This is a question we are asked time and time again.
“How do you pick an opportunity which you have a good chance of winning?”
So we have decided to share some of our top practical tips which are easy to follow. We believe that picking the right opportunity in many cases is the first of three key steps to increasing you tendering success (we will save the others for another day).
Read the questions- this might sound too simple. but before you even read the specification in detail read the questions. look for trends and patterns. So what does this mean? if all of the questions are fairly generic that’s fine no problem, we have learned very little. However, maybe there is a constant theme within the questions such as Question 1. How will you deliver the contract and report against delivery. Question 2. How will you manage implementation and report progress. You see where this is going. If there is something consistently highlighted then you know that they have potentially had an issue with the reporting from a previous supplier and through emphasising your expertise in this area you can set yourself apart.
Also look out for a question which really stands out. If every question is generic but one question is very specific or highly technical. This is a red flag. Unfortunately in some cases existing supplier or even future supplier can convince procurement teams that they absolutely must have some absurd capability which in turn gives that supplier an advantage. It doesn’t happen often but when it does you can be pretty sure that the supplier who has had that influence will win the contract.
Contract value. Recent regulations removed the restriction on public sector organisations which restricted the value of contracts which can be awarded to SME organisations. Previous legislation allowed public sector organisations to award contracts to companies worth up to 50% of their turnover (e.g. company with £100k turnover could win a 3 year contract worth a total of £150k) despite the removal of the restriction and the previous rule you will very rarely see an organisation awarded a contract worth over 40% of their annual turnover (e.g. company with £100k turnover awarded a contract worth £120k). Regardless of the legislation public sector organisations are still risk averse and rightly so. They have a duty to spend public money responsibly. Giving a £1m turnover company a £10m contract would be madness regardless of legislation. So select realistic opportunities.
You are often better to focus all focus all of your attention on one opportunity rather than lots of different ones. Just having a go is not an option. No one ever one a contract by just having a go because someone out there will be putting in a lot of time and effort.
Research the service and the current provider. Its amazing the news stories that can pop up of poor service or price increases or public complaints. Its definitely worth 15 minutes of google searching. If it is a regulated industry you can even read some rather official external reports and audits which often highlight strengths and weaknesses of the competition which at worst is useful for developing your response through knowing what you are up against. If you find something truly shocking why not even be a little mischievous and send it to the local newspaper (However this is not something we actively encourage).
Other factors should of course be considered such as deliverability and ability to achieve commercial success through delivery but that would be just stating the obvious.
I hope this has been useful. If you are doing anything different that has been helpful or successful please share we are always looking to learn from the experiences of others.
Thanks for reading
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