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Article Details

Published Date: 14-06-2018
Author: Executive Compass
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
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One of the questions we are most commonly asked by new clients is ‘why are we not winning tenders?’

Low tender success rates can be linked to a range of different factors. We look at the common reasons organisations receive an unsuccessful outcome when tendering for contracts.

Bidding for the wrong contract

In our last blog post, we discussed how to determine whether you are bidding for the right contract; here, we can revisit that. First of all, you are more likely to be successful if you are bidding for a suitable tender opportunity. A few questions to ask yourselves are:

  1. Is the contract deliverable?
  2. Can we provide suitable experience?
  3. Can we realistically compete with other organisations for this opportunity?
  4. Do we meet or exceed all the minimum requirements?

At first glance, a lot of government tender contract opportunities may seem a good fit, but it is important to investigate this further and ensure that you tick all the boxes. Contracting authorities request a certain set of standards for a reason – to exclude those companies who do not meet the threshold and to select a company that can deliver the product or service in the most economically advantageous way (meaning both price and quality is evaluated).

Tender alerts – never miss an opportunity!

Linked to bidding for the wrong contract, you must be aware of all the right tendering opportunities. Many sites offer tender alerts direct to your email inbox with any new contract opportunities or Executive Compass publish a selection for free here. Ensuring your organisation is aware of all opportunities, and invitations to tender that are the best fit for your business, will result in more tender winning.

Gaps in the bid writing process

Once you have selected a suitable contract and satisfied yourself that you can successfully bid for the work, the next stage is demonstrating to the contracting authority that you are the best company for the job by writing a winning bid.

It may seem obvious but writing a strong bid is the key to winning the tender!

In our experience, there are a few areas in particular that lead to bidders missing out on full marks. Review these points on the tendering process to ensure success:

  1. Not answering the question
  2. Not utilising word or page limits to the full effect
  3. Providing information that doesn’t match the specification or evaluation criteria
  4. Not providing enough evidence
  5. Submitting a bid that isn’t compliant
  6. Not going into enough detail
  7. Providing the information that you think is important, rather than what the buyer is actually looking for!

If you have significant gaps in the bidding process internally, instruct a bid writer to complete on your behalf, to increase your chances of success.

Company infrastructure and business processes

If you are bidding for the right public and private sector opportunities and have a strong bid writing process but are still losing bids, it could be due to areas in your wider business processes that need improving. There are fundamental areas that contracting authorities tend to look at, such as quality management systems, supply chain, accreditations and health and safety practices.

It can be difficult to take an internal look at your infrastructure, but it is an important evaluation if you are serious about securing new contracts. There may be nothing wrong with your quality management system and it may work well for your organisation, but it is important to remember in a procurement process the buyer has an evaluation to do and your competitor may have better systems in place. There are certain improvements that can be made to systems to ensure you have the correct collateral when bidding for a contract.

For an external evaluation of your current success rates and a gap analysis of your business processes, contact our team today to discuss a free consultation and proposal for how you can improve and win more contracts.

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