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Article Details

Published Date: 29-10-2015
Author: Executive Compass
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
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Heathrow Airports Holdings Ltd took expressions of interest this month for construction of their third runway. The project is worth £17.6 billion and incorporates four main service areas: programme management, information management, construction advice and design and technical advice.

Heathrow Chief Executive Officer John Holland-Kaye announced earlier this year that the airport would begin tendering for work in December, despite the fact the government has not yet given the go-ahead for the project. A second runway at Gatwick is still also a possibility.

The airport is working on the basis that starting the tendering process early will allow work to start as soon as the government gives the green light. Following the end date for expressions of interest earlier this month, Heathrow will now compile a shortlist of bidders and issue the invitation to tender in November.

Main contractors back the expansion

Morgan Sindall and other national construction firms are amongst nearly 300 companies to sign an open letter urging the government to back the decision for expansion at Heathrow.

As with any contract opportunity, the government must take into account many factors when making a final decision. All public sector contracts must be economically advantageous and typically put a high value on areas such as social value, the environment, health and safety and quality management.

Tendering for large value contracts

This is likely to be a highly competitive contract, with numerous national construction firms bidding, as it is of high value and is prestigious in nature.

When bidding for competitive, high value contracts it is important to take the time to research and plan as soon as you are notified of the opportunity. In a situation like Heathrow, there is a great deal of publicity around the project itself and therefore a lot of information is easily accessible. This is not always the case, but at the start of the bidding process you should evaluate your main competitors and undertake market research to determine any capabilities, innovations and industry competencies which could affect your bid and your chances of success.

It can take months to plan a large bid, write the responses and compile all the supporting evidence and documentation. Make sure your team are fully aware of the bid specification and the part they have to play in the submission. Effective bid management, communication and delegation to your bid team is vital for any submission, but even more so for larger submissions which may comprise hundreds of pages and various different sections to complete.

Create a schedule for your bid. Outline a system of deadlines within your bid for reviews and progress meetings to ensure the submission stays on track and quality is maintained throughout. Leaving a section or document to the last minute is detrimental to your overall success and means there is more room for errors.

As most companies have seen over the past year, there is increasing competition for all bids in every sector, as evaluators are seeing consistently high quality narrative responses. More contracting authorities are actually suggesting that you seek external and professional assistance in order to score the highest marks available and make sure you are challenging the competition.

Executive Compass has worked alongside existing bid teams and also independently managed bids for numerous large value contracts. The leading project to date we have assisted with took a total of 5 months to complete and the contract value was in excess of £2 billion.

If you are bidding for a large contract and would like a consultation from one of our bid writers, fill out our contact form or call 020 3507 0314 for further information.

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