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Our pre-bid consultancy services, also known as bid capture planning, allows you to proactively identify and develop strategies for business-critical or ‘must-win’ tenders, ensuring high-quality and competitive submissions to increase your chances of winning a contract.

Many of our clients retain our bid writing and bid review services for crucial tenders, or instances where they are the incumbent provider on a contract constituting a large percentage of their annual turnover. Clients range from multinational corporations to small, family-owned businesses, across sectors as diverse as health and social care, construction, facilities management and professional services.

Our pre-bid consultancy services extend additional support beyond a live or active tender, allowing your proposal team to:

  • Develop key ‘win themes’ and consider unique selling points you can offer as part of the works or service
  • Anticipate content which may be addressed as part of the submission through unique capture planning and storyboarding sessions
  • Begin compiling evidence (e.g. KPIs, statistics and photographs) to be used as part of case studies, contract examples and bid responses.

Bespoke pre-bid training services and capture planning

As with our bid writing and bid review services and bid writing courses, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to the scope of our pre-bid consultancy support. Based on your organisation’s tendering experience, success rates and status (e.g. as the incumbent provider or previous experience working with the authority), capture planning sessions can be tailored to the unique needs and approaches you require.

To support and inform this, we will often ask for a copy of a recently submitted tender you have completed in-house, feedback from the authority and how you feel this sits with other submissions you have recently completed.

We will also gather as much information on your organisation, including:

  • Your total experience trading and bidding into the public sector, offering an overview of your industry or sector position
  • Key certifications or accreditations you possess, such as an ISO 9001:2015 certification
  • Current portfolio of contracts of a similar size and scope which align with the tender opportunity
  • Key KPIs or statistics which are beneficial in creating persuasive, evidence-based bid responses.

Benefits and advantages of pre-bid consultancy and capture planning

Essentially, pre-bid consultancy will allow you to begin proactively working towards a crucial tender, saving time and resource in the long term. Scheduling capture planning (also known as ‘capture management’) and initial storyboarding sessions are crucial to creating a strong foundation for your tender submission.

This applies to infrequent and regular bidders alike – initial preparations in advance of a tender submission or request for proposal can allow for efficiencies into drafting of quality responses, in addition to wider in-house bid processes.

Just a few of the benefits and advantages offered by pre-bid consultancy includes the following:

  • Identify priority areas: By dedicating time to researching the authority, local area and opportunity in detail, your organisation will begin to uncover potential priority areas and winning strategies to be covered within the bid in greater detail. Equally, if you are an incumbent provider or a supplier on the current incarnation of a framework agreement, experience may prove useful in anticipating the contracting authority’s priorities. For example, repeated instances of no-access within resident homes when servicing heating systems may lead to a quality question requiring bidders to outline measures for mitigating this.
  • Create a capture plan or tender storyboard: Although each tender is different, there are a number of key themes and topics that are usually covered within each bid. This includes experience-based contract examples or case studies, quality assurance or quality in delivery, customer care and complaints procedures, and mobilisation or implementation of the contract. You may need to work with your organisation’s subject matter experts to compile this information to include in your capture plan. A capture plan can also be developed and repurposed to inform subsequent bid and tender opportunities, informing your overall bid strategy and approach.
  • Begin developing ‘win themes’: Closely related to addressing priority areas and collating useful statistics, these can inform any key differentiators or win themes you wish to include throughout your tender. Win themes should be integrated naturally, but also serve as a persuasive tool for reminding the evaluator you are ideally positioned to deliver the tendered works or services. This could include your position as the incumbent provider, or high organisational customer satisfaction rates, or added value provided in service/works delivery.
  • Formalise your bid pipeline: Many organisations or proposal teams have a scattershot approach to their bidding strategy or tender pipeline. A formal approach to pre-bid activities can allow you to implement processes and procedures going forward which can inform future bid strategies and achieve a greater return on investment.

Regardless of your client base or level of bidding activity, it is likely at some point you will need to submit a tender to acquire or retain a large contract or further business opportunities. By following the above, you will ensure a competitive advantage over other bidder organisations, who have spared less time and attention to detail at the preparation stage of the tender.

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    What you can expect

    A senior member of the team will be made available for a number of hours or days, depending on your requirements and the size and scope of the bid. All elements of our pre-bid consultancy and capture planning service can be adjusted and tailored depending on your bidding experience, feedback from previous submissions and preferences, but typically comprise the following:

    • An initial kick-off meeting or call to agree a definitive scope, and associated timescales for completion
    • Identifying and considering potential contract examples and case studies, relaying previous experience which is relevant to the tendered works or service
    • How to collate and present persuasive, impactful evidence, incorporating KPIs and statistics to strengthen the credibility of responses
    • Guidance on approaching common topics in quality responses (e.g. mobilisation, health and safety and resourcing), anticipating potential tender questions
    • Researching potential key priorities of the contracting authority and considering how to address these within quality responses
    • Wider support on social value, including increasing understanding of the central tenets of social value and how it can be evidenced within a submission.

    All of the above are just examples and can be altered or amended in response to the requirements of the specific opportunity. For example, contracts and framework agreements with an overall value exceeding £5 million require a Carbon Reduction Plan for each bidder organisation. You may seek advice and guidance on how to begin recording emissions, ensuring a compliant Carbon Reduction Plan as part of your tender submission.

    Wider bid management support

    Pre-bid consultancy can also be useful in supporting sustainable, long-term bid management strategies to help your organisation win tenders. This could include (but is not limited to) the following:

    • Developing an effective bid strategy by proactively identifying opportunities and making a formal ‘bid/no-bid’ assessment at the beginning of each tender exercise
    • Design, layout and formatting for quality responses including use of bullet points, tables, colour, images and flow charts/infographics where appropriate, resulting in a clear and easy to read document
    • Understanding submission documents for each opportunity and what constitutes part of the tender return
    • Raising clarification questions and how these can be worded to maximise information from the authority
    • Bid planning and managing a tender submission through our easily navigable bid management matrix, adaptable for standard and particularly large submissions.

    In addition to capture planning and storyboarding sessions, the pre-bid consultancy offers an opportunity to consolidate existing procedures and implement ‘best practice’ approaches, saving time and creating efficiencies in the proposal process.

    Tailored support with other services

    Pre-bid consultancy support can naturally be paired with the other bid and tender services we offer, creating a truly bespoke approach. For instance:

    • Bid writing services can build off existing work produced during the pre-bid consultancy stage, using material created as a jumping-off point for answer planning and drafting responses
    • Bid review services offer an additional pair of eyes, where a senior member of the team (usually a quality manager) conducts a comprehensive review of tender responses written by your in-house bid team, with responses returned complete with suggestions for enhancements and improvements
    • Bid training and bid writing courses can serve as a guide and support for continuously improving tender outcomes, resulting in crucial contract awards and expanding your business.

    Whether used for a key ‘must-win’ contract or as part of your standardised bidding strategy, pre-bid support is a crucial step of any successful tender submission.


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