City of London Bids and Tenders: Everything You Need to Know
Published 04/08/2021
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Applying for City of London bids and tenders is a great way to grow your business. Local London authorities spend approximately £9billion annually on a wide variety of goods and services. As an SME, you shouldn’t be missing out on City of London bids and tenders. If you’re thinking that these contracts are only awarded to big companies, you’d be mistaken. As a matter of fact, 23% of government contracts up for bid are awarded to SMEs. This gives you a good chance of competing if you’re a smaller business.
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City of London bids and tenders explained


Applying for City of London bids and tenders is a great way to grow your business. Local London authorities spend approximately £9billion annually on a wide variety of goods and services.


As an SME, you shouldn’t be missing out on City of London bids and tenders. If you’re thinking that these contracts are only awarded to big companies, you’d be mistaken. As a matter of fact, 23% of government contracts up for bid are awarded to SMEs. This gives you a good chance of competing if you’re a smaller business.


The City of London bids and tenders target outcomes are:


  • Sustainable cost assurance guaranteed for the future
  • Key people across the organisation being upskilled in commercialism, contract management and procurement
  • Their services provide what’s needed and are easy to use
  • Opportunities to leverage responsible outcomes are maximised


There can be many advantages when applying for City of London bids and tenders. Below are just three ways tendering for contracts can benefit your business:


Prompt Payment


If you become a supplier to the City of London, you will have guaranteed and prompt payment. This is because The City of London takes part in the Chartered Institute of Credit Management’s (CIMC) Prompt Payment Code. That means they pledge to:


  • Pay suppliers on time


The City Corporation aims to pay undisputed invoices that quote a purchase number within 10 days of invoicing. This applies to the invoice arriving anywhere in the City Corporation for SME’s.


  • Give clear guidance to suppliers


All invoices should be attached when contacting the Accounts Payable team and include the following information:


  • An identifying number
  • The supplier’s name, address, VAT number
  • Time of supply
  • Date of issue
  • Type of supply (E.g. sale, hire, loan, etc.)
  • Description of the goods or services supplied
  • Customer’s name (or trading name) and address


The City of London prefers to pay their suppliers via BACS. It’s encouraged that as a supplier, you include your bank details and valid email address on all invoices for remittance.


Secure a pipeline of work


Bidding for City of London bids and tenders can help you secure a pipeline of work for your business. Particularly if you secure a place on a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) or framework agreement. These tendering processes are often used within an array of sectors including construction and healthcare. The benefit of these is that they can run for years at a time. Some even have the possibility of an extension.


Build experience


City of London bids and tenders are a great way to gain experience as a business. Buyers will require 2 – 3 case studies of past contracts you have delivered. They need to be within the last 3 – 5 years. They should be similar in scope and style to the one you’re applying for. Securing smaller contracts can help you build up that experience. The more experience you have, the bigger the contracts you can go for. The bigger bids you can go for, the bigger your business can grow. Securing a place on a DPS or framework is a great place to start.


Where can I find City of London bids and tenders?


So, you now know some of the advantages of City of London bids and tenders. Next, you may be wondering where to find them. As they’re offered for pretty much every sector it can be hard finding the right one for your business. This is where a sector-specific portal could help optimise your search.


Simply relying on CPV codes could result in you missing out on up to a third of relevant opportunities. This is because we researched that up to a third of them are mislabelled.

Our sister company, Hudson Discover, hosts 11 sector-specific tendering portals. You are able to filter the results and search by keyword, budget, location and more. This streamlines the process, making it easier to find government contracts.


These sectors consist of;


  • Healthcare Tenders
  • Creative Tenders
  • Facilities Tenders
  • Construction Tenders
  • Technology Tenders
  • Logistics Tenders
  • Research Tenders
  • Consultancy Tenders
  • HR Tenders
  • Finance Tenders
  • Hospitality Tenders


Before you apply to any tender, you should ask if your business:


  • Is able to deliver the work
  • Meets the economic and financial standing
  • Have the resources and time to fulfil the contract
  • Has the necessary experience
  • Is able to write a winning response before the submission deadline


Remember to be the MEAT


Like all government contracts, the contract will be awarded to the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT). The buyer will be looking for bids that provide the most value for money while delivering the contract. The MEAT means that the buyer is looking at more than just the price. The cheapest bid does not win here. You should consider a range of factors including, but not limited to:


  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Innovation
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Technical ability
  • Customer service
  • Environmental benefits
  • Ability to deliver on time.


Each buyer will be wanting something different depending on their needs. This will be outlined in the specification. You should demonstrate added value in your response. This is because government authorities want to be assured that they are getting the most for taxpayer’s money.


Don’t skimp on social value


There is now a minimum mandatory weighting of 10% on social value for public sector contracts. In some cases, it can be as much as 30%. This means it is not something you should consider as an afterthought.


The promises you make in City of London bids and tenders are contractually binding. Therefore, you should be making promises you can keep. Social value is the social, economic and environmental aspects that you’ll consider while fulfilling the contract. It was launched with five key themes in mind that should be addressed where possible. These are:


  • Supporting COVID-19 recovery
  • Tackling economic inequality
  • Fighting climate change
  • Improving equal opportunities
  • Showing commitment to health and wellbeing.


Social value is an opportunity for SMEs to differentiate themselves from their competitors, adding commercial value to their bids.


So now, you should be more aware of what’s expected from City of London bids and tenders. Following this advice should help you get on the path to success and winning your next tender.


Need assistance when writing your next City of London bids and tenders?


Now you’re a bit more familiar with what’s required, you may be looking for some writing support. Writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit and that’s ok. Outsourcing a bid you’ve found to bid writing specialists can help you secure that next contract.

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About The Author

Hudson is a global provider of tendering and business development solutions. The Hudson Group is split into eight strands, allowing us to help businesses at every level. No matter the size or industry, we help companies, both nationally and internationally, to reach their full potential. Our team has decades of experience, helping companies to find and win the contracts they want to deliver. Last year alone, we secured over £300 million in direct contract wins for our clients.

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