Top tendering tips

At the end of January, our parent company, BiP Solutions, celebrated its 35th anniversary – which equates to a whole 35 years of procurement experience.

With this volume of knowledge under our belt, we have listed our top tendering tips for our S2G readers.

 

Complete all supplier questions

You cannot pick and choose the questions that suit you best. Iif you are bidding for a tender, it is vital that you answer all the questions. If you fail to answer all the questions you will just be wasting your time as your submission will automatically be marked as incomplete.

 

Ask the buyer any questions you have

Some suppliers think that they can’t ask buyers questions, while others are scared that they will get a ‘black mark’ against their name.

This could not be further from the truth! As soon as a supplier submits a question, it is anonymised. You should always keep in mind that there is no such thing as a silly question. If you don’t understand something, the chances are your competitors may be thinking the exact same thing.

Out of fairness, the answers to all questions asked are circulated to all the participants – be sure to read them all.

 

Don’t forget about low-value tenders

Whether you are new to tendering or have tendered before, low-value tenders are a great option and shouldn’t be ignored.

By choosing to bid for low-value opportunities that your competitors have ignored, you could find yourself a procurement sweet spot. Give yourself better odds of winning by choosing low-value contracts and save time on the bid writing process. In addition, winning smaller contracts can build a portfolio of public sector work, increasing your credibility when you do come to bid for larger jobs.

 

Double check your submission

Silly mistakes could cost your business a valuable tender. Even companies with experience in public procurement can get it wrong when they are bid writing – so make sure you are working with colleagues when you are writing your bid.

Make sure you leave yourself enough time to complete the tender fully and evaluate your work once it’s done. Get others in your team to have a look at it for you. A fresh pair of eyes can often spot mistakes or lack of clarity. Once you have made the changes, be sure to look over it again for any spelling or grammar mistakes.

 

Make use of a tender alerts tool

Make life easier for yourself by using a reliable tender alerts tool.

Save hours of searching by signing up to a tool that will send alerts to your inbox whenever a match to your chosen keywords or CPV codes arises.

The best part is that you can get started with Supply2Gov’s Tender Alerts tool without paying a penny.

Learn more about the Irish public sector by registering for FREE.

discussion after tender bid

Win or lose, your micro business should ask for feedback, as even a winning tender will have flaws that could be improved on in the future.

If you have received a rejection for a bid that you have worked hard on, then it is incredibly important that you ask for feedback after the tender evaluation.

Something small could be stopping your business from winning valuable contracts with the public sector and instead of guessing, the quickest and most efficient way of improving your bid strategy is to ask for the buyer’s feedback.

 

Learn from the tender evaluation

This may seem like a cliché, however, learning from your mistakes could lead to success in the future.

Onwards and upwards may seem like the best way to go, but looking back on why your proposal was turned down by a buyer will help your business to move forward. Think of it as constructive criticism.

The feedback that you are given from a failed bid will arm you with knowledge that will help you to strengthen future bids.

 

How should you ask?

Suppliers working with the public sector have the rights to request a verbal or face to face debrief with the buyer. Although raising a challenge is time limited, there is no deadline for requesting a debrief.

A lot can be learned from your failed bids and a face to face meeting will provide you with an opportunity to discuss the response in greater detail. Take the opportunity to listen to the buyer’s feedback and to ask any questions you may have.

The purpose of the debrief is to find out from the buyer’s viewpoint how the bid could have been improved and where it fell short. Whether you agree or not, record any feedback that you are given. Incorporate what you learn into future bids – it could increase your win rate.

 

What Questions Should I Ask?

First, you must find out what led to your bid being rejected.

It is important that your business understands where it is going wrong. If you are unsure what to ask to elicit detailed feedback and are confident that your bid was wholly compliant, the following questions may give you the insight that you require to win in the future:

  • Was your business eligible?
  • Did your business provide everything that was requested?
  • Did you hit the deadlines stated?
  • Did you give enough details relating to pricing, strategy and company background?
  • What could your business do differently in the future?

 

How Can Supply2Gov Help?

At Supply2Gov we encourage all our customers to request feedback. This will show buyers that your business is committed to improving.

Remember, if you don’t shoot then you will never score. Don’t let one failure stop you from applying to other bids.

Once you have asked for feedback, get back in the game with Supply2Gov tender alerts. Knowledge is power and you will be able to produce a more polished proposition when it is time for your business to submit another tender bid for evaluation.

We can help you to find relevant tenders in your local area, Ireland and the UK. Find out more about our free local area subscription.