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Article Details

Published Date: 5-08-2015
Author: Executive Compass
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
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We are frequently asked by our clients, both new and regular, of the cost of assisting them with a PQQ.

This is a simple question although in reality the answer is more complex and depends on a number of factors to ensure that the cost reflects the time and effort taken to produce a submission of the highest quality.

Common Questions

‘Is there a fixed price?’

Due to the nature of procurement there are a large number of contracting authorities that buy services, all of whom use different systems for the receipt of returned submissions to test and critically analyse the quality of bidders for their contracts. There are no average PQQs as each is judged on an individual basis. Each asks a different number and range of questions, varying in complexity and depth; with word, character and page limits also different depending on the buyer’s wishes. Given the amount of variations possible, it is simply impossible to provide a fixed cost.

‘Should the cost match the low contract value?’

Many clients expect a low price based on a low contract value. Although there is some link between these factors it is not always certain that a low price would be guaranteed in the circumstances. From our experience we have undertaken PQQs with a large contract value and a relatively small amount of narrative response required; as well as low value contracts with unusually large and complex submission requirements.

‘I think the PQQ is simple – can the cost be reduced?’

Some clients assume that a PQQ appears to be simple and therefore should attract a reduced cost, sometimes overlooking important information. The complexity of project can only be determined following an analysis of all required documents, considering the submission requirements and complexity of all necessary responses. Only then can a truly accurate quote be provided.

Calculating the cost of a PQQ

To calculate the cost of a PQQ we must always consider the individual circumstances of the client; the size, scope and complexity of the document; and the amount of narrative responses required. The completion of data sections, whilst sometimes fiddly and time consuming, is typically built into this quote as we consider this to be straightforward and an intrinsic part of our services and the quality assurance we provide. We have undertaken submissions ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 words of narrative responses, dependent upon the contract and the sector involved.

Other factors may be relevant. The submission may be complex or require a number of supporting documents that require our involvement, such as mobilisation charts, for example. Alternatively, clients may want a visit them at their offices to discuss the work before writing commences to agree how the work will be delivered. Working with clients on a regular basis may have produced a library of material which is high quality and proven to be successful, which can be applied to future projects. By developing long-term relationships with clients we can vastly reduce the cost of a PQQ whilst maintaining quality standards.

The cost of Losing

Whilst focussing on writing costs is essential, the long-term cost of losing should also be considered. Every one of our clients is looking to continually develop, and the only way that they can do this is by winning contracts. This provides much needed income, which can be used to improve business infrastructure; and can help in the recruitment, development and retention of key staff. It also allows you to grow your reputation and advertise to potential clients and additionally improve your prospects of winning future contracts through positive references and case studies.

Consider losing these opportunities because you did not wish to pay for support for a PQQ that you considered must-win or because you did not dedicate sufficient time, money and resources to do this in-house. Treat every submission as a high priority and allocate the necessary resources to win – this will maximise your prospects of success and avoid any losses caused by a sub-standard and rushed response.

We offer full PQQ writing support to thousands of businesses and can assist you with your needs. To obtain a no-obligation quotation please contact us free on 0800 612 5563 or email

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