This month we have a guest blog written by experienced procurement professional Chris Williams MCIPS APMP.
Chris’s background in both public and private sector procurement (includng over 6 years with the Crown Commercial Service) gives us an invaluable glimpse into the expectations of our buyers, so we can gain ideas from a different perspective on how to refresh our approach to tendering.
With the Covid-19 situation, the number of public sector procurement / tendering activities has fallen since March 2020. However, according to Tussell this number has started to increase with 1,741 tenders being issued in June, which was double the amount of the previous month. As the number of tenders being published by the public sector starts to increase, now might be a great time to implement these practical tips and ensure you’re fully prepared for forthcoming opportunities:
1) Review recent feedback from tenders (including capturing lessons learnt)
The aim of this activity is to build feedback that you have received from Public Sector organisations into your example response library to maximise your qualitative scoring in future. It’s also worthwhile reviewing your pricing feedback to check you fully understood the evaluation criteria or if you should have asked clarification questions to better understand what the client was looking for during the bid process.
2) Review your profile on tender portals
You are probably registered with a number of portals that public sector organisations use (e.g. londontenders.org, sell2wales.gov, crowncommercial.gov etc). If not, this might be a good idea! As part of this registration process you will have provided information on your company and services, as well as creating searches to alert you to potential opportunities. Take the time to review this information; it might have changed and need updating or you might have increased your service offering and not captured it. Public sector organisations sometimes use supplier profiles to approach suppliers for lower value tenders. You need to be in it to win it!
3) Review your tender library
Most organisations will have files containing key tender information, policies, certificates and uploads to help answer tender questions. This is your chance to check you have everything that you need, for example, do your insurances, professional membership certificates, policies or accounts need updating? Have you got any new customer case studies that you can use for future bids?
4) Ensure your tender searches are up to date
There are a number of ways to search for public sector tender opportunities, including manual and automated searches through Contracts Finder or through tender portals you are registered for. This might be an opportunity to redefine your search profile to look at specific regions, level of contract spend you wish to target, the services that you wish to offer and the key words you are using to find opportunities. There is no one way to ensure that you will get all of the relevant searches through these methods, however, you may wish to consider investing in tender alerts which are pulled together by various companies such as B2B Quote and Contracts Advance to increase the number of opportunities.
5) Independent review of submitted tenders
Whilst there is a break in tenders that you are responding to, it might be an opportune moment to get an independent review of your previous tender submissions. This could provide useful feedback to help improve your quality tender scores and getting insight to useful policies and processes that you might wish to invest in or document.