As the UK’s economic recovery presses forward, we are noticing more and more opportunities for companies to tender for work across all industries. Confidence in the eyes of consumers and contracting authorities alike is being restored, and councils are investing more readily in projects. This is particularly true in the construction industry, with the Office for National Statistics confirming the fastest pace of growth in the three months leading to April since June 2010. As a result, we are noticing more and more construction tenders being released every month, and we are helping an ever-increasing number of construction companies to win PQQs, to submit successful tenders and to win valuable contracts.
How to Write Winning Construction Tenders
The Executive Compass methods for writing winning tenders are based around our expertise in the bid process itself, and can be transferred over to any industry. However, we also have a thorough understanding of individual sectors and industries, and know how to make the advantages of your company shine through in every submission. Here are some top tips on tender writing for construction.
The first step should always be ensuring compliance. The evaluator will need to be satisfied that you can meet your obligations in terms of Health and Safety, Environmental Management and Equal Opportunities, for example. Many submissions will require you to include your policies and procedures, and these should be reviewed to ensure that they meet the requirements of the specification. Your compliance with your obligations should also be made explicit in your responses, regardless of whether you are writing a PQQ or writing a tender.
Having guaranteed that your bid is compliant, it is time to focus on making it stand out from the crowd by drawing upon your various competitive advantages.
Draw Upon Your Previous Experience
Provide evidence for your responses with experience from similar contracts. As impressive as building a leisure centre may be, when you are bidding to build a beach hut, the evaluator wants to hear about other beach huts that you have built. Similarly, if you are bidding to work on a football stadium, the evaluator will not be interested in your experience working on a social housing scheme. Matching your experience to the specification is crucial, so ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding before you start writing. What were your successes on previous contracts, and how do they relate to the work that you are bidding for?
All construction projects represent a significant risk to the contracting authority – more so than most other projects. If anything were to go wrong, the costs to the authority in terms of money, time and credibility could be enormous. You must make it explicit that you are capable of delivering the works to budget, to the agreed timescales and to a high quality. Avoid vague statements. You must provide firm reassurance to the authority that you can, and will, deliver the works successfully. Therefore, all statements should be backed up by tangible evidence. Every bidder can throw out claims such as “we employ a skilled workforce”: telling the evaluator how many people you employ, how you know that they are adequately skilled and how their skills have been proven in the past will inspire more confidence, and will ultimately earn you more points.
Highlight the Benefits to the Client
As construction tenders have such a strong focus on compliance, it is easy to fall into the trap of simply meeting the minimum requirements. A winning tender will go further than this, and will describe how the client will benefit. For the construction of housing schemes, the evaluator will always want to see how your service will benefit residents. On top of this, more and more construction tenders ask for extensive information on Social Value. You must therefore spell out how your delivery of the works will benefit third parties and the wider community, in terms of employment, your supply chain and specific projects and initiatives. Tender writing is often viewed as a question of “how”, but the winning tender will always centre on the “why”.
Effective bid management means creating a submission that is both compliant and compelling. Our team of bid writers can interact with your company, drawing upon your expertise and providing as much help as you need to create a bid that stands out from the competition. We have worked on successful construction submissions ranging from very small projects to contracts in excess of £20 million. To find out how we can help you win more work, contact us for free on 0800 612 5563.