Tendering Top Tips 1: Evaluating The Right Opportunities
Bidding for construction tenders is an expensive process, which can create pressures and demands on already stretched resources. Preparing successful tenders needs a huge amount of information to be gathered, coordinated, reviewed and managed.
However, that doesn’t mean they have to be complicated and when successful, the hard work is well rewarded.
In our latest series of blogs, we’ve reflected on several years of experience in supporting construction clients to prepare successful tenders and win more work. Unsurprisingly there are a few common themes that we’ve encountered over and over again and we thought we’d share a few tips that could improve your chances of future success.
Back to basics
Standardise all your policies; health and safety, quality statements, insurances and latest sets of accounts. If you have them all ready electronically, they are quickly where you need them, when you need them.
Most of all get organised. Have confidence in your plan of attack. Is it the right opportunity for you? Have you got the relevant skills and sector expertise? Do you have supporting evidence? Can you deliver, profitably?
When you tender for construction bids, you need to go into it without trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. Be selective. Go for the tenders that you have a realistic chance of winning or that are likely to create the basis for future relationships, where you’re able to demonstrate competence and expertise.
Evaluate the opportunity
Tendering is time-consuming. It’s better to spend time searching for opportunities that are the best fit, rather than wasting time tendering for contracts you’ll never win.
It’s your business and you are the experts. You know your business’ strengths and limitations.
Be honest about what you can deliver well and what you would need extra support to deliver. Your core team will need to be brutally honest about what you can clearly demonstrate you’re the experts at, giving you the opportunity to tailor your tender submission toward these areas of strength.
As soon as possible, review all the key factors and decide if and how you will proceed (and if you will even bid at all?).
Consider the following variables:
- What is the market sector?
- What’s its relevance to your own business plan and future goals?
- Consider the geography, logistics, contract value and delivery timescale
- Does the opportunity fit with your strengths?
- Do you have the relevant in-house experience to manage this form of contract or project?
To tender or not to tender
Do you have sufficient resource to manage the tender and do it justice?
Yes? Then pick a core team and go for it. Assemble your tender team to assess the opportunity as you see it from the initial appraisal. Then, evaluate what you can really offer the client.
Evaluate your client offer
Clients appreciate it when you follow the instructions and supply relevant supporting evidence, including additional details that relate to your mutual contacts and direct relationships.
What have been your success stories? What have been the challenges? How did you solve problems for the client and benefit from lessons learnt?
Highlight relevant existing personal connections and experiences that you have.
As well as your direct history, consider current market intelligence. Understand how your potential clients are currently operating. Are they encountering their own challenges that could offer intelligence about how you present your tender submission?
Understand your client
It’s important that you understand what the client’s strategic plans are for the future and identify what’s important to them. By doing this you can tailor your tender approach to show the client how your construction services and team structure will support the successful completion of mutual goals.
Identify what pains they are experiencing and highlight how your project delivery strategy would provide solutions. What does their future look like? Could your offering support that?
An objective opinion