The most important part of completing a PQQ or tender submission is getting the document finished, right? Wrong!
Although it is easy to see the tendering process as a desk clearing exercise, you must see beyond the confusing and onerous document to the bigger picture: winning new contracts, increasing success rates and growth for your company. In our opinion, one of the most important stages of the bidding process is the review stage, although this is often overlooked or ignored completely.
We regularly carry out review services for our clients, which can include providing detailed advice on each narrative response, proofreading the document, appraisal of case studies and a full compliance check to ensure the submission is of the highest quality.
Reviewing your own work isn’t easy, but we provide our three top tips for evaluating your completed PQQ or tender before it is submitted.
1. Assess against the specification and evaluation criteria.
Revisit the tender specification, instructions and evaluation criteria and consider the following points:
- Do your responses answer the questions fully?
- Have you provided relevant examples?
- Do you provide evidence and statistics to back up your points?
- Is your narrative clear and easy to understand?
- Can you identify any gaps and areas to elaborate on?
Put yourself in the contracting authority’s shoes and try to evaluate if you would score your submission highly – if the answer is no then there is more work to be done to improve the quality of the response. Unfortunately it is not enough to be a well-established company, who is able to deliver the contract. You need to give good reasons and evidence as to why you are the best company for the job and why the most advantageous decision for the contracting authority is to choose you.
2. Revisit the document with a fresh pair of eyes.
It is easy to become too involved in a submission, especially if you have been working on it solidly for hours, or even days. This is when mistakes are likely to be made and it is important to revisit the PQQ or tender to double check for any errors.
Spend a few hours doing something else and then come back to your bid to re-read and review. Make sure that you do a full compliance check – are all supporting documents up to date? Have you entered all of the data section correctly? Are there any typos or grammatical errors? These may seem like simple steps, yet failure to notice a small error can result in a non-conformance and lose you marks or even lose you the entire bid.
Tender submissions via a portal or Excel spreadsheet can be particularly difficult to complete as there are numerous boxes and areas for data entry. If you feel you may have missed something or it is a particularly complex format, ask a colleague to review and see whether they pick up on anything you may have missed.
3. Ask yourself what your competitors might be saying.
You are probably aware of who your main competitors are when bidding for a contract. Do a bit of research to find out whether they have any specific innovations, unique selling points or company procedures. If there is something that stands out to you which could achieve high scores in a tender, make sure you counteract this with different innovations or ways to add value.
This is especially important if you are the incumbent for a contract and risk maintaining a contract due to increased competition. Always be aware of the market you are in, which will allow you to stay one step ahead in terms of your innovations, value for money and industry performances.
If you have an important or larger than normal PQQ or tender and would like an external review, contact our team on 020 3507 0314 or email email@example.com to find out more.