How To Win Bids and Tenders

Wondering how to go about winning bids and tenders? Writing first-class bids isn’t an exact science – but at Win That Bid, we’ve got the expertise to help you secure your dream contracts with ease.

Top Ten Tips for Winning Tenders

1.    Be thorough: answer every question in the bid document – missing out a couple of vital questions can lose you the entire bid.

2.    Know your marketplace (competitors & pricing): spend time researching your competitors and understand their pricing prior to the bid writing process.

3.    Appeal to your reader: offer persuasive, benefit-led responses and think about the customer – what’s important to them? What are they looking for in their supplier?  Don’t simply provide a list of features – if you want to win tenders, take your responses one step further and state the benefits.

4.    Have a model: build a library of standard PQQ and tender responses – save documents such as insurance certificates, policies and yearly accounts in one place that is easily accessible by others in the company.

5.    Outdo yourself: don’t leave your tender until the last minute – make sure that you have dedicated ample time and resources to produce the best possible result. If you can’t submit your best effort for this bid, why you are submitting at all?

6.    Be decisive: make a conscious decision to bid – if you are tendering ‘just because’, this is not the recipe for a winning bid.

7.    Discriminate: can you deliver this tender? Do you want to win this bid? If you win, what will happen to your other contracts? Make sure you’re bidding for business you really want.

8.    Understand the bid requirements – and adhere to them.

9.    Know your audience: read the bid evaluation criteria – what’s most important to the customer?

10.  Be proactive: engage with the customer – being invited to bid is a compliment, and likely to put your submission in a stronger position than a cold response.

 

Need some help winning that dream contract?

Call us today to discuss how we can help you win more business

Could the G4S security contract have worked?

Last week Win that Bid published a blog quoting a director from G4S as he proclaimed the rise of police privatisation. I wasn’t entirely positive about the prospect… and even as it went live on the site G4S became embroiled in a massive contract scandal reported across the world, destroying their share price.

There has been lots of press coverage about the company’s failures, but what about the contract itself? Could they have succeeded in meeting it at all?

There were warning signs last September, when the firm reported that it would not be able to recruit more than guards than it was originally contracted for without a great deal of prior warning. The Home Office then took four months to confirm what it actually needed (far more than the contract called for, naturally). All security staff have to be centrally vetted and licensed through the Security Industry Authority (SIA) before they can be deployed, drastically slowing down their recruitment process. There seems to have been an awful lack of clarity about the pricing structure of the tender contract, which allowed the Olympic Sponsors to add more and more requirements to the contract. G4S simply couldn’t provide the resources asked for, and didn’t communicate that very well.

This raises a second issue with the contract: there was no provision for outsourcing. The authorities wanted to hand the entire £200 million contract to a single security company. This created problems for G4S and seems like a wasted opportunity; Win that Bid has worked with plenty of qualified security companies in London. Many of them were very interested in pursuing Olympic security contracts and were disappointed to find that there were no opportunities for them do so, either because of the sheer scale of the contract or because they were vulnerable to changes in the tender contract. The tender contract isolated G4S; before taking the contract they should have considered their contingency plans in the event the requirements changed, as they usually do in contracts this large and politicised.

Based on these facts, G4S certainly appears to have a strong case to complain about the government’s conduct in this contract. It hasn’t taken that opportunity. Possibly, it simply doesn’t want to jeopardise the security contracts it already has with the government. The political climate and the scale of the bid certainly left G4S in a very poor negotiating position; something that any company should consider before bidding for a tender.

A company trying to win any bid, let alone a security contract, should make sure they plan for contingencies. G4S weren’t prepared for big changes in the contract, and have paid for it.

Police privatisation: an arresting opportunity?

David Taylor-Smith of the security company G4S recently grabbed headlines by stating that private companies will be running large parts of the UK’s police service within five years. His statements were supported by news that at least 10 police forces are considering outsourcing parts of their service to the private sector in response to funding shortfalls brought on by government cuts.

Taylor-Smith’s statements simply focused minds on a trend already causing consternation among many observers. The American experience in privatised law enforcement has been riddled by stories of corruption, genuinely horrible scandals and enormous pork barrel spending at taxpayer’s expense. And while people laugh at the classic Fry and Laurie sketch from decades ago, areas of London have already reverted to the Victorian situation of overlapping private spaces patrolled by company personnel, disrupting police response times and creating some disturbing civil rights issues. If frontline police services are privatised, precedent suggests that most of those tender contracts will go to established firms with extensive backroom contacts.

