Two Parts to a Tender

The PC and Coffee

There are two parts to a tender.

  • The Company Information
  • Quality Response (or offer)

Company Information

It is a “Ronseal” section. However, there are clear pitfalls.

Some of the things you are required to provide:

  • Company Details
  • Registered and Postal address
  • Structure (Sole trader, Ltd, Partnership, PLC)
  • Date and place of registration
  • Registration numbers (make certain it is the right number)
  • DUNS Number for Limited Companies
  • Professional registrations
  • Mandatory exclusions and
  • Discretionary exclusions

A very simple starting point, now the primary requirements:

  • Accounts or projections
  • Insurances
  • Business Continuity Plans
  • Policies
  • Pre-Employment checks

Technical experience follows:

  • Organization Chart
  • Management accountability and reporting
  • Staffing
  • Operational and Administrative functions
  • Training information and records
  • Similar services provided

All backed up by:

  • References
  • Examples of contracts and values
  • Quality assurance and controls and
  • Business description

All of the information required should be held in one place and updated as necessary. Therefore, that means the first section can be completed in house.

Managing information

All too often clients begin by saying we’re too busy to keep on top of this. It isn’t true because how you set up your management of information dictates just how difficult this is.

For example, my clients use a range of document management tools, for example, the top three are:

Take the time to learn to use these tools and automate as much as you can.

Online Portals

Registering with your preferred buyer means that you must know what Online Portals they use and where they publish opportunities.

Take time to set these up with the information you have already gathered and ensure that you update stored documents.

Use the Portal Alerts to email you as soon as the opportunity is published.

In a later post, I will introduce you to “Through the Portal”

Why do these yourselves?

The simple answer it saves time and money. If you complete the Portal information then the core answers self populate and you need only pay for the parts that need a direct answer.

Competitive tendering is all about effective preparation and it saves money and time when completed properly.

For example, just completing all the core information can save you a half-day of charges that a bid writer will charge. If I do it for you it is generally an hour of my time.

The Quality Response

Two parts to the tender, part 2 is the challenge.

Understanding the language of the question is a critical part to scoring well. Here are common examples of phrases used: (we will return to these in a subsequent post)

  • Please provide an account of…
  • How would (not does)…
  • Please explain how you would…
  • How does your organisation…
  • What systems and processes…
  • Demonstrate your approach…

I get asked what do they mean by…? and the because of the specification we know how the buyer expects to receive the product, therefore, we should be able to work these points through. None of the questions deserve a two-line answer or refer to policy document xyz.

Competitive tender writing requires discipline, structure and clear organization. Winning tenders are written by individuals with a clear understanding of what you are selling and how it benefits the buyer.

Consequently, there are two parts to every tender document, one is easy to prepare for, all questions can be pre-empted. Therefore, spend time with your bid writer(s), cover these points, provide examples and check the detail.

Winning becomes a habit once the training process is in place.

The Offer of support

I am happy to run the whole process for you, however, I also enjoy working with your teams and mentoring them as they enhance their skills as bid writers. Additionally, training days are available tailored and general.

Contact information 30 years of writing winning submissions enabling you to stay ahead of your competition.

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