Bid Management

Challenging Tender Awards

Challenging Tender Awards and Public Procurement Decisions

You might think about challenging tender awards when you lose a bid. Was the decision unfair? Was the procurement process flawed? Or have you been scored incorrectly?

Challenging Tender Awards

Associate Consultant, Carl Rogers, is an expert on public procurement. In this post he explains what is involved in challenging tender awards and decisions: Understanding public sector procurement regulations, what you can object to and what to consider before commencing proceedings.

This only applies to public sector tenders and procurement. The private sector is not bound by the same rules. But many large companies have their own processes for making a complaint against a buyer’s decision.

What Are the Obligations on Public Authorities When Purchasing Goods, Services and Works?

All public sector bodies (Contracting Authorities in Public Sector Procurement Parlance) must follow the fundamental principles:

  • Transparency – Clear process undertaken
  • Equal treatment – All have access to the same information
  • Non-discrimination – No bias in favour or against companies
  • Mutual recognition – Market access across the EU
  • Proportionality – Requirements are relative and reasonable

These principles are the guiding light. Contract Authorities must consider them every time they procure goods/services and works. If an Authority believes that it may have breached these, it must take corrective action. Not wait for challenges and be directed by the courts.

How to Re-tender for an Existing Contract

You have to re-tender for an existing contract. What do you do? Don’t worry, this guide to re-tendering will help. It explains what to do and how to avoid some common pitfalls when re-tendering. Follow these steps to increase your chances of keeping the contract.

Re-tender for an existing contract

How to Re-tender for an Existing Contract

The need to re-tender for an existing contract is a common reason for clients contacting us for help with a bid. They tend to fall into these categories:

  1. They have never had to submit a modern, more complex tender before and so are not sure how to approach it. Many clients have held contracts for years. They have won previous re-tenders which were price driven but not so complicated. This is typical of contracts involving public money falling in line with OJEU rules.
  2. A friendly buyer has recommended that they engage a tender consultant. Sometimes the buyer has seen a past submission which was not up to scratch. Or the buyer knows the client’s in-house resources / skills might not be able to create a winning bid.
  3. It’s a must win tender. If they lose it, it will hurt the business.

Whatever the reason, they want to win the tender and keep the contract.

The starting point is to follow tendering best practice.

This is obvious – do everything correctly and you increase your chances of winning! There’s lots of information about this in our blog. Start with how to answer tender questions and writing positive Tenders. Also, make sure that you avoid making the most common mistakes when re-tendering.

Apart from applying best practice, the following steps will help you win the re-tender:

Don’t Assume They Know All About You

It’s common for business owners to say to me “Our customer knows all about us, so we don’t need to write everything down.”. WRONG!

Beginners Guide to Pricing Tenders

As part of our tender consultancy service, I often discuss tender pricing strategies with clients. This beginners guide to pricing tenders covers the most common topics we talk about when aiming for the winning bid.

You know your business, its costs, competitive pricing and your competition – if you don’t, act now! I cannot tell you what will be the winning price. But this guide to pricing tenders explains some the most important issues when bidding to win a tender.

Beginners Guide to Pricing Tenders

Beginners Guide to Pricing Tenders

General Pricing Strategy

Tenders almost always have price as part of their evaluation (see MEAT below). So, you must ensure that your company’s pricing is competitive in your market sector.

When undertaking a sales and marketing review with a client, pricing strategies are always on the agenda (part of the Marketing Mix). This is a much bigger topic than pricing tenders and is too broad to cover properly in this post but let’s look at some of the basics:

There are three elements to a price:

  1. Direct Costs are the specific costs incurred to provide the product or service e.g. staff, materials / sub-contractors and supervision
  2. Indirect Costs include premises, management, professional fees, administration etc.
  3. Profit is the difference between the selling price and (1) & (2)

How to Write Tender Responses in a Positive Style (and Win More Bids!)

When you write tender responses, being positive helps you to maximise the impact of your bids. A confident tone shines through – as will any negativity. Therefore, you want to ensure that you avoid sounding negative and always be positive. You will appear confident and so encourage the markers to read your tender in an affirmative way. Hopefully leading to higher scores and therefore a win! This article explains 3 simple techniques that will help you achieve the right tone.

How to Write Positive Tender Responses

How to respond to tender questions covers all the basic steps of writing good answers to tender questions..

How to score high marks explains how to use the right language and style when answering tender questions. This includes:

  • Using benefits
  • Correct, complete and succinct writing
  • Writing in terms of ‘them’
  • Using the second or third person
  • Supporting evidence
  • Differentiating from the competition

We are now going to add some more subtle aspects to this ‘to do’ list by showing you how to write positive tender responses.

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