Not all of the requirements being investigated by the police are so controversial. Managing the vehicle fleet, providing legal support and even helping victims and witnesses; these opportunities for bid writers are all less likely to be delayed or prevented by political clashes.  Existing companies experienced in public sector tenders for maintenance, human resources or social care could find important roles within the police force.

Bid writers looking to win public sector tenders in the police force must be aware of how politicised the process could potentially become.  Consider the image of the company and be ready to discuss issues of social value during the bidding process. The stated goal of the outsourcing deals is to reduce costs; bid writers will encounter procurers who hope they can reduce their overheads while improving levels of service at the same time.

As more information about potential police tender opportunities becomes available, companies should carefully consider their options. Win that Bid can help bid writers, both in putting together an appropriate tender document, but also in deciding whether an apparently lucrative policing tender contract is going become a dangerous albatross in the long term.

How to Find Tenders

People often ask us how to find tenders for their business.  There are hundreds of portals in the UK – some generalist, some specialist.  Some charge a membership fee and others are free.  This article sets out a few ways to find yourself some great tendering opportunities.

Contracts Finder
Contracts Finder is a free new service for businesses, government buyers and the public. This service comes from the Government and you can find:

· live contract opportunities

· closed tender documentation

· contract awards and contract documents

TED (Tenders Electronic Daily)
TED is the online version of the ‘Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)’, dedicated to European public procurement. Public procurement in the UK and European Union is governed by a number of Directives and Regulations and all tender opportunities above a certain monetary threshold must be published in the OJEU. TED provides free access to business opportunities. It is updated five times a week with approximately 1500 public procurement notices from the European Union, the European Economic Area and beyond. Register on the TED website for free to get started.

Where to find Global Sporting Opportunities

Where to find Local Authority opportunities

It is worth finding out how your local authorities manage their tenders however we find that in the majority they use their own online portals, advertise in local papers and/or use an external company like Exor to manage their preferred supplier database.

Central Government

Try these for size

NHS

The Department of Health is divided into a number of business units for purchasing purposes, each with their own budgets.  We have selected a few ways to monitor different tendering and business opportunities

Specialist

Each sector often has its own specialist portals and we have put together a list of some of them

What do you think of our How to Find Tenders list – have you got a favourite to add?

latest LOCOG Procurement schedule

Latest LOCOG Procurement Timetable

There are still tons of Olympic opportunities up for grabs.   Have a look at LOCOG’s latest procurement schedule to find out when it’s your turn to bid.  If you need any advice on tendering for the London games we’re always ready to help.

There are still tons of Olympic opportunities up for grabs.  Have a look at LOCOG’s latest procurement schedule to find out when it’s your turn to bid.  If you need any advice we’re always ready to help.

Category Date Opportunity
Artists, Performance & Events Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

Apr – June 2011

?     Sport production services

?     Sport creative design

?     Sport production (workforce)

?     Torch relay – staging

?     Retail – shopping bags

?     Orchestras

?     Gifts and promotional merchandise

?     Collectibles and awards

?     Professional artists and performers

?     Costumes and props

Facilities Management & Catering Jan – Mar 2011 ?     Catering equipment
Security Jan – Mar 2011 ?     Security contracts audit
Services Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

?     Accessible formats – BSL, Easy Read, Audio description

?     Broadcast monitoring

?     Artwork production for advertising

?     Website moderation

?     Workforce training venue (large)

?     Training delivery & materials

Sports Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

Apr – June 2011

Modern Pentathlon, Horses, Fencing Equipment, Athlete Boats, Numbers-Bibs-Stickers, Buoys, Anemometers, Equestrian Show jumps, On Water Safety, GPS, Rowing Equipment, Equestrian Equipment.

Sailing Equipment, Boccia Equipment, Canoe Equipment, Beach Volleyball, Swimming Pool Equipment, Alcohol Test Units, Hockey Equipment, Athletics Equipment, Goal Ball, Handball Equipment, Scoreboards / Charts, Cycling Equipment.

Swim / Triathlon Boats, Whistles, Cones, Heat/Light Monitors, Tools/Repair Material, Ropes/Belts, Sports Specific Flags, Goal ball Equipment, Stationary, Consumables, Sewing Services, Coolers/Refrigerators, Triathlon Equipment.

Sports Medical Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

?     Dental Equipment and consumables

?     Optometry

?     Weymouth and football venues services.

