posted: April 12th, 2013
There’s an interesting article published online that highlights how organisations value a supplier’s own business objective more than the actual potential cost reductions and savings. This is a very interesting point, and is something we often discuss with clients. There is often a worry that “the cheapest bid will win”. Where it is true that certain levels of cost are attractive, it is good to see that there really is a focus on “what else can you offer”. Your competitor may be able to offer a slightly cheaper price, but you may offer far more beyond this. Positive stuff! When completing a tender, we will always find out what our client to really can offer and we will provide as much detail as we can. If you look attractive to a potential customer, they may well look past the actual finances!
For the full article, click here
posted: March 6th, 2013
Brilliant news for one of our clients who have secured a national contract! We worked closely with the client to write and develop responses to a fairly complex tender. Due to the size of the contract, the tender process was fairly arduous, so it’s excellent to hear positive feedback.
posted: February 21st, 2013
You will already know that a tender, whether it is a PQQ, ITT, RFP, RFQ etc can appear overwhelming and your focus may easily start to be directly on the weighted questions. It’s important to take a step back and look at the whole document to establish if the buyer is asking questions like “have you got an environmental policy?” or “describe your approach to environmental management”. Buying organisations like to see potential suppliers having robust polices and procedures in place, regardless of size of the supplier. Having a policy in place may make the difference in your success. If this is something you would like to discuss in more detail, give us a call.
posted: December 14th, 2012
When you’ve completed all your responses, we can’t stress enough the importance of proof reading to check for consistency throughout the tender. When we say consistency, we are referring to a consistent message and consistency with all the facts and figures that you are including. We also refer to the simple issue of typeface and Font size. Make sure that if the Font and size has not been specified in the instructions, you keep to one format throughout. Also, check for alignment and unintended additional spaces between paragraphs.
We frequently carry out final checks on documents and tender assessments where we see various Fonts and sizes being used. You need to remember that your tendering is a competitive process, and you need to do everything that you can keep the assessor’s attention.
posted: December 13th, 2012
When approaching your tender, you should always think about what additional information is being asked for to support your responses. This type of information may be facts and figures, or specific documentation, such as an organisation chart. This information will help maximise your scores, so therefore it is essential that you spend sufficient time collating this. It may be worth writing yourself a checklist at the very beginning of the tender project and tick the items off one by one.
Make sure that your documents are current and up-to-date. For example, any accreditations such as a CHAS certificate are valid.
posted: November 14th, 2012
When writing a tender you should always think about your evidence. It’s easy to say “yes we do….” to a question – anyone can say that. We would always suggest backing up your statement with proof and making sure that proof is the best there can be. For example: A question about sustainability – support your answer with an example of how your approach to sustainability can be translated directly to a benefit for a client of yours. If you can, make the example as relevant to the tender as possible, ie if the tender is for your local council, refer to another council in your example.
If you would like to speak with someone at Thornton & Lowe about support with your tender, call us on 08454 862 0154.
posted: October 18th, 2012
Care services overlap by nature; often times this means your services
can look like they fit a bid when they actually don’t. Got great
Person-Centred Care, strong managers and a long track-record in the
public sector? Think again before you bid – chances are this isn’t
Social Care opportunities in particular tend to attract every provider
in the area. This often leaves buyers staring at pile of sixty or more
PQQs without time to fully read half of them. This means you’ve got to
make sure your experience is immediately similar to what the contract
We’ve come up with five questions you can ask to make sure your
experience matches the tender:
1) Is my business working with the client group? We mean really working with them not just supporting one or two people
2) Do I offer the actual services in the spec and not just part of them?
3) Do my references use all the services required?
4) Are my case studies focused on the actual requirements of the contract
5) Can I evidence that the ethos required by the document (e.g. compliance with the Caring for Our Future guidelines) is actually being used?
No company is perfect but buyers live in hope so remember: Bid smart
posted: August 13th, 2012
SMEs have challenged the fairness of the public sector procurement process and the difficulty on competing with larger organisations. A recent article published online highlighted 2 examples where SMEs had challenged the government after failing to win or secure new contracts.
It’s a common conception that SMEs face difficulties in competing against larger organisations. It is reassuring that the government has a process by which feedback can be given and received.It should be noted though, at Thornton & Lowe, we have seen that this is not always the case – with SMEs successfully securing contracts with the public sector.
For the full article, please click here.
posted: July 30th, 2012
The use of graphics in tenders is a fairly common occurrence, with bidders applying focus on the presentation of their bids. The presentation of your tender can have a real impact, and as an obvious visual aid, it can also provide the reader an indication of your professionalism.
If do you choose to use graphics in your presentation of your tender, remember that there is a fine balance to achieve your goal. Think about what message you are wanting to give the reader, and look to keep the graphics as simple as possible. Also, before you you make a final decision, be as objective as you can, and try to look at the graphics from the position of the reader. This is always a difficult task – to be self critical – so maybe ask a friend or colleague for their opinion.
posted: July 18th, 2012
PQQs, ITTS, and other tender documents all require time to be completed. It is a common practice to put off those difficult tasks, and responding to tenders is often considered as one such task. As a consequence, tenders are often left to the very last minute meaning that responses are rushed, reducing the chances of success.
It is important to plan and dedicate resources to completing your tenders. To maximise your chances of success, careful thought needs to be applied to each question to ensure you have answered it to your full potential. Completing tenders is your opportunity to demonstrate why you are the preferred supplier above all the others. Therefore it is essential that your tender reflects this.
At Thornton & Lowe, we are often approached by clients who have left the tender to the last minute, and realise that they require support to complete it in time.
To see how we can help you, give us a call on 0845 862 0154.