We were approached by a privately owned, gas servicing company which wanted to win a prestigious gas servicing and maintenance tender in their local area. The company did have some small public sector contracts but had previously never formally written a tender of such importance. Winning this tender would make a significant difference to the business, as well as safeguarding a number of jobs.
Type of Project
Remote working (100%), with one
two day site visit
Neil Capstick, supported by John
Duration of the bid
Value to the client
£750,000 per annum for four years
A large number of questions
Strict one page limits for all questions, in complex subject areas
The large number of policies and procedures required to support each question
The need for TUPE transition plan, and a lack of TUPE experience within the client company
The need for a business plan, risk register and mobilisation plan
A ‘must-win’ bid
Geographical region – England
Output – 55 pages of narrative responses, TUPE implementation plan, risk register, Mobilisation plan and business continuity plan
Weighting – 60%/30%/10% quality/price/presentation
Submission – Electronic upload and face to face presentation
Outcome – Won
We were approached by a privately owned gas servicing company which wanted to win a prestigious gas servicing and maintenance tender in their local area. The company did have some small to medium public sector contracts but had not formally written a tender of this importance. Winning this tender would make a significant difference to the business as well as safeguard a number of jobs, with the tender described as a ‘must win’ if they were to develop and grow.
The tender writing for this project was delivered by Neil, ably supported by John, who accompanied Neil to the site visit and assisted in the writing of the narrative responses.
The methodology involved visiting the client’s premises and spending two days on site, speaking to key people and then returning to the office to create the responses. Through this approach we were able to obtain all required information, as well as an insight into the company’s ethos and working methods, all of which were input, strengthened and supported by evidence within the final submission.
The bid was very structured, with a large number of questions, all limited to one page. Whilst the finished tender was only 55 pages in length, the restricting page limit meant that it was very challenging to complete. In addition, a range of policies were required, as well as a risk register, business continuity plan and a mobilisation plan. All of this information had to be provided and discussed within the submission, with the overall aim to hit all the points in each question to achieve the highest score possible.
However, the biggest challenge was around the need to provide a detailed TUPE transition plan. The company had no previous experience of TUPE, and so we had to undertake detailed research on the subject and create a proposal. In addition, we discussed the subject with the client to advise them, suggesting that they obtained a TUPE expert to assist them in
the mobilisation period, to both enhance their understanding and ensure their compliance with all legal requirements.
The TUPE element was restricted to four pages plus a plan. We created the plan in Microsoft Project (all our staff are trained to use Project and we utilise it to create all our mobilisation plans) and provided a detailed narrative to support it. Neil had to speak to specialist legal support to obtain advice on best practice and legal requirements, to ensure that the advice and assistance we provided was compliant, as well as ensuring the response achieved full marks. Not only did we win the tender, but our TUPE response scored full marks and helped to secure the contract. The TUPE response also acted as a blueprint for the actual process when it was carried out a few months later, and is now used by the client as a standard
response for such future questions, to be amended if required.
The tender also asked a series of questions around no access, anniversary dates and appointment times. We were not only able to match our client’s response very closely to the specification, but also to add value to the overall tender by including value added and innovative activities, which really impressed the evaluators. The feedback we received was that all the other companies had simply described what they did, but that our tender had “leapt off the page”, as it provided clear and explicit descriptions of the company’s intent and also offered, and clearly described, added value and benefits to the client and tenants throughout the document.
The tender was successful and the company were able to use the responses that Executive Compass® had written as the basis for the foundation of a sound bid library. To help the foundation and management of a fully workable bid library we helped them to structure their existing intranet into an effective and efficient, fully searchable bid library and also
created some further model answers.
Following this success, the company has bid on three projects, winning two out of three. Coincidentally, the one that they did not win was one in which we were not involved, and when we reviewed it, they had fallen into the age-old trap of “Well we have all the answers we need now, we can just copy and paste …” This is a regular failing of firms who fail to realise that each tender is different and that responses must be tailored according to the specification, the client and the client’s objectives. Having discussed the company’s bid history and successes, we are now their first contact should they wish to bid for a tender.