Business Development

Writing a Bid in 2020/21 – We take a look into the future

By Hudson Procurement Group
September 2020

Writing a bid in January 2020 could look very different by the end of 2021 and beyond. It goes without saying that most industries, around the world, have undergone a tremendous period of adaption this year. Whether the obstacle was remote working, adapting processes or changing your service altogether, 2020 has certainly challenged us.

“The procurement industry hasn’t come to a standstill” – Daniel Hall, Head of Bid Management – Hudson Succeed.

During the initial UK-wide lockdown, we noticed that some businesses assumed that tendering opportunities had ceased to be published. This led them to be concerned about tendering for work in the current climate. However, this was not the case. Local authorities still called for suppliers to deliver services, albeit in a slightly different manner.

Our Hudson Discover division has reported record numbers of tendering opportunities in the last few weeks. This includes contracts for industries such as;

Creative;
Construction;
Healthcare;
Technology;
Facilities Management, and;
Consultancy.

As we look towards the future of tendering, some of the requirements and processes could look very different. We expect some of these changes to stay in place for the foreseeable future. Adapting your strategy now could save you precious time in the long-run and help you to be more reactive.

Ever-increasing emphasis on social value

If you follow our Hudson Insight Series, you will have noticed more and more emphasis on social value.

Social value has always been prevalent in the tendering process. However, writing a bid in the future could require more detail about your adherence to supporting your employees and local community.

We predict that more buyers will ask for demonstrable examples of how your business has a positive impact.

When offering examples, it will be important to emphasise that your actions are purposeful and autonomous. Simply demonstrating that your organisation complies with environmental or social legislation will not be sufficient.

You can demonstrate social value in the form of;

Policies and procedures
Spending
Training
Volunteering
Mentoring
Community engagement
Sustainability approaches

Even in the private sector…

Usually, public sector tenders will require details of social value, while private sector organisations may be more cost-driven.

However, we are now seeing a shift in private sector businesses asking for this information in their bidding process.

For example, Vodafone recently announced that it was committed to evolving their bid selection process. The company pledged to place greater emphasis on diversity and sustainability.

From October 2020, the supplier’s ‘purpose’ will account for 20% of the RFQ evaluation.

Vodafone’s Group CFO, Margherita Della Valle said: “We want Vodafone’s supply chain partners to be aligned with and support our desire to build a resilient, sustainable and inclusive digital society.”

The company also announced support for SME suppliers. They will introduce positive scoring if those suppliers commit to introducing policies that align with Vodafone’s purpose.

“We will be providing practical support for our smaller suppliers, providing help and tools to ensure that vendors of all sizes have the opportunity to align with our purpose when we consider them for contracts” – Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone’s Group CFO

Calls for changes to single-stage tendering

In some industries, there have been calls to abolish single-stage tendering when the contract value exceeds £10million. This would be replaced with a two-stage tendering process.

The recent Fine Margins report by The Confederation of British Industry, recommended this for the construction sector.

The rationale is that a longer process would allow more time for design and pricing certainty. This would in theory lead to increased productivity, once the contract commences.

According to PBC Today, every £1 spent on construction in the UK creates £2.92 of value to the UK economy. Additionally, the UK construction industry contributes to 6% of the countries GDP. Therefore, an increase in productivity in this sector could have extensive implications for the UK economy.

Whilst writing a bid in the construction sector could require jumping through more hoops, the long-term benefits could be exponential.

How to win new contracts

With these predictions in mind, it’s time to start winning some work.

You should be able to submit a compelling bid if you have in-house resources such as;

Exceptional writing skills;
Vast experience of the procurement process; and,
Knowledge of procurement terminology.

We have many materials to support you and your team, including our blogs, bid resources and Tender VLE.

However, writing a bid can be a time-consuming process. We understand that not every business has these resources in-house. That’s why we developed our suite of bid writing services.

At Hudson Succeed we have been supporting businesses with their tendering efforts for almost two decades. Based on our experiences, we developed the following four services.

Tender Writing

This is our ad-hoc bid writing service. Tender Writing was designed to support businesses who need to reactively bid for work but don’t have the resources in-house. This service consists of;

The full development of written responses;
Clarification question management, and;
The final submission of the bid on your behalf.

