Bid Libraries

Bid Libraries

Here we have our top tender tip regarding bid libraries!

Bid libraries can be an invaluable tool to organisations and bid teams who are tendering regularly for contract work. But our top tender tip to you would be to make sure you don’t fall into some very costly bad habits that can come with such a resource.

It is all too easy when you have a bid library to forget the most important rules when tendering. You see a question about quality management, for example, and think you have a response for that from another bid you have recently submitted. You pop into your library, copy the response and paste it over.

Noo! When you do this you stop doing the initial work that you need to do to ensure that you are going to score highly. You haven’t deconstructed the question, which invariably is going to be phrased differently and have different emphasises that the one you answered previously. You haven’t considered the different specifications between the two tenders, and how this should be influencing the pros you put into a response.

You also haven’t considered how recent the copy is that you are lifting from your library. Has your organisation changed or improved its arrangements around Quality Management since then? Maybe you now have a fancy UKAS ISO9001:2015 certificate? Perhaps the response could have scored higher in the first place, or you have been given feedback that you are yet to incorporate within your library. There are so many ways in which simply copying a response and pasting it over is detrimental to your approach to tendering.

Instead we propose a different approach to bid libraries. It is very important to have a centralised database of facts, figures and evidence of all shapes and sizes. These are the things that will not only inform your narrative responses, but will also help you stand out from the crowd.

You need to have your policies, procedures, certificates, examples, case studies, evidence and a solid body of statistics and reports etc that you can use for each bid. You can even keep hold of previous responses that you know have scored particularly highly, but you should never simply drag and drop these into new tenders. These should be used as a jumping off point only, something to inform your narrative, to make sure you don’t forget to mention anything important. The structure of the response should always reflect the specific question you are answering, and so should that specific specification. This structure should then inform the narrative you create.

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What is a PQQ document?

What is a PQQ document?

Many people ask ‘What is a PQQ document?’ A PQQ is the acronym of Pre-Qualification Questionnaire, often the first stage in a procurement process for goods and services. PQQs are designed to draw out necessary information about your organisation, including:

  • company name,
  • address,
  • contact details,
  • trading history,
  • finances,
  • insurances
  • credentials and certifications
  • SHEQ arrangements
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Social/added value arrangements
  • And many more!

It is designed to filter out organisations who would not be suitable to deliver the contract you are bidding for. It is also your first opportunity to showcase why your company is best placed to be awarded the contract.

PQQs reduce the administrative burden on the organisation who has put the contract out to tender as it ultimately limits the amount of companies who will be able to complete a tender return. Often only 3-8 bidders will be successfully invited to tender (the next and often final stage of the procurement process), and potentially dozens of companies will be vying for one of those places at the PQQ stage.

Pre-Qualification Questionnaires used to be seen as a simple ‘box ticking’ exercise or application form, but as the tendering arena has become more and more competitive it has become all the more important to dedicate time and energy to ensure your PQQ return is of the highest possible quality.

PQQs can hugely vary in size, scope and severity, but efforts have been made in recent years to standardise this stage. All questionnaires for procurement exercises undertaken on the NEPO Portal are the same, for example, regardless of if it’s for Northumberland County Council or Redcar and Cleveland Council. Another example would be PAS91, which is a standardised Publicly Available Specification facilitated by BSI Standards Limited. This has been produced to streamline the qualification process and reduce costs for tendering for contracts namely in the construction industry.

Hopefully we’ve answered the question ‘What is a PQQ document?’. If you are struggling at the PQQ stage and need some assistance in standing out from the sea of competitors, our team of award winning bid writers are on hand to guide you through every stage of the procurement process.