It was announced earlier this week that the Met Office is no longer in the running for the BBC weather contract, which is currently out to tender.
After holding the contract for the past 93 years, the Met Office has been overtaken by two companies: Dutch firm MeteoGroup and New Zealand’s MetraWeather, who are still bidding for the contract.
The contract has gone through the bidding process in the past, but the Met Office has always been successful and remained the incumbent. The BBC has commented on the fact that the tender writing process selects both the highest quality and the best price: “We are legally required to go through an open tender process and take forward the strongest bids to make sure we secure both the best possible service and value for money for the licence fee payer”.
EU procurement rules and directives coming into effect are proving that competition is ever increasing, while greater transparency means firms need to prove they can provide the highest quality good or service at the most economic price.
Bidding as the incumbent
As the Met Office story has shown, a company can never be complacent when bidding for a contract as the incumbent. Tendering for a contract which essentially is still ‘yours’ may seem like an easy task; you have a relationship with the authority and are possibly viewed favourably, but in fact, it can be a stressful and difficult procedure, with the risk of losing a significant portion of your turnover. You are not just competing to maintain your position, but are up against new companies with new innovations and strategic capabilities and therefore need to show how you will continue to be the best organisation for the job.
You must use your knowledge of the contract and the authority to add value to your submission and highlight any possible areas for improvement. It is necessary not only to demonstrate how you are successfully delivering the contract but also provide a fresh perspective on your bid and how you will improve and adapt in the future. Strictly speaking, as an incumbent you should be able to provide the best case studies, examples and references for the contract – so make sure you utilise this.
Ultimately it is a competition, and as the BBC has proven, it is vital for the contracting authority to choose the best bid and not rely solely on relationships – something which may be difficult for the British public to see on this occasion!
External tender support
We have assisted clients (and helped them win contracts) as the incumbent for a ‘must-win’ contract but also helped companies to beat current incumbents. Whatever your situation in the bidding process, it is important to remember that tendering is becoming more and more competitive and you must react to this.
An external point of view can identify new innovations and a different approach to the bid, which you may not have thought of. Another pair of eyes can also cover aspects such as compliance checks, quality reviews and proofreading which are highly important for a large contract – especially one you do not wish to lose.
For bid writing assistance, contact us today on 0800 612 5563 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help you win more contracts.