Our team are trusted by over 700 businesses globally and they proudly hold an 87% bid success rate.

Tender Ready

This is one of our most popular services. The Tender Ready programme was designed to support our initiative to make tendering a fairer and more transparent playing field. This service supports businesses who are new to tendering. The package includes;

The creation and design of the policies and procedures you will need to submit when tendering for work;
A 12-month subscription to the Hudson Discover tendering portal of your choice;
Support to identify the contracts that you should be bidding for, and;
The choice between a full bid writing service for your first tender, or guided support for two bids.

Tender Improvement

Are you already tendering for work but not seeing success? We often hear clients say they have spent countless hours writing and preparing bids, only to receive an unsuccessful result. There is often an easy solution for this. That’s why we developed our Tender Improvement package. This service includes;

A thorough analysis of your previous tender responses and suggestions for areas of improvement;
The re-development of any corporate literature that could be used more effectively;
A 12-month subscription to the Hudson Discover portal of your choice to help you find new opportunities, and;
The choice between guided support for your next two bids or a full bid writing service for one tender.

Tender Mentor

Are you ready to submit a bid? Has it been thoroughly proofread?

Failure to proofread a bid before submitting it is one of the most common mistakes that suppliers make.

Our Tender Mentor service ensures that you submit an error-free bid. Our bid writing experts will;

Thoroughly proofread your bid, checking for any spelling or grammatical errors;
Assess your responses against the specification to ensure that your content directly answers the requirements and impresses the buyer, and;
Make recommendations to help you increase your chances of success.

Where to find new tendering opportunities

Finding new tendering opportunities requires both time and monetary resources.

Before the Hudson Discover portals launched, your business development team would need to either;

register to thousands of portals and log into each one daily/weekly to ensure they weren’t missing opportunities, or;
sign up to a tender tracking service which required extensive knowledge of CPV codes.

Since launching our Hudson Discover division, we have managed to eliminate these inefficiencies for numerous businesses, globally.

Hudson Discover houses our 11 sector-specific tendering portals. These portals were designed as time-saving tools to help you find new business opportunities.

The portals consist of the following;

Creative Tenders
Healthcare Tenders
Facilities Tenders
Construction Tenders
Technology Tenders
Logistics Tenders
Research Tenders
Consultancy Tenders
HR Tenders
Finance Tenders
Hospitality Tenders

What makes these portals different to other tracking systems?

Manual opportunity tracking

Instead of relying on CPV codes and algorithms to do our sourcing, we have a dedicated team of opportunity trackers. On a daily basis, the team searches thousands of sources to find newly published tenders. They then upload their findings to the relevant portals, categorising them with industry-led keywords.

What does this mean for you?

In a nutshell, it means that you can simply log into your portal, enter the keywords you want to see and immediately find opportunities. Not only that, but the portal allows you to be even more granular. You can also filter by location, budget and the buyer’s sector. But don’t worry! You won’t need to perform this search every time. Our clients build a profile page when they first sign up. By entering this information, you can tell the system what to look out for. Then, each time you log in, you will only see relevant tenders on your dashboard.

Don’t have time to log in every day? Don’t worry, we know that you’re busy! That’s why we send our clients an email alert when relevant opportunities are uploaded.

Account managers

Upon joining the portal, you will be assigned an account manager. Your account manager will be on-hand throughout your subscription. They can support you with;

General tendering-related queries;
Maximising your portal account;
Finding the best opportunities for your business;
Connecting you with a bid writer who can help you win the contracts you find on the portal, and;
Help you find suppliers if you need support with a project.

Free advice from our Hudson Succeed consultants

As well as support from your account manager, you will also be entitled to 20-minutes of free consultancy each month.

Our Hudson Helpline is available to our Discover clients to support them with more technical queries. If you require this type of support, your account manager will schedule a call for you.

But don’t just take our word for it, see for yourself. We encourage you to test the portal via a free live demo. The demo allows you to access the live portal of your choice. Here, you can take a tour of the features, ask our account manager any questions and see the live opportunities. This will help you to understand exactly how the system will help your business grow.

For more information, or to book a free consultation, please visit the Hudson Succeed website.

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