What to Expect From a Procurement Tender
Published 01/12/2021
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This blog will cover 5 ways to win a procurement tender.
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5 ways to win a procurement tender


When writing a response to a procurement tender, you want to make it stand out from the crowd. There may be tens of other applicants competing for one tender.


You want to persuade and demonstrate to the buyer that you’re the best business for the job. Producing a winning bid takes time. You don’t want to be rushed or leave it last minute.


The average bid takes 23 hours to complete end-to-end. Therefore, it’s best that you get on the case as soon as possible. This can help you avoid unnecessary stress and account for any unexpected delays. Working back from the submission date can help you form a timeline. Remember to consider time for proofreading and revisions.


If you don’t have this time to hand, there are options. You can outsource it to a bid writing professional who will also have a better win rate.


5 ways to win a procurement tender


Quality assessing questions

When you complete a procurement tender, you can expect to be asked quality questions. The actual weighting of evaluation will likely be split between price, quality and social value (for government tenders).


Quality questions will be assessing your competence. For these, you can expect to demonstrate your capabilities and experience. You should break the question down into subheadings to make sure you’re answering every aspect of the question.


Include any relevant qualifications or accreditations that you and your staff hold. How much combined experience do you have? What other contracts have you fulfilled that’s similar in scope and style.


Address the specification

Each procurement tender is different. There is no winning formula that will work across the board. This is because each buyer has different needs. You should be tailoring your tender response to the specification and the buyer’s needs.


Reading the tender documents can help you gain a better understanding of what the buyer is expecting and wanting. Within them, it will detail certain things you need to include.


It will give you a better idea of the aim of the contract and what the buyer is trying to achieve. It’s up to you to write the best answer including this information to win the contract.


Demonstrate previous contract experience

Every procurement tender will require you to have a bank of experience ready to show. Buyers will require up to three case studies of past contracts you have delivered. These will likely need to be within the last three to five years.


They should be similar in scope, scale and complexity to the one you’re applying for. Including key challenges you encountered can strengthen your bid. This shows your flexibility and problem-solving skills. Both of which are essential to tendering for work.


Keep up to date with changing legislation

It shouldn’t be surprising when I say that a winning bid from three years ago may score poorly now. Procurement legislation is always changing and it’s essential that you keep up to date with best practice.


You should be reviewing your approach to responding to procurement tenders to stay ahead of the curve. Due to the changing nature and priorities with government procurement, it’s best to pay attention. For example, social value wasn’t compulsory before 1st January 2021 – but for public sector tenders, it now is. If you submit a procurement tender for the public sector without addressing social value, you will lose marks.


Demonstrate added value

When tendering for contracts, continuously ask yourself how you’re going to add value to the buyer. It’s not enough to just say how you meet the requirements. You need to state how your goods/services/business will benefit the buyer.


This may be via reducing carbon emission targets or using eco-friendly cleaning products. Including added value can help you write a winning bid. Government buyers have certain targets and initiatives they need to meet. Do your research and say how you can help them meet these.


For public sector contracts, the tender will be awarded to the MEAT. This stands for the most economically advantageous tender. It’s when a buyer will assess tender responses on more than just price. You should consider:


  • Quality
  • Technical ability
  • Sustainability
  • Price
  • Innovation
  • Customer service
  • Accessibility
  • Ability to deliver on time.


Once you’ve found the right bid for your business, you should ask yourself the following before you progress:


  • Am I eligible?
  • Do I have the necessary qualifications/accreditations?
  • Can I actually deliver the work?
  • Do I have the necessary experience?
  • Do I meet the economic-financial standing?
  • Can I write a winning bid by the submission deadline?


If you’ve answered yes to all the above questions, then it sounds like the right opportunity for your business.


In summary

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to expect from a procurement tender. You want to ensure that you make your tender stand out from the crowd. Demonstrating your business capabilities is essential to success. Think about how you can present added value to the buyer and read the tender documents carefully.


Keeping up to date with the ever-changing procurement legislation can help. Remember how things might differ with private buyers over the public sector. When looking for sector-specific tendering opportunities, one of our 11 portals can ensure you find the right tender.


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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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