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Writing a construction tender or PQQ is not really much different from the plethora of other tender writing opportunities that there are out there. However construction tenders, like many others, are subject to certain “flavour of the time” items. When I talk about construction PQQ and tenders I am also including property maintenance and repair plus the entire range of sub categories-plumbing, heating, electrical etc.

Perhaps the three most common themes in construction and property maintenance tenders that have emerged over the last few years have been partnering, sustainability and supply chain management. Although it does have to be said that they have been around for a while their importance and the way tender questions are interlinking them is becoming more important.

So, I thought it would help to give an example for each type of question that the prospective PQQ or tender writer may have to deal with. The level of detail required for writing a tender and writing a PQQ is supposed to be different but that is not always the case. Many firms are now complaining that it is becoming more difficult to discern a difference between a PQQ and a tender.

Partnering: What is your understanding of true partnering?
This is a very broad question and one a PQQ or tender writer should treat with care. The best thing to do, is before you write your tender response research the client organisation and try to understand what their understanding of true partnering is!

Then once you have their understanding write your tender response and make sure that your understanding matches theirs and that you provide examples.

Sustainability: Describe your approach to sustainability in the delivery of projects generally. Please support this statement by giving examples of specific outputs.

Wow are bet you are glad you started this tender writing excercise!

The way you approach this when writing your PQQ or Tender will depend to a large extent on the size of your company. It is more difficult for a small company to demonstrate sustainability in a PQQ or tender than a large firm simply because they will probably not have the range of projects from which they can demonstrate sustainability practice.
However, the good news is that you can talk about sourcing products from sustainable sources or engineered wood. The Government Timber Procurement Policy actually requires that central departments actively seek to purchase legal and sustainable timber-derived products. You can also talk about other things such as alternative materials, or alternative or innovative construction techniques. Use of photovoltaic energy, wind power can all be used but it will really depend on what sector of construction you are operating in. Just make sure that it looks natural in your PQQ or tender and that it is logical and sensible.

Supply Chain Management

PQQ and tenders now contain many questions about your supply chain. The best way to be prepared for any eventuality is to create a supply chain policy. Then when it comes to the PQQ or tender you can either copy exerpts from it or attach it as evidence.

The PQQ usually looks at the project management and health and safety side of managing your supply chain and there could be a question in the environmental section. When submitting a tender it will also deal with these items but a tender may also ask about strategic purchasing decisions, quality management etc.

You can never guess which questions will turn up when you are writing a construction PQQ or tender but those are a couple of the more common ones.

Good luck

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