detail. Detail such as:

  1. Conveying your industry expertise
  2. Explaining how this allows you to meet the contact requirements
  3. Including it within a persuasive/compelling narrative.

This is where our dedicated bid writing team at Executive Compass come in. We specialise in providing the detail. Reflected by our 85%+ success rate, we follow these key processes and techniques to ensure the bids for our clients remain competitive:

Working collaboratively with the bidding organisation

After conducting a thorough review of the tender documents that we are supporting with, in which we identify the key contractual requirements, our bid writers work to deconstruct each question. This allows us to determine exactly what detail the evaluator is looking for, and in turn what information we need to collect from the client. Through a series of calls and meetings prior to starting any writing, we interview the client to gain accurate insight into their exact processes. With this information to hand, such as company-specific management structures, our writers weave detail into articulate and persuasive responses which accurately reflect our client to their full potential.

Additionally, where interviews with the client uncover ‘gaps’ within their current provisions, our experienced team can help with this too. Through suggesting industry ‘best practice’, ideas, and inspiration from previous winning bids, we play a role in helping clients develop realistic commitments for the future. In turn, the detail of these commitments turns a potential negative into a positive: allowing the evaluator to see where and how you’re committed to improving.

This can be applied to in-house bid teams. Bid writers within an organisation often need to liaise with other departments, technical leads or specialists. The same approach should apply, whereby the bid writer gathers information and works collaboratively, to ensure the bid in question is specific and includes the correct information.

Creating bespoke tender responses

Unlike other bid writing companies, we do not use our bid library to store and directly replicate previous responses. Instead, we acknowledge the nuances from project to project, using it as the basis to create fresh responses from scratch each time. Enabled by the collaboration described above, this process ensures that the response detail answers the question directly and is not included as pre-existing padding, which only partially ticks the evaluators boxes at best. The end result is an informative, deliberately crafted and competitive response which will score highly against more generic, ‘cobbled together’ bids.

Bids can often be ‘last minute’ and the procurement world is typically bound by short deadlines. However, it is important to note the point above and not to use the time pressures as an excuse to ‘cobble’ something together; it is likely your competitors are giving the bid the time and effort so ensure you are too with a bespoke approach.

Subject matter experts

Whilst all our bid writers possess the expertise and skills required to write bids for an array of industries, naturally, many gravitate towards certain subjects. For example, as illustrated by our dedicated health and social care team, we have writers who work almost exclusively in a singular industry; this results in them developing a real passion, breadth of knowledge, and industry knowhow beyond that of other bid writing organisations.

Other members of our team specialise in industries such as construction, facilities management, and professional services to name just a few.

For in-house bid writers, ensure you are drawing upon the knowledge of any subject matter experts within your organisation.

Quality assurance

With a team of dedicated in-house quality reviewers, all responses produced by our bid writers are subject to a meticulous review process. This involves our reviewers, who boast vast experience in a number of industries, adding comments and critique to writers’ first drafts and outlining where additional detail/added value could be included. If approved by our client, writers will include these suggestions and subsequently produce a quality enhanced final draft, rich in detail.

Quality assurance or a second pair of eyes is always crucial to review any tender submission, not only to improve but to help spot any mistakes or non-compliances.

Knowledge sharing

As we explored in our January blog post ‘tendering trends for 2022’, the procurement landscape is ever changing; therefore, so are the requirements for remaining competitive. In response, the Executive Compass team host weekly team briefings and toolbox talks to discuss all trends/developments as they arise. The content of these toolbox talks include how we can effectively cover these trends throughout our responses. Recent considerations for remaining competitive include detailing appropriate planning towards the impacts of COVID-19 and Brexit, and the growing importance of social value. It is acknowledging finite details, such as these, which stand out to an evaluator and present our client as a dynamic organisation.

Tender writing support

For more information on how Executive Compass can support you to produce truly competitive tenders, contact our team today and we will be happy to discuss our range of services.

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