Picture the scene: the responses for your bid submission have been written, quality assured and approved. All that remains is to draw together the attachments and supporting documents and then it can be despatched, which should not take too long, right?
If this sounds familiar, you have probably fallen into the common trap of not allocating enough time to draft, collate and compile the appendices, treating them as an afterthought rather than a key part of the project. In fact, they can mean extra marks for your bid writing submission and provide important and essential information for the evaluator.
Follow the tips below to ensure your appendices and attachments are of the highest possible quality, maximising your chances of securing the contract you are bidding for:
Organisation/structure charts may need to include staff names, job titles or qualifications, and may be either general or project-specific. Given how complex these charts can be, and the fact the chart may be asked for as a separate document or inserted as a picture, you should pay attention to both the contents and layout of the chart, and obtain, and verify, the relevant information in good time.
Equally important is the layout of the chart, and how easy it is to read. A well-drawn and easy to follow organisation chart can add context to a response on staffing, and help the assessor visualise your daily operations, as well as the lines of reporting and communication. Using colour coding for different teams can also help the reader to understand how they are made up. In contrast, a poorly drawn and complicated chart will only confuse the buyer, and make it likely that you will be awarded a reduced score.
Mobilisation/implementation plans are a popular requirement, and you may need to include them to cover the pre-contract award period and/or the initial contract phases. You should make sure they are easy to identify and follow, with clear titles and timescales. By reading the specification and using correct working processes as a guide, it is more likely that you will include all key stages, painting a full picture for the assessor by helping them visualise what will be undertaken and when.
Your plan must be as realistic and accurate as possible for the suggested timescales. The winning organisation might be required to follow their proposed plan to the letter, so not allocating the correct time to a task could result in a disjointed and rushed mobilisation period, resulting in processes not being completed fully, and in service disruption for the buyer and their stakeholders. We have reviewed feedback that shows unrealistic timescales often result in a reduced score being awarded. Consider which tasks may take more time than others (for example, recruitment) and plan accordingly.
Before finalising your supporting documents, take time to make sure they are suitable, sufficient and accurate. You should check, for example, that you have provided the correct number of year-end accounts, and relevant evidence of positive performance, and that policies are signed, dated and have a clearly marked review date.
From past reviews, we have seen that some businesses do not title their attachments correctly or compliantly (in accordance with directions in the tender instructions), or do not signpost the assessor to them in the response documents. In an already competitive process, this just gives the evaluator an excuse to deduct marks or even worse, deem your submission to be non-compliant and therefore a fail. Don’t give them the chance — ensure your supporting documents are clear and easy to follow.
The importance of high quality attachments
It is important to have high quality attachments because:
‘Points win prizes’.
By providing information in a clear, easy to follow and compliant manner you make sure the assessor can read and understand each part of the bid, and judge it against their evaluation criteria. This maximises your prospects of receiving the highest possible score, and ultimately being awarded the contract.
Projecting a positive business image.
Adopting a ‘right first time’ approach in the bid writing process shows you have given your submission your full attention, reassuring the assessor when deciding who should be awarded the contract that you will perform all works and services diligently and methodically.