We are delighted to introduce a guest blog from Colin Robson, in which he shares some of his considerable experience and top tips for managing tender success. Like us, Colin also believes that selecting the right tenders to pursue is key to both winning the tender and also implementing and managing the resulting contract successfully.
Guest Blog – Managing Tender Success!
Many companies that look to increase turnover and market share through tendering increase their chances of success through engaging with recognised tender specialists such as Tender Victory.
Larger companies and organisations often have the luxury of a strong balance sheet and organisational resources to fall back on in terms of Tender Management. But for a small or medium sized business new to tendering or looking to grow through tendering and securing larger contracts, there is a much higher degree of risk of winning the tender but then failing to deliver it successfully if they have not already looked at how they will address the barriers to business growth.
I am often contacted by clients for business advice after they failed to win a tender or more worryingly have won the tender but then realise that they do not have the resources in place to successfully deliver it,! There is then a real danger that because of the lack of time invested in assessing the risk, that meeting the contractual tender requirements will cripple their cashflow and profitability and damage the delivery of their core business. I then work with the client in a ‘business turnaround’ mentoring role.
The following are my top tips to reduce the risk of this happening and to plan for successfully growing your business through tendering:
- It all starts with your business vision and aims – how does winning the tender opportunity fit in with your overall business strategy?
- Focus on product and service differentiation and added value (not just price) and view the tender process as an opportunity to update your Business Plan and financial forecasts.
- Are you likely to win – what are your credentials and your credit score and how can you improve them to get past the PQQ stage?
- Plan ahead – do you have new funding in place or is the Balance Sheet strong enough to support the additional working capital requirements, increase in stock, debtor days and payroll and to roll-out the tender and meet the performance criteria?
- Is your business scalable – do you have adequate structures, IT systems and processes in place to manage growth?
- How will you manage your people – what potential impact will the tender have on the workload of your workforce and who will project manage the tender delivery if your key staff are already over-stretched?
- In terms of the ITT what are the detailed Transfer of Undertaking (TUPE) risks and how will the additional salaries and staff integration impact on your existing workforce?
- Have you costed Key Performance Indicator (KPI) monitoring – how will you integrate your tender management into your existing systems and processes i.e. ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?
- Are there adequate systems and processes in place to monitor and measure customer care and to manage the complaints procedure specified in the tender?
- Build your tender management into your existing meetings and communication structure to support continuous improvement – otherwise you will add cost without adding value!