Presentation 3 - Writing Amazing Tenders to Win New Business

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WelcomeWriting Amazing Tenders to Win New BusinessCaroline PlaneLarch Consulting Selling to the Cityis funded by the City of London Corporation as part of its commitment to bridging the gap between the City and itsneighbours, and increasing prosperity across the City fringes. Selling to the City is delivered in conjunction with Supply Cross River and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

First Things FirstIntroductionsHousekeepingTimetablePlease remember to switch your mobile phone to silent

What we will cover today:Setting the SceneOverview of the Tender ProcedurePre-qualificationManaging the Bid ProcessIngredients of a Successful ProposalSkills NeededPractical Tips and Techniques

Creating The Supply ChainMajor Procurement Cleaners Printers SpecialistsDesignersYour co.

Tiered Supply ChainsWhere do you fit into the supply chain?

Setting the Scene: London Procurement LandscapeCity of LondonExpenditure on goods and services is approximately 230,000,000 per annum. Economic Development Strategy for Londoninvesting places and infrastructure, people, enterprise, marketing and promoting London. London Procurement Programme (LPP) Launched out of the NHS Supply Chain Excellence Programme (SCEP) to drive collaboration among London's 74 NHS Trusts.Trusts across London spend in total 5 billion on goods and services every year.London 2012 Set to provide unprecedented opportunitiesCompeteFor will maximise business involvement throughout the 2012 supply chain

Setting the Scene: The Purchasing ProcessFormality of the process increases in line with value and risk.Example: City of London

Tender ProcessContract NoticeExpression of InterestPre-Qualifying StagePQQ Evaluation

Tender EvaluationContract AwardInvitations to Tender issuedPrepare Tender & Submit

Tender ProcessPre-Qualification StageComplianceAre you a Safe & Appropriate choice?Past Performance

Tender StageYour service / product offeringFuture Performance

Understanding Pre-qualificationEvaluation - 3 key areas:Business ProbityFinancial StandingTechnical Ability

Mix of pass / fail and qualitative criteria.Often a fail in some areas will disqualify you from proceeding further.Uses a relative marking system.

Pre-Qualification QuestionnairePrivate Sector Example:

Pre-Qualification QuestionnaireFocus on:Product & Service ProvisionFinancial PerformanceEnvironmental ManagementHealth & SafetyCorporate Social Responsibility

Pre-Qualification QuestionnairePrivate Sector Example: Can include more onerous requirements

Pre-qualification EvaluationCommon Pass / Fail CriteriaAccountsBusiness & professional standingInsurancesStaffing Levels

Pre-qualification EvaluationCommon RequirementsPoliciesH&SEqual OpportunitiesEnvironmental?QualityBusiness ActivitiesClient ReferencesCase StudiesProfessional CredentialsStaff Competencies

Completing the PQQKey Issues:More than just a form filling exercise!

Some sections need to be specially written for this opportunity, as opposed to providing generic information.

Develop your companys USPs in relation to a current opportunity you are pursuing.

Tendering for Contracts

The Invitation to TenderA Pack of Documents:A letter of invitation to tenderInstructions to TenderersStandard Conditions of ContractSpecificationPricing ScheduleForm of TenderAny other relevant documentTender envelope, label

Who is involved in preparing a tender?

People might be involved:

What are the key steps to delivering the bid?

Steps to delivering a bid

Deciding Whether To BidDo we have the skills to deliver this project (or can we get them)?Do we have the capacity/resource to deliver it at the right time?Can we price it a level that is attractive?Can we demonstrate that we are the best choice?Can we respond in time?Can we win it?Example Criteria

What are the Ingredients of a successful proposal?

Bid Writing: The Basic IngredientsWhat we will doHow we will do itWho will do itWhere we will do itWhen we will do itHow much it will cost

Bid Writing: The Icing on the CakeDemonstrates a clear understanding of the briefProvides evidence of relevant previous success in this areaAdds value and brings innovation to the briefExplains why choose us?Creates a strong brand identitySets out clear next steps

Interpreting the BriefPlay it back, paraphrase, comment upon it to show you have understood.Extrapolate outcomes, add value, consider knowledge transfer, legacy, sustainability.Relate your proposal to the brief, and to the implicit (or explicit) evaluation factors set out in it.

