When tendering for contracts in the public sector, the first step is to identify suitable contract opportunities and keep up to date with the current market.
In the UK public sector there are approximately 1,000 contract notices released each month. Contrary to popular belief, these are all publicly available and free to access, so organisations of any size can access new opportunities. Tendering and securing contracts is a great way to grow your business in a sustained, controlled way.
The process is simple:
- Monitor the relevant online portals for contract notices (most are updated daily)
- Sign up for alerts, if you wish, with relevant keywords to your company (free to use on government sites)
- Review and assess suitable contract notices that your company may wish to bid for
- Select a contract notice and register your company’s expression of interest using the specific details
- Follow the instructions and submit your tender to the buyer.
Checking the relevance
A contract notice should include the awarding body, the contract value, key CPV codes, any lot structures and a short description. In our experience this can sometimes be quite limited, and you can always contact the buyer or register your interest, in order to access the full documents and double check that it is a relevant contract opportunity for your organisation. Remember you will be evaluated on your tender submission, your price and your narrative responses to portray why you are the most suitable company for the contract in question. If it is not something that is 100% relevant to your business it should be a “no bid”, as it is likely a competitor will be a better fit and therefore awarded the contract.
Check the minimum requirements
The second check to make is always any minimum requirements or thresholds included in the tender contract documents. It is important to check that you are eligible to bid for the contract and there are no barriers to entry for your company. The typical requirements a buyer will outline are around minimum turnover, financial standards, industry-specific memberships and experience. If you do not meet all of the minimum requirements, your bid can be excluded as immediately categorised as a “fail”.
To tender successfully, the opportunity needs to be 100% suitable and deliverable for your organisation.
Tendering for contracts
Once you have sourced a suitable contract opportunity and undertaken the necessary steps, all that is left is to complete your tender document and submit it to the buyer – here is where the real work is!
Tendering for a contract is a required skill and takes preparation, organisation and perseverance. There will typically be a number of documents in your tender pack from the buyer – it is important to take time to read and understand all of them before starting to respond to the tender itself.
Each contract is different, and will have a specification document to advise exactly what the buyer is looking for – your tender response must be in line with this specification and easily address all of the evaluation criteria. Keep in mind you are trying to score the most marks possible, in order to win the contract.
For support in tendering for a contract, contact our team of professional bid writers, who can offer advice at any stage of the process. We assist clients in identifying the right contract, the bid/no bid decision and ultimately, and most importantly, the writing of the tender document to submit your bid.