Recently in the press there has been plenty of controversy over the Department for Transport’s decision to award DFDS, Brittany Ferries and Seaborne Freight three ferry contracts to provide additional shipping capac...
Rules On the Tender Process And Documentation
As a professional bid writing organisation, we are highly familiar with the recurrent and mandated documents that form the invitation to tender, and how these should be completed and submitted. This includes:
- A selection questionnaire – these always follow a standardised process and request:
- Basic company information such as name, registration number, address, person of significant control, and if you are an SME
- Required memberships/accreditations – for example, care providers must have a valid CQC registration
- Financials and insurance levels
- Self-certification regarding grounds for exclusion.
Once you have completed one of these, we advise you to keep a copy, and all supporting documentation at hand as you will be able to refer back in the future, expediting the tender process. Whilst this may feel monotonous, it is important to check and recheck as missing a section or including incorrect information can lead to the non-compliant bid and your entire submission will be discounted.
- Policies, procedures and documentation – do you have all of your certificates (insurance, health and safety, bank references, etc.), policies (environmental, equality, health and safety, waste management, recruitment and retention, training and development) and procedures (disaster management, staff handbook) to hand and in a format which a contracting authority will understand?
- References and examples are necessary to show you have a good track record of success and customer satisfaction. Can you pull such examples at short notice, secure in the knowledge that your existing clients will back you up?
- Quality questions – set by the buyer, these are used to assess the bidding organisation’s competency and ability to deliver the services and will carry a significant weighting.
- Pricing element – requiring the bidding organisation to provide a detailed breakdown of delivery costs. To be competitive we suggest doing this on a contract-by-contract basis rather than using a ‘standardised’ pricing list.
Understanding the tender process and what the buyer wants is only half the battle. If you do not have suitably qualified staff who have the time to devote to writing large-scale, complex documents, or contingency for sickness we would advise outsourcing to a reputable bid writing consultancy.
If you are missing any of these basic features for your tender, you are limiting your organisation’s success in the tendering process and are more likely to miss out on winning contracts.