Policies, procedures and supporting documents can often be an afterthought and a chore when completing a tender submission; however they are a crucial component to your bid and when correctly implemented can strengthen your response and help to obtain the most marks possible. By keeping all of your supporting documentation up to date in a comprehensive bid library, a more efficient bid process is created which will save time and resource when tendering and this can differentiate your organisation against the competition.
Our bid writers provide their advice and their top three ways to effectively use policies and supporting documents to improve your bid and avoid non-compliance.
1. Provide evidence
It is not enough to simply state within a submission what you do and how you do it; it needs to be supported with evidence to demonstrate to the contracting authority why you are the most suitable candidate through your strengths and capabilities as an organisation. This will increase the weighting of your bid.
Evidence is best portrayed through the use of a relevant case study. This is an opportunity for your organisation to provide past examples which relate to the contract and demonstrate similar situations and challenges, and ultimately how the product or service was delivered successfully. Including any particular challenges or difficult issues and how these were overcome signifies the ability to adapt to change and any problems which may arise. Through the use of a case study, the contracting authority can also establish how your organisation runs and the practices you have in place.
In your bid library, build up a series of case studies which best showcase your organisation in terms of strengths, challenges overcome, innovations and company best practices. These can then be tailored and used for different tenders when applicable, which is efficient and can save time.
2. Ensure compliance and conformance
Certain supporting documents, such as up to date policies and procedures, can be a requirement in a bid, especially at the PQQ stage, and the failure to deliver them can result in you not progressing to the next stage of the process.
It is important to ensure all of your policies and procedures are up to date and adhere to the current laws and legislation. The documentation needs to include a last reviewed date, next review date and a signature of ownership to certify that monitoring and conformance is in place. Always check which policies are required in a contract. If the specification refers to a certain piece of legislation or a policy, for example, Corporate Social Responsibility, you should then refer back to this policy in your response. Relate the policy to your company’s activities and describe how these codes of practice are implemented in your business. This again can be used as a form of evidence.
3. Differentiate from the competition
Supporting documents provide the opportunity to differentiate your organisation against your competitors. Your guidelines, operations and organisational practices can give you a competitive edge within a submission through the use of evidence and proven efficiency. If a contracting authority understands you are fully capable of delivering the contract due to your previous examples and successes, but also knows you are more efficient and adaptable than the competition, you are likely to score the most marks and successfully progress to the next stage of the process and ultimately, win the contract.
It is also vital to record who your achievements and past successes are recognised by; again this can be an advantage against the competition and instils confidence in your organisation as the most suitable candidate for the contract.
Another aspect which can be forgotten about, but which will set you apart from the competition, is the design and format of your tender submission. Some responses request that you stick to a strict set of requirements in terms of font and presentation but others allow you to create your own design template. A professional looking bid will stand out from other organisations and depict your company as expert to the contracting authority. This is also true for all policies and supporting documents, and the appendices to your submission, which should also be formatted into a professional design template which reflects your organisation’s purpose and competences.
Assistance with creating supporting documents
Executive Compass regularly assist clients from all sectors to become “bid ready”. This process consists of a gap analysis of the current bid process; case study and CV development; usable design templates, and the creation of main policies. To discuss how we can assist with your supporting documents or any other bid and tender enquiry, call us today free on 0800 612 5563 to speak to a member of our bid team.