One of the biggest issues our prospective clients have is how best to prepare themselves for the public sector procurement process.
If they haven’t done that before, at first it can be a bit daunting and, quite frankly, appear like a huge mountain to climb especially if they have tried and failed before.
To get started, there are the procurement Portals to navigate – that can be a huge headache in itself! Then, as well as managing the Portal, posting and receiving clarifications etc, there is the compilation of the actual submission.
This could be online (more interaction with the dreaded Portal!) and/or a separate, stand-alone quality document for submission.
Currently we are seeing a blend of the two. Usually, the Corporate part of the submission (Company Registration number, insurances, policies etc and the subject of this blog) are completed online with the quality assessments requiring a separate document.
Most Selection Questionnaires now come with a pass/fail section – usually based on the financial standing of the organisation applying – their turnover compared to the contract value and their profitability. Quality can also be key. A recent client failed at this hurdle as it was their parent company that held the ISO certification not them in their own right.
Most of our clients want help to present themselves better, moving from simple Word documents to submissions with more impact. We have created branded templates and given graphic design input to help them make a greater impression.
However, before all of that, working with clients for the first time means we need to go through a checklist of information to ensure that we can get them ready for a bid. This can seem like a dull exercise for them, and we will keep chasing until we get what we need – but this only needs to be done once. After that we use the ‘library’ of information created for that specific client on all future submissions.
For some of our clients we act pretty much as their in-house bid team. Getting to know a client can take time, a couple of months or a couple of bids. The more we can understand a client, really get under their skin, the better, more successful the strike-rate!
Our typical bid ready checklist includes:
- All corporate information including Director’s data.
- All policies
- All certificates including H&S, ISO 9001 etc
- Accident RIDDOR stats etc
- QA processes & IT/document control systems
- Information on supply chain management and payment
- Case Studies and details of past schemes – the most important information needed for most bids
- Team structure and CVs of staff
We can give support to our clients where information is missing or out of date and have drafted statements and policies recently on topics such as:
Approach to BIM
Race, Equality and Diversity
Social Value Strategy
We can be creative based on what the procuring client is looking for but also ensure the proposals are realistic, reflect the culture of the Organisation and will ultimately be deliverable by our client.
So don’t be put off if you are not feeling bid ready or have been unsuccessful in the past,we would be delighted to give you a helping hand.