Technology Oct – Dec 2010 ?     IT reseller agreement.
Transport & Logistics Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

?     Mobility vehicles

?     Village blinds and curtains

?     General tools and outdoor furniture

?     Fire equipment

?     Office furniture and safes

?     Sat Nav and tracking units

?     Press centre furniture

?     Driver scheduling and rostering

?     Traffic management consultancy

?     Driving license checks

?     Vehicle livery and graphics

?     Plant and machinery

Venues & Infrastructure Oct – Dec 2010

Jan – Mar 2011

?     Technology support structures

?     Portable water and waste

?     Alterations to existing buildings and CAT B fit out

?     Scaffold and superstructure systems

?     Site works and infrastructure

?     Temporary event fit out

Check out the latest LOCOG Procurement Schedule

Wondering when it will be your chance to bid for some contracts for the Olympics?  LOCOG have released their schedule of procurement for the next quarter.  Contact us if you need further advice and help on getting your company onto the Compete For site.

Industry Date Sector
Facilities Management & Catering July -Sep 2010
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Look, signage and accessories elements
Artists, Performance & Events July -Sep 2010
  • Event Production : Evening celebrations in 2012
  • Event Production : Volunteer orientation
Services July -Sep 2010
  • Interpreters & sign language
Sports July – Sept 2010
  • Hockey Equipment
  • Anemometers
  • On water safety
  • Football Equipment
  • Aquatics Equipment
  • Goal posts Equipment
  • Shooting Equipment
  • Fencing Equipment
  • Horses
  • Beach volleyball
  • Sailing Equipment
  • GPS
  • Flags
  • Goal ball Equipment
  • Water polo Equipment
  • Hockey Equipment
  • Weighing Scales
  • Handball Equipment
  • Equestrian Equipment
  • Cycling Equipment
  • TriathalonEquipment
  • Canoe Equipment
  • Rowing Equipment
Technology July – Sept 2010
  • IT Reseller Agreement
  • Command & Control –incident management Application
  • Work Order Management Application across Venues
  • Customer Relationship Management System
Transport & Logistics July – Sept 2010 Material Handling Equipment
Security Oct -Dec 2010
  • Security fencing
  • Electronic security
Sports Oct – Dec 2010
  • Bocciaequipment
  • Consumables
  • Alcohol test units
  • Scoreboards / charts
  • Chairs / tables
Venues & Infrastructure Oct – Dec 2010
  • Alteration to existing buildings and CAT B fit out
  • Scaffold & Superstructure systems
  • Site works and infrastructure
  • Temporary event fit out
Transport & Logistics Oct – Dec 2010 Vehicle Livery & Graphics

Businesses urged to take advantage of 2012 opportunities with two years to go

With two years to go until the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the London business community is being encouraged to take advantage of the commercial opportunities that are still available for businesses of all sizes.  As Games preparations enter the home stretch, there are still millions of pounds worth of contracts available from both the Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Organising Committee. According to the London Business Network, the organisation responsible for providing 2012 business information and access to opportunities generated by the Games, SMEs are in a prime position to capitalise on the remaining opportunities. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is on track to deliver the Olympic Park and other venues by summer 2011 and although 95% of their direct procurement is already completed, there are still potentially thousands of opportunities available within their supply chains.  According to recent statistics, over 400 tier two contracts are currently at the tender stage and it is anticipated that hundreds more sub-contracting opportunities will be generated as a result*. It is thought that nearly 60% of the London Organising Committee’s (LOCOG) £700 million procurement budget has already been committed, leaving approximately £285 million worth of direct opportunities still to be procured.   The London Business Network anticipates that, like the ODA, LOCOG’s direct opportunities will generate many more sub-contracts that small and medium sized businesses can bid for. Chief Executive of the London Business Network, Mike Mulvey, says ‘supply chain opportunities represent an enormous opportunity for the SME community.  There will be thousands of these opportunities available across a range of sectors and specialisms and from our experience these tend to be more relevant and attainable by SMEs.  For the first time ever, businesses have been able to access supply chain opportunities easily and freely through CompeteFor’. CompeteFor is a ground-breaking tool developed by key London 2012 stakeholders in partnership with the business community. It is designed to open up the London 2012 supply chain and give SMEs a greater chance to benefit from the Games.  This ‘business dating agency’ allows businesses to register as potential suppliers online.  CompeteFor notifies them of 2012 supply chain contracts that are placed on the system which they can apply for quickly and easily online. Mike Mulvey says ‘CompeteFor is a true business legacy of the London 2012 Games.  This is the first time in Olympic and Paralympic Games history that sub-contracting opportunities have been made so freely accessible.  With other public and private sector buyers now using the system; including Crossrail, the Metropolitan Police, TfL, Westminster City Council and Haringey Council; registered businesses also have access to a plethora of contract opportunities beyond London 2012’. To date, over 6,600 opportunities have been advertised on CompeteFor from over 700 public and private sector buying organisations.  Both LOCOG and the ODA are committed to supporting SMEs through CompeteFor and have also encouraged their sub-contractors to open up their supply chains using the innovative system. In the next six months, LOCOG’s procurement will fall into eight key areas – Artists, Performance & Events, Sports (including Medical), Security, Security, Technology, Services, Transport & Logistics, Facilities Management & Catering, and Venues & Infrastructure.  Many of these goods and services, including supply chain opportunities, will be made available through CompeteFor. To register your business on CompeteFor, visit www.competefor.com. For further London 2012 business information, including access to free 2012 business events and network opportunities, visit the London Business Network website – www.londonbusinessnetwork.com. *This is in addition to around £250 million which is earmarked by the ODA for the transformation of the Olympic Park post-Games.