Competitive PositioningWhy choose your approach?Why choose you to deliver it?

How to test your unique selling points:So What..Yeah right..

The Importance of ValueValue for Money (VfM)

The optimum combination of whole-life cost and quality (or fitness for purpose) to meet users requirements. This is rarely synonymous with price

What is value?50p30p

Building up the costingNormal costingWho/what?Charging rate(s)Fixed Costs / Variable CostsHow much time?Travel & ExtrasContingencyCost Model

Bid Writing: Skills NeededAbility to write long documents in plain English.Understanding of what is required and how your organisation will deliver it .Full knowledge of using Word and its helpful features.Able to articulate the value proposition of your proposal.

Plain EnglishGeneral rules:Short sentences (15-20 words max)Active not passive verbsSay we and youAvoid jargon and unexplained abbreviationsThe most helpful

Before and After ExerciseIf there are any points on which you require explanation or further particulars we shall be glad to furnish such additional details as may be required by telephone.Plain English Campaign

Before and After ExercisePlain English CampaignYour enquiry about the use of the entrance area at the library for the purpose of displaying posters and leaflets about Welfare and Supplementary Benefit rights, gives rise to the question of the provenance and authoritativeness of the material to be displayed. Posters and leaflets issued by the Central Office of Information, the Department of Health and Social Security and other authoritative bodies are usually displayed in libraries, but items of a disputatious or polemic kind, whilst not necessarily excluded, are considered individually.

Useful features in WordUse of templates / StylesAmending Page set upPage & Section BreaksHeaders, footers, page numberingTablesCutting & PastingAutomatic contents page

How Tenders Are EvaluatedPublished evaluation criteria:Best PriceMost Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT)Usually evaluated by a panelScoring matrix used to objectify subjective opinionsScores are weightedTendering rigorously controlled and auditedCompany with highest mark will win the commission

Sample Tender Evaluation

Organisation XEstates Services & Central Stores TenderTender EvaluationScore each element:0No information submitted1Does not meet the requirement in any respect2Partly meets the requirement3Meets the requirements of the tender specification4Exceeds the requirements of the tender specificationEach score will be weighted and a multiplying factor applied.Do not discuss your evaluation with the other tender assessors.Bring your evaluation sheets with you to the tender presentations. Make notes of areas where you need to ask questions to clarify the bid and complete your scoring. Finish off your scoring after the presentation sessions.

Tender EvaluationNon-financial considerations:Track record on performanceStaffing capabilitiesTransaction costsQualityInnovationMonitoring/managements arrangementCommunity benefitAbility to develop good working relationshipsRealism of offerCultural fit

How organisations with a good service let themselves downNot achieving the right balance between thinking and writingNot being able to write about what they doWriting by committee/no narrative flowTalking about what you want to sell, rather than what they want to buyFailure to understand the specificationUsing an answer for more than one question (e.g. see question 2)Answering specific questions with generic blurbs

Most common reasons for disqualificationMissing the tender deadlineUsing the wrong envelope / labelForm of tender not signed correctlyPricing form not completed correctlySupporting information missing


Knowledge TransferMake the document self-referential.Save all proposals, bids and tenders into a Precedents folder.Save the components separately (e.g. CVs, case studies etc) .Link to a table that sets out wins, fails and feedback.Use the same people again.

Tender Readiness Checklist




Articles of Association

Certificate of Incorporation

Strategic / Business Plan

Organisational diagram

Profiles of senior management team


(Audited) Accounts for the last three years

Bank Details

Details of cheque signatories including address and date of birth

Managing risk

Public Liability

Professional indemnity

Risk Management Policy

Policies and Procedures

Health and Safety

Quality Policy

Environment Policy

Equal Opportunities

Staff Training/Development Strategy

Data Protection

Technical Capability

Client References

Case studies

Company Profile & History