Each PQQ and tender submission is different: different authority, different specification and different responses required. However, the way that you approach the bid needn’t be so different.
We use the same tried and tested bid process for every PQQ and tender that we complete, so our team of expert bid writers put together their top 7 tips for good tenders to guide you through the writing process.
Make sure it is the right contract opportunity
It is important to undertake a full bid/no bid decision before you commit to bidding for the contract in question. Bid writing can be a time consuming and lengthy process — do not enter into the PQQ and tender procedure without deciding that the contract is definitely one that you want to bid for, and that you can definitely deliver.
Check that you meet the evaluation criteria
Time and time again we see clients realising half way through the bid writing process that they do not fully meet the evaluation criteria. Take your time to go through the contract specification and guidelines with a fine tooth comb; mark down any pass/fail sections and check that you meet all necessary requirements — especially financial requirements.
Plan before you start writing
There is likely to be a short timescale associated with the PQQ or tender that you are completing. Do not, however, dive straight into writing your narrative responses. Create an answer plan. This could include the main areas you need to cover in your responses to ‘hit’ the evaluation criteria, bullet points of ideas/starting points and deconstructing the questions to form sub-sections of your responses.
Answer the question!
It sounds simple, but make sure that you answer the question. Do not just use copy and paste material which does not fully respond to the contract specification. Every time you finish writing a response, ask yourself whether it fully answers the question and put yourself in the evaluator’s shoes. Use the word or page limits outlined to put together a comprehensive response; if there are 500 words available then chances are a 100 word response is not going to answer the question so that you score the most marks available.
If you are describing how you will deliver a product or service, or explaining your quality management system, it is not enough to simply state what you do. You need to go one step further and explain what this means and provide evidence to cement your point and show in practice exactly what you are capable of.
Review, review, review
Always leave yourself enough time to review your PQQ or tender properly — preferably get a colleague to do this for you. It is important to undertake a compliance check, and not just review the quality of your written work. Whether it is boxes that need to be ticked, Excel sheets to be filled in or numerous tabs in an online portal. There are various obstacles which, if not checked, could result in a fail due to non-compliance.
Take your time submitting
Typically you will need to submit your PQQ or tender response via an online portal or electronically. Take the time to familiarise yourself with the process and any specific requirements prior to your deadline. Online portals in particular can incur technical difficulties if there are numerous companies trying to submit their responses at the same time — do not leave it until the last minute!
Tender Writing Tips
For more advice, see our tender writing tips video below: