Tips for Tenders
If you are considering a bidding process, let’s remind ourselves of why these processes exist in the first place.
The public sector has to be transparent with it’s procurement strategies. That means that when an opportunity arises for the supply of product or services to a public sector organisation, it has to be communicated publicly and a process initiated so that the best value is obtained using public funds.
Therefore, it’s sensible for the tender process to request information from the potential supplier that provides assurance of the capability to supply. Thus, you need to be able to demonstrate the expertise of your company to people whom you have never met or done business with. If you were in their shoes, what would you want to see?
How can you provide that assurance? Using my business model of leveraging processes, standards and systems:
- Processes. What are your key processes and how do they ensure you deliver consistently excellent products and services? What are the measures that these processes generate, that you use to monitor your performance, and ultimately will provide assurance in a tender process?
- Standards. If you don’t have any standards in place, you are unlikely to win any tenders. Standards exists for a reason, and you only have to read the news today to see how a lack of standards affect our lives (NHS crisis, Indian school dinner deaths, to name but a few). What standards to do you need in place to ensure your business operates at a consistently high level? What industry standards already exist that you should be meeting? Do your products or services need to meet standards?
- Systems. Formal certification of your systems can be achieved effectively by implementing a management system standard such as ISO 9001. ISO 9001 is a management system standard for quality management and is applicable to any size of organisation in any industry. Certification to this becoming a pre-requisite for tender processes so bear that in mind. Other certifications include ISO 14001 (environmental), 18001 (health and safety) 27001 (information security) and 22301 (business continuity management). You need to decide which certification is most suitable for your business.
Documenting and managing your processes, systems and standards will ensure you are able to provide assurance of your organisation’s capabilities to any interested parties – not only for formal tendering processes, but for general business development as well – winning new contracts, increasing repeat business and entering new markets.
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