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Top Tips

Useful tips to help you tender

When putting the tender together take it one stage at a time.

  • If the tender asks specific questions, cross reference the question number in your response for example, by using a heading such as ‘Response to Question 1.1'.
  • If you submit any documentation (for example, a health and safety policy), include the question number on the enclosure.
  • Minimise the number of enclosures you provide and use Word, Excel and PDF formats only.
  • When providing electronic data, the file name should reflect the content of the file. ‘Team CVs' or ‘Health and Safety policy' is better than a reference number which is meaningless to the evaluation team.
  • Ensure that the tender is presented professionally and always keep a copy of your tender.
  • Provide specific examples for any statements you make. For example if a tender asks for your experience in a certain area, stating ‘we have a 5 year contract which started 1 January 2005 for the provision of fresh produce with XXX Foundation Trust worth £100,000 per annum' is better than ‘we have extensive public sector experience'.
  • Ensure that you tailor your tender submission to the actual tender - generic submissions or submissions made up of your company's promotional leaflets will not score good marks. Tailor the tender submission to the evaluation criteria stated in the tender documents.
  • State any assumptions you have made when completing your pricing schedule. Complete the pricing schedule exactly as in the documents provided.
  • Ensure that you complete all sections of the tender documents and check that you have made all enclosures.
  • Highlight all the areas of your documents that are sensitive, or commercially confidential. In your covering letter you should make it clear that material identified as commercial in confidence should not be made available under a Freedom of Information Act request without prior contact being made with your business.
  • Sustainability and the ability to secure wider economic, social and environmental benefits for the community are becoming more integrated in procurement processes. Think about how your business can demonstrate an understanding of this. For example, how can your company add value to public sector environmental policies? Look at the tendering organisation’s websites for their policies and get a feel for the ethos of the organisation.
  • Bear in mind that if you have an overseas parent company, you may be asked for their accounts. They may be requested to provide a guarantee so make them aware of your developing bid at an early stage.
  • Remember, the person evaluating your bid may not be experienced in reading company accounts. If your business has made a loss within the last three years, then identify it and explain why – tell the story. It may be that another part of the company made an acquisition or sold a division but the evaluator may not pick that up.
  • Run an Equifax check on your own company at least once a year – what you’re seeing is what the tender evaluator will be seeing. Equifax will provide you with a credit rating check and can be accessed at http://www.equifax.co.uk/
  • If you know of industry standard figures and can beat them - then make the most of it and let the buyer know in your form.
  • Use your commercial judgement to know where you sit in your market in terms of pricing.
  • Organisations / businesses have no inherent right to receive business from the public sector. The public sector is legally required to hold competitive exercises to ensure value for money.
  • Always provide support and evidence for statements made in your tender.
  • The trust can only evaluate what you have submitted. The trust cannot refer to any previous knowledge or experience it has had with a supplier unless it is in your submission – do not make any assumptions about what the trust may or may not know about your or your company.
  • Make sure you return the documents in the format requested.

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