Champagne! CompeteFor celebrates two years of business opportunities.

Hello fellow entrepreneurs. I seem to remember telling you 2010 would be an exiting year. Well, as January is now behind us, it appears we already have a few good reasons to party!

CompeteFor – the chosen website of London 2012 for the publication of Games-related contract opportunities – is celebrating its second birthday. Over 100,000 businesses across the UK have registered on CompeteFor to take advantage of various business opportunities ranging from printing to cleaning and from training to catering services.

CompeteFor’s second birthday saw the 5,000th business opportunity advertised. There are now over 600 ‘buying organisations’ that are placing contract opportunities on the website. Small businesses have been rewarded for thinking big: 74% of contracts awarded have been placed with SME businesses – 18% of them have gone to businesses with 10 or less staff.

And the icing on the cake? The success of CompeteFor has been most felt in London, where local businesses have won almost a third of the contracts awarded so far.

After two years now of Olympics and Paralympics related golden opportunities, there are still over £1 billion worth of Olympic-related contracts to come to the market. So, if you too would like to pop the cork but are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the pre-tendering process, give us a buzz on the Bid phone 0203 405 1850 and we will take care of  everything for you. Now, where’s that ice bucket…

Happy Birthday CompeteFor!!

On Your Marks – LOCOG Advertises New Opportunities – Catering and Cleaning First off the Starter Block

Drum roll please….Working in the cleaning business? As mentioned a couple of weeks ago on this very blog, the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) is now starting to advertise fantastic business opportunities in the field of catering and food services and cleaning and waste.

With approximately £700 million to spend on goods and services in preparation for the London Games in 2012 – 20% of which will go to on catering, cleaning and waste and many provided by small and medium sized enterprises – we just know there is an opportunity out there with your name all over it!  As usual, LOCOG opportunities will be advertised on the online portal www.CompeteFor.co.uk.  So if you haven’t yet registered your business on the site, what are you waiting for?

And if you’d rather not do all this kind of dirty work yourself – why not save yourself some time and energy and employ the services of Win That Bid? We will hunt down the most relevant opportunities for you and make sure you get those bids done and dusted.

There is no place like the Olympics! Creative biz are needed to communicate transport changes around the Games

It seems that there will be no yellow brick road leading to the London Olympics. However, there will be a green one: it was revealed that cycling will be a favoured means of transportation in the capital city. The Mayor of London has recently announced £1.49 million of funding for the first two Cycle Superhighways and a Cycle Hire scheme will also be launched: no less than 6,000 bikes will be available from a planned 400 docking stations!

All good here for private commuters – however, massive disruptions are expected in public transports during the Olympics. As the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Chairman John Armitt recently admitted ‘Moving hundreds of thousands of spectators and tens of thousands of athletes, media, officials and Games workers in the summer of 2012 is a huge logistical challenge.’

How is that good news for creative businesses? The London 2012 Olympics is approaching advertising and media agencies with a brief to communicate transport changes around the Games. Professionals in the field of advertising, media buying, digital, CRM and PR are needed.

The winning agencies will be briefed to create campaigns such as door-drops in the most affected areas, posters at Tube stations, TV executions and online updates to keep the public, workers and spectators informed of any day-to-day changes. These will include information on such transport issues as travel to and from all of the sites, including the Olympic Village in Stratford and the rowing venue in Eton; any transport disruptions or road closures caused by the Games; any changes caused by building work in the run-up to the event; and any disruption once it has finished.

If this sounds like a gold opportunity to you and your creative business, you can either click the heels of your red shoes or give Win that Bid a call – we’ll make sure you make your way to the Olympics!