Some businesses employ a ‘copy-and-paste’ approach to quality responses within a tender submission, leading to repetitive and irrelevant content. Allocating appropriate time to conduct research on the tender opportunity, the purchasing authority and the local area will allow your tender submission to stand out with the evaluating committee – leading to higher marks and overall chance of success.
As part of our tried-and-tested bid writing methodology, our bid and tender writers conduct independent research into the above areas, ensuring the bid and tender responses we produce are targeted, persuasive and localised to the opportunity. Quality research will allow you to write authoritative, knowledgeable and evidence-based bids.
Researching the buyer’s priorities
As part of the tender information pack, buyers will often outline their official reasons for tendering the contract or framework agreement. Active research can also reveal hidden aspirations buyers may be looking to fulfil, increasing the overall competitiveness of your bid and tender response. A few examples include:
- If the authority is experiencing budget pressures or constraints, you can offer opportunities to include added value outside of the contractual scope of works. For instance, while conducting scheduled security patrols for a manned guarding contract, you may also have scope to complete routine cleaning services, such as sweeping and mopping common areas.
- Diverse resident or service user demographics offer an opportunity for you to evidence your approach to providing inclusive services. This may comprise having translation software accessible on PDAs or scheduling appointments in accordance with cultural and religious considerations, such as being mindful of religious calendars and prayer times.
- Commitments to certain causes, such as net zero emissions by 2030, allow you to include reference to how you will support achievement of the authority’s targets by delivering low-emission or environmentally friendly services – for example, by using electric vehicles or pledging 90% of contractual waste will be delivered to recycling centres.
Aligning with the buyer’s unspoken priorities, such as those outlined above, will demonstrate that you have both familiarity with and knowledge of their needs and would be a suitable fit for the contract.
Service provision to specific sites
Similarly, gathering specific information on the contract’s geographic area will allow you to write authoritatively when responding to relevant questions. As above, it will add strength, credibility and specificity to more standard topics and question sets, enhancing the overall persuasiveness of your tender submission.
Examples of how your research can inform standard tender quality responses include:
- Site-specific considerations: Within the tender documents, scrutinise any asset lists, maps or similar additional appendices. You can then do some independent research and integrate supplementary details as to how you would overcome site-specific challenges. For instance, for an EICR contract for a local council, delivering services to a local school would reference additional safeguarding and safety concerns as well as parking arrangements to minimise disruption of school runs.
- Supply chain management: To demonstrate the responsiveness and resiliency of your supply chain, include details of suppliers residing within the authority’s administrative boundaries, such as the name and postcode of a particular branch. This may also fall under one of the buyer’s social value themes and outcomes, such as committing a certain amount of contract spend within the local supply chain and engaging with local businesses.
- Managing risks to service provision: As with other examples, information on the local area in which you are delivering services can inform your approach to responding to a risk management question. For example, to meet response times or appointment targets, mapping staff in accordance with named geographic zones – for example, different areas in London – will show you have given due consideration and research into potential risks and mitigation measures.
References to the above can be woven into bid and tender responses, rather than listed as a separate section. Although it may take time to read and research specific locations and their characteristics, it will convince authorities you have given due thought and consideration to the bid.
Social value commitments
Lastly, researching local opportunities for your proposed social value commitments and initiatives is a critical step to score high marks with evaluators. For instance, rather than simply stating that you will commit a certain number of volunteer hours as part of the contract, consider researching existing opportunities within the local area to which you can contribute money, time and in-kind contributions.
- ‘… All cleaning operatives assigned to the contract will commit eight hours per annum to litter-picking in Robinswood Hill Country Park, beautifying the natural area and enhancing local green spaces for residents.’
- ‘… We will commit to creating one career opportunity per £250,000 of spend generated over the contract term, with priority given to NEETs and the long-term unemployed, generating maximum impact. To support recruitment, we will place adverts in Solihull Jobcentre (B91) alongside contact details for submitting an application.’
- ‘… Contract Manager Jane Smith will visit local schools, e.g. Kenton School and Walbottle Academy, to deliver one career talk per year, giving industry-specific advice and insight to pupils interested in pursuing a career in the electrical industry.
As social value is primarily about social, economic and environmental benefits created within the local community, taking the time to tailor your bid to the local area will maximise the overall scores you receive.
Conducting appropriate research on the buyer, local area and social value opportunities forms a core element of our tender writing process. If you would like to learn more about the tender services we can provide, including bid writing, reviewing and social value support, our sales and marketing team are contactable at 0800 612 5563 or, alternatively, via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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