There will undoubtedly come a time when your company needs to complete a tender submission. Whether it is due to expansion, targeting new contracts or adhering to the procurement process for an existing buyer, the tender submission will become a necessary evil!
Deciding whether to bid
In order for a company to expand and become more profitable, it is fair to assume that they will encounter a bidding procedure for new contracts.
It is important to fully research contract opportunities and exactly what they entail; not only in terms of the bidding process and tender documents, but the implications of the contract itself. Never jump head first into bidding for a new contract without checking that you can undertake all the requirements and responsibilities of a contract: this may mean opening new offices, taking on extra resources, implementing new quality measures — the list could go on. Undertaking a full review of the contract specification and requirements should be the first step when deciding whether to bid and ultimately whether it is the correct contract for your business.
Once you have decided a contract is a good ‘fit’ and a good opportunity for your company, then check what is involved in the bidding process via the PQQ and tender documentation. There is no correlation between a contract’s value and the size of the tender document you are required to fill in. You must be aware of the volume of work that will be required, the timescale in which it needs to be completed and ultimately who is going to be your tender writer for the submission.
As a tender writing company we have seen it all: low value contracts with an onerous bidding procedure and at the other end of the scale, high value contracts with a straightforward one-stage process. It is vital, therefore, to evaluate whether it is an important contract regardless of the bidding procedure, or whether it is more time and cost effective to concentrate on other opportunities.
Bidding for existing contracts
A company may have to bid for a contract on which it is the incumbent. Even though there is a commercial relationship, a formal tender process has to be in place for certain value contracts. Due to Government rules and regulations, an authority has to put a contract out to tender to ensure transparency and value for money, so a contract you may already be delivering for an authority may be put through the full procurement process.
Bidding for the first time
This can be a complex and stressful process, so when faced with a bid for the first time make sure you read all the documentation fully and put yourself into the perspective of the contracting authority to determine what they are looking for and how your bid should be structured.
Writing a tender
Once you have made the decision to bid for a contract, you will be faced with the PQQ and/or tender document to fill in. Writing a winning tender is a process and a unique skill. Essentially you are justifying to the contracting authority why your company is best suited to delivering the goods or services, at the best price, and why it should therefore be awarded the contract.
It is important to evaluate who in your organisation is best placed to complete the tender submission. This may be based on technical knowledge, but also competency in writing a persuasive business proposal. Remember that the tender process is a competition. It is vital to differentiate your business from your competition and offer innovations, added value and adherence to all current legislation. If possible, bring in knowledge from various team members to put together the most comprehensive tender submission.
Do consider seeking bid support, in the form of a tender writing company, to increase your chances of winning a contract. It is common to encounter more complex technical questionnaires once you have started bidding, or to need additional support for a ‘must win’ contract, which is why seeking support from a professional bid writer makes sense.