Fit to Tender

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

Re-tendering 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 procurement 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!

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Tendering Guides and Useful Information on Tenders

Dealing with tenders can be very confusing. We created a series of tendering guides to help people gain a better understanding of PQQs and tenders. These guides deal with some of the most commonly asked questions and provide lots of useful information on tenders.

All of the tendering guides have recently been updated and now have the facility for printing and PDF downloads.

How to Find Tender Opportunities

How to Find Tenders for FREE

For anyone new to tendering one of the most common questions is “how do I find tenders?”. The good news is that it is easy and free to search for public sector contracts.

This guide explains how to use TED, Contracts Finder and other web-portals to search for high and low value contracts. They include Government, councils, housing associations, NHS and other public funded authorities.

Get Ready to Tender Check-list

Fit to Tender Checklist

The next most commonly asked question for companies looking to try and win tender contracts is “what do I need to do to start tendering?”.

This is why we created the fit to tender check-list:

1. What information you need to have in place

2. What documents you need

3. Other key issues like qualifying tenders – being realistic about success rates

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2015 Procurement Regulations – How They Effect Tenders & PQQs

The new 2015 Procurement Regulations came into force on the 26th February 2015. They contain many changes that affect public sector tenders.

2015 Procurement Regulations - How They Effect Tenders & PQQs?

 Government’s Aims

“For contracting authorities, this means being able to run procurement exercises faster, with less red tape, and more focus on getting the right supplier and the best tender.

“And for suppliers, the process of bidding for public contracts should be quicker, less costly, and less bureaucratic, enabling suppliers to compete more effectively.”

Guide to Main Changes in the 2015 Procurement Regulations

Here are the main changes relating to new 2015 Procurement Regulations.

Helping SMEs

Vince Cable set a target of 25% of public contracts to go to SMEs. The initiatives below are very helpful in that respect:

  • Contracting authorities urged to break contracts into smaller lots to help SMEs take part.
  • A cap on required turnover ratio to help smaller businesses take part in bidding. Authorities cannot set company turnover requirements at more than two-times contract value (except when justified).

The previous ‘turnover yardstick’ was that a contract should not represent more than around 30% of a bidder’s turnover. (But I’ve seen 10-20% at times!) So raising it to 50% is a big change. In light of this, our Fit to Tender Check-list has been updated.

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How to Get Started with Public Sector Bidding

New and smaller businesses frequently get in touch to ask how they can get started with public sector bidding.

How to Get Started With Public Sector Tendering

Our website has a useful guide to getting ready to tender called Fit to Tender Checklist. Not only does it show what you need to start tendering, it also explains some of the barriers.

Why do Companies Tender explains the tender process. 

Understanding Public Sector Tenders shows some of the key issues in public sector bidding.

However, it can prove difficult to to get started with public sector tendering as there are some obstacles to overcome.

Barriers to Public Sector Bidding

Larger public sector tenders often require the following information

  • 2 years accounts – this proves that your company is financially stable
  • A minimum turnover – the aim is to avoid awarding a contract to a small firm that cannot take on the additional work (the new 2018 Procurement Regulations state that the contract value cap cannot not exceed 50% of company turnover)
  • Public sector client references for similar contracts – evidence that your company has successfully provided this type of work to the public sector

These can be barriers to businesses that are young or small. If you don’t have a track record of working for public sector customers, it often seems like the proverbial chicken and the egg… How can I win this contract if I don’t have any customers in the public sector?

How to Get Started With Public Sector Tendering

There are no quick fixes to be able to compete for larger contracts, but you need to start somewhere. All the solutions take time but are pretty simple:

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