How to tender for security contracts

Currently, there are 1,095 security tenders and over 500 security firms within the UK. As a result, tendering for security contracts is highly competitive. Having completed hundreds of tenders for multiple security clients, we are well placed to share industry knowledge and insight into successfully tendering for sought-after contracts within councils, private properties, housing authorities and events.

Common security tender questions and topics

The following themes arise in the majority of security tenders, and it’s important to answer concisely, persuasively and clearly to ensure the evaluator has as much information as possible but can easily identify key points that are important to them. The aim is to create a consistent picture in the evaluator’s mind of what you are going to do, how you are going to do it and why.

Here are some common topics:

Mobilisation and contract management

Evaluators want to see some key points within this section, including who is responsible for mobilisation of the contract, why them and what experience they have of mobilising contracts of a similar size and scope. Once you have established who is responsible, it is good to highlight supporting staff, whether that is fellow directors, operational managers, supervisors, HR teams or operatives. Describing what their roles and responsibilities are during mobilisation will set a clear picture in the evaluator’s mind when specific tasks are described. After setting the scene with personnel, you will want to discuss what your mobilisation plan will include and how these tasks will be done. For example:

  1. Stakeholder analysis and introductory meetings to share contact details and collaborate on what mobilisation will look like, including any policies or input you require from the client
  2. Reviewing current resource and the potential need for further labour
  3. Assigning equipment such as CCTV, body cams and tagtronics to ensure sufficient stock ready for commencement
  4. IT review, including portal access for clients and conducting test runs of key processes
  5. TUPE transfers, identifying the number of staff undergoing transfer and obtaining Employer Liability Information and conducting one-to-one meetings
  6. Staff training and identifying skills gaps and requirements for refresher training
  7. Programming works including guard duties, patrol routes, control room access and emergency plans as relevant to the contract
  8. Final checks and sign off with the client ready for contract commencement.

Staff skills and qualifications

Within this section it’s key to demonstrate the high quality of your staff. Any relevant training, courses and qualifications should be mentioned, including those that will make you stand out from competitors such as advanced first aid, ACT awareness training and NVQ (QCF) training. Additionally, it is important to show how you manage staff qualifications and training to ensure they remain aware of best practice, current affairs and their training remains in date. Often, it is good practice to describe your training matrix and its effectiveness, alongside how it is used and who is responsible. Lastly, social value has become more prominent in tenders over the past few years and, as a result, building a highly skilled workforce demonstrates commitment to social improvement. Therefore, this is a good topic to input any continued professional development schemes you have as well as any good examples of succession planning and staff who have been developed.

Social value

Often a topic that can be daunting in tendering is social value. However, it is a common and highly valued part of tendering and therefore it’s important to assess what value you add to the people and environment that are affected by your operations. This can include:

  1. Donations to local charities and causes
  2. Volunteering as a workforce or allowing staff to have time away from work that they can dedicate to volunteering to a local cause
  3. Using sustainable equipment and resources
  4. Making offices environmentally friendly by becoming paperless, using LED lighting and banning single-use plastics by offering company water bottles and filling stations
  5. Committing to workforce development and progression
  6. Employing those who are long-term unemployed or not in education or training.

Innovation and added value

Often clients want to know why they should choose you over a competitor, and this topic is a great place to ‘show off’ all the innovative products and services that make your operations more seamless, robust and of a higher quality than others. Here it is important to demonstrate how you remain aware of industry innovations whether that is through subscriptions, continued training, industry partnerships and memberships and through independent research. Once you have detailed ‘how’ you stay up to date on the latest innovations there is the opportunity to demonstrate why these innovations and any added value initiatives will benefit the client. It is good to use real-life examples and statistics to show tangible improvements.

The challenges when tendering for security contracts

Through our experience supporting security clients, there are two key challenges when tendering for security contracts: competitiveness and having a unique selling point. As a result, to score the highest possible marks, and to stand out to the evaluators, it is often good to have a creative meeting to discuss WHY you are the best organisation for the contract. Is it because of your experience or your intelligent IT software? Do you have a workforce that are more highly skilled or are your processes and standard operating procedures flawless? This should then become a key win theme woven into your tender responses.

How to win security contracts

To guarantee the highest chance of winning:

  1. Write concisely; the easier the evaluator can see and locate the information the more likely you are to get higher marks
  2. Have a clear structure with headings and subheadings to signpost the evaluator
  3. Use the full word count; they have decided on this amount of words for a reason. This is the amount of information they would like; it’s best to use it.
  4. Use diagrams, photos, charts and tables to demonstrate information. Often for qualifications and experience, a table can use less words and show information clearer.

Lastly, and most importantly, read the specification and fully understand what they are asking for; pick out the key points and use this in the response to demonstrate how you will achieve them.

For support in tendering for a security contract, contact our team of bid writers today. We are involved in over 500 tender submissions each year, and well-versed in nuances in the security industry, to support your organisation to win more bids.

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Request a callback with a member of our Bid Team or contact us by telephone on 0800 612 5563, direct to mobile 07739 407746 or via email info@executivecompass.co.uk

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